June 19, 2007

Control your curves

instruction-2006-09-inar01_tigertips0609.jpg

instruction-2006-09-inar01_tigertips0609.jpg

Photos by Stephen Szurlej Illustration by Keith Witmer

Photos by Stephen Szurlej Illustration by Keith Witmer

No matter how long I play the game, I'll always get a charge from shaping shots and being able to extricate the ball from difficult lies caused by a loose swing or bad bounce. The low hook is a prime example of shaping out of necessity. It's also a fun shot when pulled off as planned.

To hit it consistently, the low hook requires a slight set-up change and a big-muscle swing, not a manipulation of the clubhead with the hands or wrists. It also helps if you have a relatively wide, arcing backswing to promote a sweeping motion through the ball. Otherwise, you might have to position the ball back in your stance slightly to lower its flight.

Here's how I play it: First, I set up in a slightly closed stance and toe-in the club at address. Then, I aim my feet, hips and shoulders at the point where I want the ball to start and the clubface where I want it to finish. Finally, I simply swing along my foot line.

Mark Soltau is a contributing editor to Golf Digest and the editor of TigerWoods.com.