Originally Posted by mdl
I totally agree with this in general, but shaping around a tree isn't necessarily a hero shot. It's not that uncommon to miss the fairway just a tad and be in a situation where a not too big draw or fade can get you on the green but if you hit it straight it's not a terrible miss. In fact, I had a situation like this yesterday where I needed to hit a kind of knock down fade to hit the green. I gave it a go, successfully hit the low trajectory about the right distance but overcooked it and hit a straight slight pull instead. But I'd gone for that shot cause that miss was fine. I had an open look for my pitch, no harder than what I would've had if I'd laid up short on purpose.
Oh totally. I think it's absolutely important to understand how to work the ball and there are certainly times when it's worth it to try. I think for me, perhaps a good rule of thumb is something like this:
As long as the club you are hitting is not going to get you into trouble if you "mess up" and just hit it straight, then by all means, go for it. However, if a straight shot could potentially put you into more trouble than you already are in, then prudence probably dictates a pitch out of some kind. It's almost lunch so I drew this up really quickly:
Situation A (incidently, basically exactly what I had on my last hole in my tournament last weekend - from a distance of 205 with a 4 iron) is the one where I'd say laying up is the way to go. Situation B, OTOH, is what I think you're talking about. Unless you are prone to a doublecross, then there is little harm in trying to hit a fade around the tree onto the green (as long as you don't aim the face at the tree, hahaha!!). "Worst case" has you pitching from the collection area left of the green for your third. That is actually better than being 100 yards out, so I say go for it.
Originally Posted by mdl
When opening or closing the face, it's key for me to do that with the grip, not with how I orient the club at address.
You know, now that you mention this ...
I have always been good at hitting a low slice around a tree. In the past few years, though, that skill has eroded, and oddly enough, I'm much better at hitting a draw on command. Now I'm thinking that this is part of the issue. If I hold the club the same way and rotate my hands open, they don't really know to come back open, they are just coming back to my normal impact position.
Thanks! I'm going to try this on the range tomorrow!