While there is only one type of swing in golf, there are three variations of golf shots: Right curving, high-flying shots that inevitably turn into slices; Low-flying shots that curve to the left causing a hook; and the perfect straight shot, which is neither too high nor too low, and always manages to stay right in the middle of the fairway.
You may think a straight shot is all you'll ever need to master the game. But, the ability to perform a hook or slice at will gives you an edge over other players when you all stand there facing a fairway with a sharp dog-leg to the right.
What's the secret to intentionally shooting a slice or hook? It's all dependent upon how you set the club before you begin the backswing. If the club is set in an open position, then the ball will veer off to the right. Closing the clubface will reverse the effect, and cause the ball to turn left in flight. Keeping the clubface square will result in a straight shot, down the middle of the fairway.
In order to master these techniques, you must first have a thorough understanding of each type of shot and its effects on the ball itself. A slice almost acts like a boomerang - flying high to the left and making a sharp turn to the right.
Slices can be helpful when you have a fairway that curves to the right. However, people who slice each and every shot are faced with the dilemma of limiting the distance they can achieve because the ball turns to the point of almost coming back to the one who hit it.
A more severe form of slicing is known as “shanking, ” in which the ball is hit on the heel of the club and shoots off wildly to the right. Learn how to properly perform a slice so that it can be used to your advantage. First, play the ball slightly ahead of the left foot. Place the club so that the toe is slightly turned in and the shaft is not tilted forward, but rather, perpendicular.
Learning a hook is just as easy. For this type of shot, the club is positioned back towards the right foot - just as you'd do for a bad lie. The clubface, however, is kept square to the ball, with the shaft tilting forward. Your right foot is drawn back to the right of the intended line of the shot.
Sometimes, the lie of the ball will affect the body's pivot, and result in a hook or a slice. If the ball lands on ground that is higher than the player, it results in a hook. Likewise, a low ball position results in a slice. To offset these tenancies, the player can adjust the aim of their stance and play with an open or closed clubface.
How do you use the eight steps if you're a left-handed player? Simple. You just reverse both of the four step sections for positioning and swing. It's the same as if a right-handed player finds himself up against a tree or other fairway obstacle that prevents him from taking a full right-handed swing.
Visit Think and Reach Par for more great free golfing advice, , or maybe treat yourself or the golfer in your life to a golf birthday gift like the Body Golf series.