3 Keys to Shaping the Golf Ball Any Way You Want

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This week’s PGA Tour event will be played at Colonial Country Club where last year’s winner was Adam Scott, with a final score of -9. He won in a playoff hole against Jason Dufner by making birdie on the second hole. The Crowne Plaza Invitational is the longest running, non-major, PGA Tour event to be held at the same site year after year. The greens at Colonial Country Club are small and thy’re guarded by large bunkers, making it necessary to hit very precise shots.

“It’s one of the great golf courses of the world. Why can’t they build them like this today? This is one of those tournaments that, to me, is in the upper echelon. I could play this course every day for the rest of my life.” – Curtis Strange

Shaping the golf ball is something that everyone can benefit from, but doing so successfully takes a lot of practice and confidence. There are a few ways to shape the ball, including adjusting your grip, adjusting your swing plane, or adjusting the face of the club either open or closed.

strong-standard-weak-golf-grip

Adjusting Your Grip

Depending on whether you are trying to hit a draw or a fade, the grip will need to be adjusted accordingly.

To hit more of a draw, you will need to have a little stronger grip compared to the grip you normally use to hit a straight shot.

  • Do this by rotating your left hand slightly to the right, and rotate your right hand more underneath the club where you will not see as many knuckles on your right hand.

To hit more of a fade, you will need to have a little weaker grip compared to the grip you normally use to hit a straight shot.

  • This can be achieved by slightly rotating your left hand to the left, and having your right hand follow suit to where you see more knuckles on your right hand.

If you’re left-handed, you’ll need to adjust your left hand accordingly to either hit more of a draw or fade.

Adjusting Your Swing-Plane

Adjusting your swing plane is a little more difficult compared to simply changing your grip on the golf club. This method of attempting to hit more of a draw or fade should only be attempted if you have a repeatable swing plane and a straight ball flight.

To hit more of a draw, you will want to have a flatter swing plane.

  • Do this by taking the golf club back more around your body compared to your normal swing.
  • Make sure to then swing the club more around your body during the follow-though as well.

By adjusting your swing plane flatter the golf ball will generally come out a little lower and have a ball flight that travels right to left for a right-handed golfer. If you are left-handed, the ball will have a ball flight that will travel left to right.

To hit more of a fade, you’ll want to have an upright swing plane.

  • Do this by taking the golf club back more upright compared to your normal swing.
  • Make sure your follow through is also more upright.

By adjusting your swing plane more upright the golf ball will generally come out higher and have a ball flight that starts out left of your target and fades to the right if you are a right-handed golfer. If you are left-handed, the ball will start out a little right of your target, and fade to the left.

closed-square-open-clubface

Adjusting The Clubface Closed Or Open At Address

Another way to hit a draw or fade is to adjust the clubface while in the address position, before starting your golf swing.

To hit a draw you’ll need to close the clubface.

  • Do this by turning the toe of the club to where it points more toward the golf ball.

To hit a fade you’ll need to open the clubface.

  • Do this by turning the toe of the golf club away from the golf ball.

After making either of these adjustments, you’ll simply make your normal golf swing.

Quick Recap

1. Adjust Your Grip – Using a weaker grip will help you hit the ball with a fade.  Using a stronger grip will help you hit the ball with a draw.

2. Adjust Your Swing Plane – Taking the club back more around your body, or flatter, will help you hit a draw.  Taking the club back more upright, will help you hit the ball more with a fade.

3. Adjust the Clubface at the Address Position – Closing the clubface a little at address will help you hit more of a draw.  Opening the clubface a little at address will help you hit more of a fade.

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Need more help with your game? Contact our PGA Professionals!

Check out previous tips you may have missed: 4 Steps to Making Every Short Putt, Aggressive or Safe? Determining the Right Play, How to Prepare For A Match Play Event, 3 Simple Chipping Techniques for Precision and Accuracy, Annika’s Advice to Take the Plunge Successfully and Start the Year off Right, What It Takes to Hit a Perfect Fade.

Emmett Brantly, PGA

Emmett Brantly has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2003. He graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Golf Management. He has worked in Public, Semi-Private, Private, and Resort golf facilities in Raleigh and Pinehurst North Carolina. He has also worked in various retail settings, as well as holding positions of PGA Teaching Professional at various academies including the Pinehurst Golf Academy. Emmett has a strong passion for growing the game of golf by displaying his extensive knowledge in club-fitting, teaching, fitness, and product knowledge.

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