Change Your Shot Shape By Changing Your Finish

By Hank Haney Photos by J.D. Cuban
September 21, 2016

Photo by J.D. Cuban

Thinking about your swing from beginning to end is natural, working from address to backswing to downswing to finish. But starting from the opposite end—the finish—can help influence the way you curve shots.

How your swing ends says a lot about the motion you made to get there. For example, a finish with the right side noticeably lower than the left and the weight hanging back a little (above, left), indicates you've swung down from inside the target line and the hands and arms were moving faster than the body. That tends to produce a right-to-left shot—a draw.

If you do the opposite, where the chest and hips are facing the target at the finish and the right shoulder is high (above, right), you've probably hit a shot that curved from left to right—a fade.

To hit the ball straight, get your hips and chest turned toward the target and the shaft angled down slightly and across the back of the head (middle).

Rehearse these finish positions, and you'll have a lot better feel for how to shape shots. You also can eliminate your typical bad shot by swinging to the finish that's the opposite.

Watching a pro golf tournament can be as educational as it is entertaining. When the camera focuses on a player hitting a full shot, pay attention to how he or she finishes the swing. You can even hit pause on your DVR and guess whether it was a draw, fade or straight shot before seeing where the ball ends up. You'll have a better awareness of how to shape shots.

Hank Haney is based at the Hank Haney Golf Ranch in Lewisville, Texas. To get fixed in Golf Digest, send Hank your swing on Twitter: @HankHaney.