Shotshaping Formulas

How to make the shots you need to play your best

3-Wood Punch3-Wood Punch: Hit the shot Tiger hits when the driver gets crooked.
Body Position Align yourself parallel to the target, with a normal stance. The ball should be positioned slightly back from usual, between the left ear and eye (for right-handers). Many golfers feel the need to narrow their stance, but you don’t have to. Maintain your normal 3-wood stance.

Grip Strengthen your left-hand grip. A stronger left-hand grip will lessen your wrist cock and effectively shorten your overall swing. (This is the first step to “punching” the ball.) There should be some forward lean of the shaft, so position the hands more toward the target than usual. Choke down a little, too.

Clubface It may seem logical that you want a closed clubface to hit the ball lower, but that’s not the case here. Due to the forward shaft lean, the clubface will look closed when, in fact, you have it squared to the target. Set the clubhead first, then the forward lean in the shaft toward the target.

Magic Move I’m not a big fan of what’s called an inside-out swing. After all, the swing is going to have to come back inside at some point, so for this shot I recommend what I call an “inside-to-inside swing.” Begin by taking the club back inside the target line and start to hinge the wrists when the club reaches about knee high. This will steepen your swing, helping you to hit a low, punched shot.

Mid-Iron FadeMid-Iron Fade: How to hit a high, soft-landing iron from 180 yards away.
Body Position Address the ball with the body aiming not parallel to the target, but slightly more to the left (for right-handers). The ball should also be positioned in a normal spot, somewhere between your left eye and left ear. The key here is to address the ball open to the target to encourage an outside-in swing path.

Grip Instead of weakening and strengthening your grip, try increasing the grip pressure of your left hand in order to delay the release of the hands through impact. If you adjust your grip completely, you run the risk of an awkward hinge and sensation. Instead, just squeeze a little harder and concentrate on keeping the back of the left hand facing the target through impact. Don’t grip the club, then twist the clubface open. Aim first, then take your grip.

Clubface With the body aiming more left than usual, open the clubface slightly to make sure you put some cut spin on the shot. The key is to not overdo it by opening the club too much. Instead, aim the clubface just a few yards to the right of the target.

Magic Move To hit a mid-iron shot that flies high and lands soft, remember that it’s the left arm that leads the right side of the body through impact. To start, take the club back on a slightly outside-in path and hinge the wrists earlier than normal. This will steepen your swing to hit a fade. Due to your strong left-hand grip pressure and the open clubface, the face will be open at impact, resulting in the desired shot! 

Seth Glasco is Director of Instruction at The Legacy Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada. For more information on Seth and The Legacy Golf Club, visit


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