Re: Shot ConesI love the idea of shot cones, and while the pictures are two dimensional, on the course I have a three dimensional mental image of a "shot cone" and it includes the flight path, so it is a curved cone in the vertical dimension. I use a mental picture up in the air as the starting center of the cone, because a shot that might be OK in left and right relationship might be wrong in trajectory (think wind, or landing area, etc.) I may hit a drive that is above the cone and directionally it is fine, but I don't like that kind of shot any more than a scoring iron to a short pin that is too low (maybe hit thin and too driving in path.) My cone is always club dependent and unfortunately a 3 wood off the tee does not have a smaller cone than a driver in my case -- obviously some kind of head case.
The original post is a key bench mark skill to have and know well in order to get your score down. The pictures and descriptions in the starting post are spot on. Personally, I hate the shot that winds up left of my personal image of its shot cone (which is that 95 percent little draw for me,) and the ones that go right are not as objectionable unless they curve right or slice unintentionally. I know how to fix a straight push and they may still land on the green, just a long putt.
This is an A+ concept to study and know for your game. When your unsatisfactory shots still stay in your cone, even at the extremes, you know you are playing reasonably well. As a confessional disclaimer, please note -- I hit a lot of shots outside my intended cone and I don't care how solidly they are struck, I don't like them. Even when the result turns out to be acceptable, I know it was a miss. Example: the drive needs to be right of center for the best angle into the green, and you wind up in the fairway on the far left side. Now bunkers, short sides, or bad slopes might come into play -- much harder to deal with.
Anyway... great topic.