Shaping Shots

there are a lot of very good points being made here about how to shape the ball.

my 2 cents is this - I think it is the most effective way, long term, and the most effective way to shape the ball on the golf course - you want to hit a fade, imagine and feel what type of swing you need to make to hit that shape shot.  You want to hit a draw, imagine and feel what swing would shape the ball that way.


I find the best way to do it is set up square to your target, making sure that you club face is point to where you want the ball to end up. Then, for a draw, close your stance and vice versa for a fade. Then, just swing along your foot line. The draw swing will obviously be from the inside out and the fade from the outside in. The fade is easier for me to control, and to have more control over the draw I have to make sure I stay down a little longer than I think. This way, It is always the same release and swing but I can move the ball both ways with relative ease without having to try to roll my hands or do something that I don't often practice. I find it is the most reliable way to control ball movement.

Hello Proctor,

Find your local PGA teaching professional and take a lesson. There is no cookie cutter formula. A good teaching pro will work with your natural swing and come up with a simple method to hit draws and fades.


Keep it in the fairway!

I found this video on youtube and it makes a lot of sense. It also seems quite easy to try. Here is the link to it. 

Check out this youtube...This is something to do with the way you release the club head and timing. I believe Nate has the roll release. 

I started playing more shape to my shots idea in my strategy on the course. It came from wanting more control on my longer shots/drives.

First I freely admit that I am not happy with a driver, I prefer irons and particulary for distance a 4w,5w and 3i and now a 910H. so that I have been sorted for this new club I want first see how well I hit it on the course.

In short, my own shortcomming become an advantage that I know my tendencies to hook or hard draw a ball when not mindful of it, also what clubs this happens with-

common hooks are with the short irons 7,8,9,pw etc because right handed we naturally power though the swing with more right side and less left (ie the left hand is weak) so set up is important.

additionally a closed or square stance will have the swing come steeply out in, even if you don't have a grip issue. Grip constantly is how most shape the ball, the hands will turn over either later or earlier. Earlier is the cause of many hooks of those with a weak right/short of neutral rather than stong/neutral. At most with a weak/neural right handed player will have a constant draw effect in their game.

right handers can do the fade once the know how they can stop hooks, aim a bit left and a neutral left or strong left with a neutral right weaker. It allow the clubface to square later making you 'hold' on to a square club face abit longer through impact. The result is left to right.

Forget what people say about shaping it with your hands because it's only part truths- the grip and setup is all, and when you understand that simply shooting straight (which is harder than draw or fade ) 100% of the time requires a set up perfect. change one other element from use short iron for draw and add long for fades.

this is why so many slice with the driver- long is an in out arc and can slice across the ball easier than any other club if you don't square that face in time. Tempo is variable your set up to hit a fade with aim left shy and neutral/stronger left hand than right will work for many and has.

MY trick to mind for shaping fades/draws is to hold on through implact  or release and let the hand turn over faster. . Easy?

draw/hook -stance closed, squared or right of target weak grip for right hander and strong left- so your power side or guiding right side flips the clubface quick. - Grip or use OR favor or one hand throught the shot.

fade/slice- stace square open, left of target strong grip where the left swing and the right guide through holding on with a stronger grip.

forget about the club head other than it is constant in your set up and square to the targer work on the stance slightly and the hold on with long irons and the swing with the fast turnover for the short irons.

one last thing don't think about the swing ever in terms of hand turning or not turning, just impact following the ball or not is enough imo. hope some of this helps. I meet alot of fellas who swing real fast for distance and hook bady. they oftern feel they need a adustable hosel club and in many cases it is a really fine thing to purchase. They make the job easier- once you have it -it's your's for what it's worth the effort.

Ball fit:

low compress balls are easier to draw hook than tour? It's preferance feel, either but the way the club interacts with the cover of that ball is what makes it more shapeable during a shot like the PRov1's. The slick iomer or urethane in competition with the quatiity of the ball against your clubs is important.

if it isn't than you probably have a grind wheel and files and sharpen up your bag before each round.

If you want help figuring out how to shape shots, watch this video.

This is Joseph Mayo, known by many as the Trackman Maestro. He will show you exactly how a ball curves and what will influence the ball to curve. 

But let me tell you something first. For a fade, don't listen to anyone who tells you to open the face and you stance and cut across the ball, that will simply create a weak high shot that starts right and keeps going right. A cut is a ball that starts left and then curves back to the intended target (Ideally). Also do not listen to anyone who tells you that you need to manipulate the clubhead through impact simply using your hands. This should explain why. When the clubhead strikes the ball, the ball is on the clubface for 4/10,000 of a second. That is 10 times faster than your eyes blink. So if you honestly think you can get a CONSISTENT result from manipulating your hands through impact, good luck. The way to curve the ball is based on your setup with your body and the clubface. 

So for a cut, you can open you stance, and have the clubhead pointed at the same target as your feet, but keep your shoulder plane at the intended target for where you want the ball to finish. Then simply take the club back normally, and then really fire your hips through the ball. The closed face will start the ball to the left, and if you make sure you lag your hands properly, the clubface will naturally be held off a bit forcing the ball to start left and spin right. 

Again, watch this video for more help


That is the worst way to ever shape shots, have you ever read a book by any good tour player or teaching pro? For a draw you face your club to your desired landing zone and align your feet, hips, shoulders right of the target and simply swing alone that line, this causes your club at impact to be faced at the target and your swing path puts the draw spin on the ball. CONSISTENT

With irons your AOA is negative...this will always send your ball to the right . I set up closed so that at impact my club head is open to the target line and closed to the swing path for draw...Club head closed to target line and open to swing path for fade with open stance

Proctor Ford

I saw a post earlier on this same topic and had a few questions. (I am right handed). 

I was wondering what the easiest way to hit a draw/fade was and how to control the amount of draw/fade it has. I feel if i could shape shots off the tee I would be in much better position on my second shot. Thanks.

You can see, there are numerous methods to working the ball. Some do it by slightly changing their swing and others by slight changes in their grip. Perhaps it might best for your understand the physics involved with curving the ball. Then, go to the range and try different methods to see what works best for you. Mr. Hogan once told a man that asked him  for swing advice, "Go hit 10,000 balls and you'll know the answer". In short, to make the ball fade/slice, the clubface must be slightly open relative to the clubhead path. To draw the ball, the club face must slightly closed relative to the path of the clubhead. Now, go hit 10,000 balls.