Thanks. How about a little thumbs up. Y'know, for the effort.</caddyshack> ;)
always thought that the shot shaping is more about going with the shape of the hole (i.e. shape of the fairways and greens and where the pin is)... than about margin for error.
in other words, if every fairway is dead straight, and every pin is in the dead center of a perfect circle green..... how much advantage is still there to shape the shots... I do agree with Jack N's theory about 'fading has advantage'... but I think it comes also from the fact that a fade has more underspin and holds the green better.
on the other hand, if we are dealing with doglegs and corner pins, yeah, shot shaping definitely has advantage.
Most golf courses don't require shaping that much, and almost never really did. Occasionally (say a fairway that tilts at 10 degrees down the centerline from the angle of the tee) playing a shape will help the ball stay in the fairway longer, but most golf is aerial and point-to-point, so the "target line" is straight.
We're not so much talking about "shot shaping" which implies to me changing the shape on a good portion of your swings, but rather, developing a pattern so you KNOW what the ball will do, and then playing that pattern to the best and most logical extent that you're capable.