You may think that working the ball, curving and shaping shots on command is something that only highly skilled players need to worry about. Simply hitting the ball straight is ambitious enough, right? But as Titleist Staff member Tom Patri notes in this video, what if you find yourself blocked behind an obstacle, like a tree? Sure, you could take your medicine and pitch out sideways back onto the fairway, but what if a curving shot would easily find the green? What would it be worth to you to have that ability?
Well, you're in luck, because Tom has the answer for you, free of charge. We spent some time with Tom at Titleist's Manchester Lane Test Facility and as he shows us, you don't have to change your swing one bit to curve the ball right-to-left or left-to-right. You just need to align your body and your club face accordingly.
It's All About Alignment
The key to curving a golf shot is adjusting where the club face is pointing relative to the path of the swing. For a straight shot, as you address the ball, your club face should point directly at your target. If you were to trace a line from your club face to your target, you would want to align your feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel to that line. By aligning your body this way, you'll naturally swing the club on a path directly down your target line. As long as your club face is square at impact, you'll produce a straight shot.
To hit shots that curve, you simply want to tweak this setup alignment and as Tom shows in the video, alignment sticks are a great tool to help paint the proper picture. Tee up the golf ball as you start out and use the sticks as visual aids (or place two clubs down and use the shafts as your guides).
- On a straight shot, your alignment sticks will resemble train tracks. The stick that matches the line of your toes will be parallel to the stick that points where your your club face is aimed.
How to Curve the Golf Ball Left-to-Right
To curve the ball left-to-right (a fade for a right-handed player), cross the alignment sticks as Tom shows in the video. The more you cross the sticks, the more the ball will ultimately curve.
- For a fade, first aim your club face along the stick that points where you want your golf ball to land (this should be your final target). The second alignment stick should be pointing left of the first and in line with where you'd like to the flight of the ball to start out.
- Align your feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel to this second alignment stick. From here, simply make your normal swing down your foot line.
- This combination of a swing path going left and an open club face will impart clockwise sidespin on the ball, making the ball curve from the left back to the right.
How to Curve the Golf Ball Right-to-Left
To curve the ball right-to-left (a draw for a right-handed player), keep your club face alignment stick pointing where you want the ball to finish (this should be your final target), but move the second alignment stick so that it crosses the first and points to the right of your target.
- Aim your club face square to the stick that points where you want your golf ball to land.
- Align your feet, knees, hips and shoulders to the right of your target, parallel to the second alignment stick. From here, simply make your normal swing down your foot line, in the direction of where you want your shot to start its flight.
- This combination of a swing path going right and a closed club face will impart counter-clockwise sidespin on the ball, making the ball curve from right of the final target, back to the left.
We hope you enjoy the tip and to learn more about Tom and the instructional programs he offers, check out his website at http://tompatri.com as well as his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.
Check out Tom's social media channels, too.