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What's up with everyone's fascination with working the ball? - Page 3

Poll Results: How often do you really try to work the ball?

 
  • 2% (2)
    All the time, "I can hook a lob wedge!!"
  • 8% (6)
    Most of the time (over 50%)
  • 23% (17)
    Some of the time (less than 50%)
  • 52% (37)
    Only when there's something directly in front of me
  • 12% (9)
    Never
71 Total Votes  
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by NM Golf View Post

I think I see the issue. Working the ball means intentionally hitting the ball both ways on purpose. To manipulate something in your swing to make the ball curve one way or another. Very, very, few, if any, players hit the ball straight most of the time. Anyone with a grooved swing has some type of "stock" shot. If you hit that stock shot whether it be a draw or a fade then you are NOT working the ball. My normal "stock" shot is a little fade. I do not have to try to hit it. If a pin is on the right side of a green I can aim at the center and take my normal swing. I don't have to manipulate anything and most of the time it will fade at the pin.

Bingo.
post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I can certainly reach a green from the middle of the fairway from 200 yards a lot more often than I can from the forest from 120 out.  The last round I played I hit 4 iron off the tee 7 times when I could have hit a driver (and I hit the fairway 7 of 7 times).  3 of those were on holes over 400 yards, and one of them I made a birdie!

 

This!  I haven't had time to play much recently, but generally I've come around to hitting 3i off the tee whenever possible!  Though I admit I rarely do that on holes significantly over 400 yards. Basically I aim not to have more than a 6i (180 yards) let for my approach.  On a good day with hard socal fairways I can roll my 3i off the tee out to 230+, but normally I don't want to rely on getting more than 220 out of it, so 400 yards is about the limit of when I'll tee off with 3i.  But on a 410-430 hole I much more often now choose 2h or 3w instead of driver unless the hole's wide open or I've been really sharp with my driver that day.

post #39 of 63
If by working the ball you mean slice, hook, duff, chunk or whiff it I'm completely capable of competing against the best of em at that.
post #40 of 63
I voted "only when there's something directly in front of me." My stock shot is a draw. I actually feel somewhat comfortable simply changing the face angle at address to vary how much draw I play for. Hitting a fade, however, has proven to be very difficult for me to do.

I swing inside-out... For me to hit a fade with my swing path, I would have to have the club face wide open just to hit a push-fade. I haven't figured out how to consistently change my swing path to accommodate a fade.

While I will continue to try to learn to hit a fade on the range, I'll stick with my push-draw for virtually all of my shots during a round.
post #41 of 63
Yesterday i needed a hook/strong draw to reach the green. It worked a bit, ended on the right side greenside bunker. Bogey.
Same round i needed a fade and sliced it a lot, to end on the carpath near the teebox of an other hole. Bogey again.

Could also have played a simple correctionshot to get 100 yards for up and down. So there was no need, but its fun to try. My coursemanagement is poor, tend to play too much high risc shots. I would probably shoot better rounds trying to avoid these shots.
post #42 of 63
In good times, I want a stock little draw and I hit that shot shape all the time. My driver is more of a fade, but that's also pretty much stock. I feel more confident trying to hit a small draw with the driver, but if the fade works, I'm hitting a fade.

I try to work the ball if I'm stymied behind a tree or something, but I know I don't have the control to fade a ball if the flag is placed on the right side. I'm better at hitting a larger draw or close to a hook, since it's got the same swing direction as my stock shot. I feel more confident working the ball with shorter irons, but it doesn't happen a lot.
post #43 of 63

Trajectory is an important part of ball control when it is windy and I think about it on every shot when it is more than just breezy since distance control is more important and under appreciated by the higher handicap guys I play with. It seems they always pull the wrong club.   Whether one is playing a draw or fade into a green, hitting it solid is obviously a requirement but even more so in the wind.  At the moment, I am just trying to play towards a safer part of the green w/o taking unncessary risk.  Just because a player can draw or cut the ball at will does not mean he should work against their natural tendency.

post #44 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Weatherby View Post

Trajectory is an important part of ball control when it is windy and I think about it on every shot when it is more than just breezy since distance control is more important and under appreciated by the higher handicap guys I play with. It seems they always pull the wrong club.   Whether one is playing a draw or fade into a green, hitting it solid is obviously a requirement but even more so in the wind.  At the moment, I am just trying to play towards a safer part of the green w/o taking unecessary risk.  Just because a player can draw or cut the ball at will does not mean he should work against their natural tendency.

