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Different shots for Different folks?


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So I am getting to be more in-tune with my irons and the kind of shots that I am able to hit. I’ve come to the point were I’d like to start understanding the different golf shots that are possible.

From what I can find on the internet there are 9 basic golf shots. I’m talking about hitting a high, medium, and a low fade shot, a high, medium, and low straight shot and a high, medium and low draw shot.

I am able to hit the draws and fades, but I am struggling to learn how to hit shots with different height trajectories. Is it just a matter of moving the ball forwards or backwards in the stance or is there more to it?

Another question that I have is whether a low shot is considered a knock-down shot or not. Is there a difference?

Can anyone shed some light on this, please?

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Truthfully, I don't like how Haney taught Tiger to have 9 basic shots.  I understand that it's good to practice them and go through those different trajectories to make sure you can control your flight but that's not what I want to do when I'm on the course playing.  It takes the art out of the game, and despite how scientific you can try to make the game, there is no mathematical formula to guarantee success.  My stock shot height is however I set up to the ball that day.  If I need it higher up, I make sure I set up so at impact, the club face points higher, lower, I make sure I set up so at impact, the club face points lower.  Now, to impact with the club face pointing up, the shaft will probably be more vertical, so, yes, the ball would be a little forward, and lower, the shaft would lean much further forward at impact so the ball would probably be further back.  Just make sure the club gets to the ball cleanly.  You start hitting crisp shots, you'll figure out how to manipulate your trajectory easily.

To answer your other question, yes I would consider a low shot to be a knockdown shot.  I don't even like classifying it like that.  I once got caught up with this junk.  Just make the process easy and simple, hit the ball to the hole.  It's a difficult game, but a very easy concept if you can wrap your head around it.

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A low shot is a knockdown, especially if you don't want your playing partners to know you hit it thin when it finishes by the pin! Seriously there is more than one way to hit most of these shots. For me I hit the knockdown two different ways. I take one more club, move it slightly back in my stance, swing smooth with a low follow through. If I want it to stop quicker I do it with my hands. Think of it as keeping the palm of your back hand pushed down towards the ground through the shot, still with a low follow through. The second way looks cool but it is easy to over do it and if you release your hands early you will it a trap draw and miss way left. I believe you should not try method two until you are good with the first method. High shots are easier, just move the ball forward a bit and make sure your swing is a bit more of a sweeping motion, (so that you use the full loft of the club). A lot of players do it by moving it forward a bit and widening their stance a bit. You can also steepen your swing, but I am not good enough to change my swing that much and maintain reasonable accuracy. Better players may use other methods, but these are the ones I use at my handicap level.

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Johnny Miller talks about this all the time. I know a lot of people don't care for him but I like him. I figure if you can shoot 63 on Sunday during the US OPEN  you night know a little about golf.  Anyway, I've found a lot of interesting videos of him on you tube about hitting all the different 9 shots and I've been working on it myself at the range.  Do a search on you tube and maybe you will find something that helps.  Good luck.

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But using the forward and back in my stance idea, shouldn't that change my club distances as well? I havn't had the chance to try that yet, i will next weekend, but i would tend to think that de-lofting a club would take yardage off aswell?!?!

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Originally Posted by Chadman

But using the forward and back in my stance idea, shouldn't that change my club distances as well? I havn't had the chance to try that yet, i will next weekend, but i would tend to think that de-lofting a club would take yardage off aswell?!?!



Yes it will affect distances compared to a stock shot.  Especially for knockdowns you are most often choosing this shot in to the wind, so a stock shot would loose even more distance.  That is why I believe starting with the first method is best. One extra club with the ball back in your stance swung smoothly will keep the spin down as well as the trajectory, it will tend to roll a bit more.  So a 7 played this way into a 10 mph wind will go about the same total distance as an 8 iron.  Practice at the range in the wind and you will get the idea.  High shots down wind will go further, the idea is that the extra height will help the shot stop.  On down wind holes this is why good players will often hit a 3 wood instead of the driver and get almost the same distance. It depends on which type of shot you can control.  Sometimes a knockdown shot with the wind helps distance control.  Adding shots like these helps you adjust to weather and terrain as you improve.

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