Know The Shot Types

By July 27, 2020Tips & Tutorials

As a golf coach I am often surprised when a golfer arrives for a golf lesson and tells me that they have a slice or an uncontrollable hook. I ask them to describe the shot that they hit, and the shot that they are describing rarely matches with the shot they apparently suffer with. It is a recurring theme, and one that creates many more problems than it fixes, golfer will often head for their computers in an attempt to solve their woes. But, if you don´t even know what you are really doing how can you find a cure? It would be like treating a cold, when actually you have an allergy to the dog.

So, before you start searching for how to cure a slice, you need to understand what your shot-shape actually means. In reality, there are 9 shots shapes; straight, draw, fade, hook, slice, push-slice, pull-hook, pull and push. And each of these shot types has a root cause, which NEVER changes. Knowing which of the shot types you have will allow you to correct and improve your game.

Shots will generally be left or right of target, but how they get there is key, in the table below you can see how the combination of the clubface alignment and the swing path affect the shot shape.

SWING PATH / CLUB FACE ALIGNMENTIn to OutIn to InOut to In
OPENPushPUSH SLICESlice
SQAUREDrawSTRAIGHTFade
CLOSEDHookPULL HOOKPull

So, a client comes to me telling me that they are slicing the ball, which means an out to in swing path and an open clubface. Meaning that the ball should start left of target and move right of the target line to some degree. In fact when we begin to hit some shots, I notice that the client actually starts the ball to the right of the target line, and the ball continues to move further to the right, which indicate a push-slice, which is caused not by an out to in swing path, but an in to in swing path, which is completely different.

It is obvious that the client hasn´t understood what is actually happening during their swing, and because of misunderstanding the cause and effect they have diligently been trying to correct a flaw that they do not actually have. Knowing the basic fundamentals of the golf swing makes a huge difference as to how you go about making changes to a swing. Looking at the above table, the area to work on would be clubface alignment at impact, which is totally different to clubface alignment at address, solving the issue of clubface alignment at impact will allow the golfer to hit straight shots.

You have to know what is causing your bad shot, before you try to correct it.

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