Well said.

 

Lets put a hypothertical scenario out there.  Actually something I encountered this week.  Say you have a tight right pin location(maybe 4 or 5 paces) and 150 yards to the green.  There is a 15-20mph left to right wind.  How do you play the shot?

 

What I did:

Tried to play a cut off the left side of the green and shank it.  

 

What I should have done:

Align my body to the left side of the green and hit a stock push draw off the center of the green.  It probably would have gone straight, or "worst"(by worst mean best) case scenario I don't get the draw and the wind pushes the ball closer to the pin.

post #45 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post

Well said.

 

Lets put a hypothertical scenario out there.  Actually something I encountered this week.  Say you have a tight right pin location(maybe 4 or 5 paces) and 150 yards to the green.  There is a 15-20mph left to right wind.  How do you play the shot?

 

What I did:

Tried to play a cut off the left side of the green and shank it.  

 

What I should have done:

Align my body to the left side of the green and hit a stock push draw off the center of the green.  It probably would have gone straight, or "worst"(by worst mean best) case scenario I don't get the draw and the wind pushes the ball closer to the pin.

 

I may use different terms.  Tight in my mind can be front, say guarded by a bunker.  If that is the case.  I would play a low 7 iron to to the left half of the green allowing the wind to drift it and accept (be happy with) a 20-30 footer

 

If the pin is tucked way back right and left is dead.  I would hit a hard, high fade 8 iron into the middle of the green.  If I over cut it, pitching into the wind makes the next shot easier.  I try to never short side when the pitch would be downwind especially on firm greens.   Better to just be in the middle of the green on those tough pins when windy.

post #46 of 63

I sliced the ball for 20 years. . .Not an easy fade, I plainly sliced the living crap out of the ball.  Especially with the driver.

 

So. . .Now, that I've gotten past the slice and taught myself how to draw the ball, and fade the ball, I use it when I deem necessary. 

 

I try to play a mild draw when I tee off, to try and capture a few more yards. . .

 

One of my save shots when I'm hugging the trees on the right, is a nice little flat-low fade.  I guess I'd call it a 1/2 stinger?? 

 

Anyway.  .  .the point is, now that I can move the ball both directions, I can certainly see where it comes into play, it doesn't ALWAYS have to be a save shot either.  If the pin is tucked left, I'll point it out right and try and draw it back in.  Etc

 

Doesn't always work!  Let's be honest, I'm still learning. . .that's why I love this game
 

post #47 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post

Well said.

 

Lets put a hypothertical scenario out there.  Actually something I encountered this week.  Say you have a tight right pin location(maybe 4 or 5 paces) and 150 yards to the green.  There is a 15-20mph left to right wind.  How do you play the shot?

 

What I did:

Tried to play a cut off the left side of the green and shank it.  

 

What I should have done:

Align my body to the left side of the green and hit a stock push draw off the center of the green.  It probably would have gone straight, or "worst"(by worst mean best) case scenario I don't get the draw and the wind pushes the ball closer to the pin.

 

Aim center of the green.  If the wind overrides my natural draw, I have a short putt.  If the draw just holds into the wind I'm still putting from the center of the green.  This is stock shot time for us mere mortals.  The one thing you CANNOT do, is short side yourself and turn par into bogey, or worse.

post #48 of 63

I only try to intentionally work the ball to get out of trouble.  I have an easier time hooking the ball around obstacles than fading with my irons because it is closer to my current shot shape.  I can do hard fades with my hybrid, but have difficulties with the irons.

post #49 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

The bottom line, though, for me at least, is that for the most part, I'm trying to make my swing as consistent as possible and make it do the same thing every time.

 

pithy version:  If you know how to work the ball, you will also be much better at "not working the ball"

 

longer rant:  I really don't see how one can get a 'stock shot' without some ability to work it.  For me, at least, they go hand in hand.  Controlling club path and face angle is needed to hit the same shot over and over just as much as it is needed to hit little left/right variations on that same shot.  But - what works for some (messing with control inputs) might not be what works for others (just trying to hit the same shot over and over in practice).  I'd suggest one does whatever works for them.

 

The OP seems to take offense that people talk about it as merely just posing or bragging.  I suspect that true for a few people.  But it shouldn't be a generalization for all that like to talk it.   I don't think it's ego to try to learn it, I just think it's learning that has value.  I mess with it and it's neat.  I wouldn't lay money on it though.  But it's part of the 'fun' factor.

