June 19, 2007

Control your curves

Use your big muscles to shape your shots

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.