Originally Posted by Golfingdad
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. On 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.