 

 

 

anyway - if we're talking minor ability to work the ball ......For me.....my club path is very repeatable.  But my face angle at impact is a bit harder to control.  What's nice, is that when I'm controlling that aspect well, it's really pretty simple to turn my stock baby draw into a bigger draw or even something fairly straight just by changing my face angle a bit at address (nothing more complicated than that).  I'd call that 'working' the ball in a minor/fine tuning fashion.  On a good day, I'll think "maybe a little extra draw here" and it works on many shots and doesn't hurt if my ingrained swing takes over an I just hit the stock.  a3_biggrin.gifOn a bad day I'm thinking "oh PLEASE just let this one stay in the fairway....I like good days.)

 

 

However - Big and dramatic working the ball (huge bending)  If we are talking about that, then I'll withdraw my discussion as non-related.  Major path adjustments added to face adjustments, etc is too much for me and likely playing around with the extremes won't help me tighten my 'stock shot' and would likely have me losing that nice club path I've dialed in.....that's a totally different shot and, frankly, I'm scared of doing that except in dire conditions.  The only way for me to induce a big slice is to really open up my left elbow through the strike - and I have NO IDEA how much slice I'll get, only that it'll bend hard right.  That's never yet been worth it for me.

post #50 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

 

The one thing you CANNOT do, is short side yourself and turn par into bogey, or worse.

 

I can do that all the time.  Without even trying..........

 

; )   even with my stock shot

 

 

(actually, I'd do the same as you, hit the stock shot such that the wind and shot gives me center of green - hope I underestimated the wind a bit and get lucky.  If not, should be safe,  at 150 yd, that's my 8i.  My stock swing pretty much leave that shot straight (7i and shorter don't bend much.  higher than that seems I have a slight draw lately))

post #51 of 63
Work the ball schmurk the ball WHAT FOR?? Hit your stock shot 99% of the time! Gotta love it when you here someone say they want a wedge that will back-up the ball 10-15 feet - if you don't get the ball beyond the pin in the first place then the backspin leaves you short and off the green!!
post #52 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

 

The OP seems to take offense that people talk about it as merely just posing or bragging.  I suspect that true for a few people.  But it shouldn't be a generalization for all that like to talk it.   I don't think it's ego to try to learn it, I just think it's learning that has value.  I mess with it and it's neat.  I wouldn't lay money on it though.  But it's part of the 'fun' factor.

 

 

Take offense? Absolutely not. I just find it perplexing that so many people, many of who really don't have the skill to do so, are so in love with trying to work the ball. Don't get me wrong, being able to move the ball both ways is a very important skill to possess. There are times when its necessary. Standing in the middle of the fairway 150 yards from the pin with absolutely nothing in the way is probably not the time for an 11 handicap to be trying to decide if they should hit a draw or a fade.

 

Reading the posts on this thread though lead me to believe that many players think that if the ball does anything but go straight then they are working it.  Virtually nobody hits the ball dead straight. Everyone's normal ingrained swing produces some type of spin that makes the ball, even ever so slightly, move one way or another. If you know your ball tends to draw and you play for it, you are not working the ball per se, you are simply playing your stock shot.

post #53 of 63
This tends to be true when it shouldn't be: amateurs try to work the ball 10x to 20x as frequently as PGA Tour pros.
post #54 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by NM Golf View Post

 

Take offense? Absolutely not. I just find it perplexing that so many people, many of who really don't have the skill to do so, are so in love with trying to work the ball. Don't get me wrong, being able to move the ball both ways is a very important skill to possess. There are times when its necessary. Standing in the middle of the fairway 150 yards from the pin with absolutely nothing in the way is probably not the time for an 11 handicap to be trying to decide if they should hit a draw or a fade.

 

Reading the posts on this thread though lead me to believe that many players think that if the ball does anything but go straight then they are working it.  Virtually nobody hits the ball dead straight. Everyone's normal ingrained swing produces some type of spin that makes the ball, even ever so slightly, move one way or another. If you know your ball tends to draw and you play for it, you are not working the ball per se, you are simply playing your stock shot.

True, and I think the point is that even a mid single digit handicap like me is usually neither a great ball striker nor do they have an overly repeatable swing.  If you cannot even hit a shot the same way every time why should you try and move the ball if you are not forced to do so?  

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