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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Martin Hall on Shaping a Draw (Video)

This video is pretty much self-explanatory, but I want to call your attention to something you may not know about shaping shots.

Although Martin says that all players at Augusta, regardless of whether they're right- or left-handed, need to be able to curve the ball from right to left, what he shows here is the technique for hitting a draw. (Which means it's less helpful for lefties trying to hit the ball right to left, which is a fade for them.)

But what I want to point out -- that "both sides" can use -- is a different way of shaping shots than what you may have heard before. We'll use a draw as an example, since that's what Martin demonstrates here.

The most common way of setting up to hit a draw is to close your stance, which creates an in-to-out shot shape. But you'll note that Martin has Blair set up square and move the ball position back a little. That also creates an in-to-out shot shape because the club, which has to swing around your body, is still coming from inside if your stance is square but the ball is back. Are you with me so far?

Now here's the trick that you may not have known before.

Near the end of the video when Martin goes to the big screen and draws on it, over on the right hand side you can see two numbers. One is labeled "Club Path" and the other is "Face to Target." See how Blair's swing shows 5.6° inside out (a closed club path)? That's what I was talking about just a couple of paragraphs back.

BUT take a look at the other number. It shows 3.5° open. Do you see that? OPEN! Sounds like it should cause a fade, right? But you can clearly see in the shot trace from earlier in the video that Blair's shot curved from right to left -- a draw.

How can this be?

This is what I want you to understand. As long as the face is open LESS than the club path is closed, the ball will DRAW. In this case, the club path is 5.6° closed but the face is open only 3.5°, so the face is open less and the ball draws.

No matter how your feet are lined up, if you make an in-to-out swing and the ball still fades, you have the face open MORE than the path is closed and THAT is what makes the ball fade. To stop the fade, you need to stop opening the face so much. Understand?

There is more than one way to shape a shot but you need to understand what you're doing before you can fix an incorrect shot shape. Let me say this one more time: The clubface doesn't have to be square in order to get a draw. It just needs to be less open than the club path is closed. Get a handle on that little fact and you should find it much easier to create a draw.

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