I once heard how 80% of the world’s golfers are faders or slicers. Now, a lot of golfers don’t think they fade or slice, however they really do. The best way to figure out if you are a fader or a slicer is to hit 20 golf balls with a 5-iron and write down what each shot does, I guarantee you that there will be a pattern to your 20 shots, and this will allow you to see what your shot pattern is.

A great drill to get a player hitting the ball straighter or even to understand how to hit a draw or hook is to have a player grab a tennis racquet and take a golf set up position. If you’ve played a couple of games of tennis then the concept should be fine. If you don’t have tennis background, then you may need your local golf pro to assist.

The concept of hitting the ball with a draw or hook is very similar to hitting a topspin forehand, you will feel as though you are hitting the ball to the right and then have the ball curve back in. Looking at pictures 1 and 2 you can clearly see the correct images for a top spinner, these then relate back to how you can hit a draw or hook shot.

Looking at pictures 3 and 4 will show you how these match up to a player who cut-spins the ball – an out-to-in shot that relates to hitting a slice or a fade.

In teaching students of all levels, I insist that — to be the player that you want to be — you need to be able to hit a ball deliberately with a fade or draw at will. Using the tennis racquet and adopting a hybrid tennis/golf swing will allow you to achieve shaping your golf shots at will.

And finally, a short story to finish with. A client of mine (we’ll call him “Fred”) has recently been on fire, dropping 8 shots from his handicap in a couple of months. I used the tennis racquet concept a couple of times with Fred during a lesson. Fred now has regular warm up sessions in his garage using the tennis racquet to get the feel of a top spin/draw shot. Fred now hits the ball further and straighter, partly by using this drill.

My suggestion is that if you are a fader or slicer, dig out the old tennis racquet and practice some top spinners to achieve a draw or hook shot.

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