Thinking about your swing from beginning to end is natural; working from address to backswing to downswing to finish. But starting from the opposite end – the finish – can help influence the way you curve shots.

How your swing ends says a lot about the motion you made to get there. For example, a finish with the right side noticeably lower than the left and the weight hanging back a little [above, left] indicates you’ve swung down from inside the target line and the hands and arms were moving faster than the body. That tends to produce a right-to-left shot – a draw.

If you do the opposite, where the chest and hips are facing the target at the finish and the right shoulder is high [above, right], you’ve probably hit a shot that curved from left to right – a fade.

To hit the ball straight, get your hips and chest turned towards the target and the shaft angled down slightly and across the back of the head [middle]. 

Rehearse these finish positions, and you’ll have a lot better feel for how to shape shots. You can also eliminate your typical bad shot by swinging to the finish that’s
the opposite.

Can you guess the shot?

Watching a pro golf tournament can be as educational as it is entertaining. When the camera focuses on a player hitting a full shot, pay attention to how he or she finishes the swing. You can even hit pause on and guess whether it was a draw, fade or straight shot before seeing where the ball ends up. You’ll have a better awareness of how to shape shots.

– Hank Haney is based at the Hank Haney Golf Ranch in Lewisville, Texas. To get fixed in Golf Digest, send Hank your swing on Twitter: @HankHaney.