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It’s the label every golfer aspires to: shotmaker.

Ben Hogan was a shotmaker. Sam Snead too. Same for Seve Ballesteros and Lee Trevino.

What separates a shotmaker from mere golfers? Simply, the ability to shape shots left or right, hit them high or low and precisely control distance, all on command as the situation requires.

What does it take to become a shotmaker? The basic ingredients include: 

  • A fundamental knowledge of spin and loft and their effects on the ball’s flight. For example, left-to-right sidespin causes the ball to curve in the same direction.
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  • An understanding of how to impart different types of spin on the ball. The ball flies left to-to-right, for instance, when the club’s face is open relative to its path at impact. Also, positioning the ball farther right in the stance decreases the club’s effective loft, producing a lower trajectory.
  • A sound swing in which the clubhead approaches the ball from just inside or directly on the target line.
  • Lots and lots of practice.

Shotmaking is primarily about angles. Learn the cause and effect of different alignments, clubhead aim and ball position and you’ll own the knowledge to become a shotmaker.