Being able to work the golf ball when out on the golf course is a great skill to possess, as it will allow you to recover well whenever you get out of position and it will also allow you to attack the golf course and pin positions that would otherwise be less accessible.
Working the golf ball means that you are able to control the trajectory and shape of the shots that you hit and use this to your advantage enabling you to achieve and shoot really low scores.
Here we are going to look at how to work the ball left to right and also right to left, so that you can improve your control over shaping shots initially on the range and then take this out on to the golf course to improve your recovery play, accuracy and ultimately the score that you shoot.
If you are working the golf ball left to right so that the ball starts left of the target and then curves to the right during its flight, finishing on the intended target then you are hitting a fade. If you are playing a shot that starts right of the target and then curves left into and finishing on the target, then you are hitting a draw. The golf ball curves during its flight due to the spin that is imparted on it. If you are hitting a straight golf shot, the ball is spinning around its vertical axis so it flies straight. However, if spin is imparted on to the golf ball which rotates around a tilted axis, then the ball will curve during its flight. Tilted axis spin is imparted on to a golf ball whenever there is a difference between the club face aim and the club head’s direction of travel, or swing path. The greater the difference the more curve there will be during the golf ball’s flight. The more slight the difference, the gentler the ball flight curve.
To hit a fade, you set up so that your stance and toe line are to the left of the target. You are going to swing the golf club so that your club head travels along a line parallel to your toe line and left of the target. However, to get the ball to curve during its flight you need to aim the club face to the right of the club head’s swing path, but left of the target. The ball flight is 85% governed by the club face aim. To start the ball left of the target, the club face must be aiming left of the target. However, if you now want to curve the ball to the right, the club face needs to be aiming right of the club head’s swing path.
To hit a draw, the ball must start right of the target so the club face needs to aim right of this. Set your stance and toe line aiming to the right of the target and swing parallel to your toe line. To get the golf ball to curve left during its flight you need to aim the club face left of the direction of your swing, but right of the target. This will see the ball start to the right of the target and then curve left during its flight towards the target.
Work on hitting these shots on the range or practice ground first and then as your confidence with controlling the shot shape improves, take this skill out on to the golf course and start working the ball into tight targets to attack pin positions and set yourself up to shoot lower scores.