Simple Shotmaking

How To Be A Complete Player

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simple shotmakingI was hitting balls one day with my friend and fellow teaching professional, Ron Gring, when he described a way of looking at all the key shots in golf as “the nine panes of glass.” This obviously refers to the image you see above, with a fade, straight shot and draw at low, medium and high trajectories fitting into the nine slots. I’ve personally used this idea to describe what it takes to become a complete player on many occasions and believe it’s the best way to visualize the nine key shots. The best players on Tour, most notably Tiger, have mastered the method for “breaking” all nine panes of glass, both in practice and on the course. Study the fundamentals described in the following pages and you, too, can be a true shotmaker.

simple shotmaking
simple shotmaking
simple shotmaking
When the stance is square to the ball’s target line, it influences the club to swing down the line slightly longer than when the stance is either open or closed. Most players play from a position that would be close to square if you were to measure where they’re truly aiming. Whenever the stance line is open or closed, it often influences the shoulders to follow accordingly.
If moving the ball from left to right is your goal, then you should use a stance line that’s slightly open to your target line. Whenever you align your stance slightly open, the shoulders will tend to swing the club across the ball. The more open your stance, the more open your shoulders will tend to be as well. If you tend to overswing, then an open stance line could be an effective way to limit your amount of hip turn to the top.
If moving the ball from right to left is your goal, then you should use a stance line that’s slightly closed to your target line. Whenever you align your stance slightly closed, the shoulders will tend to swing the club more from the inside. If you want more distance, try this.
Golf Course Credit: Special thanks to Bighorn GC, located in Palm Desert, Calif. Pictured is the 18th hole of the Canyons Course.

For a neutral shot, the clubface angle at address should be square to the target line. For the vast majority of shots, you’ll find that it’s best to utilize the same clubface alignment and stance configuration, (open stance with open clubface, etc.). Whenever you move the clubface angle into a position that’s contradictory to the stance line, you’re asking for trouble. Remember that the more natural curvature your shots have in one direction, the better chance you have of eliminating one side of the golf course, which can be critical to high-percentage driving and solid overall play.

The amount you rotate the clubface at address will affect the curvature and trajectory of your shot. Opening the clubface obviously promotes a left-to-right shot and a higher trajectory, but also tends to promote slightly shorter shots. An open clubface is great for producing shots that land softly with little release.

A closed clubface promotes a shot that travels right to left and tends to fly on a lower trajectory. This is effective for producing shots that have plenty of roll.


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