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Is shaping the ball overrated


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Just following on from the "ball flight laws"thread. When I first started learning the game, i went through all stages of development like learning why I'm suddenly slicing, ooops there's a duck hook. ya know all that basic stuff about your swing and then my coach decided one day to try to teach me the value of shaping my shots into the green. And yep I believed him. It took me too many years to work out that shaping is a wank........unless your game is that complete and that polished that adding shaping is icing on the cake .....I'm talking competition winning pros.....anyone else don;'t bother. The problem I reckon is people see pro's doing it and they think it's another hurdle that must be jumped in order to to go to some next level of golf. Pros have got alot to answer to I reckon. Ordinary folks, you know like most golfers on this forum shouldn't be trying alot things that the pros use. Here's a couple to kick off. Driver lofts: how many punters like me are trying to hit 8,9,or 10.5 drivers. That's a joke, most peeps would hit a 14 or 16 degree driver the same length as their Pro style driver .....and improve their fairway position immensely......improve their score......enjoy their game more. OK another one....... 60 and 64 degree wedges. That's insane!!! just because Darren Clarke's got a 60 degree in his bag doe not mean hackers like us should even think about it. Golfers should be realistic, and use the equipment and techniques that will make our games better...

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the only time I want to hit a ball left to right is when I'm in a tree line. I pulled that shot off on Monday...a nice 5-10 yard fade that went back inside the tree line and actually hit the green...I

Learning to shape the shot isn't as important as knowing what your natural shot shape is IMO. For myself I used to hit a draw  all the time. I've been working on trying to get to a natural cut so I ca

I tried chippers when they first came out. I was just as consistent chipping with irons and a chipper was useless from trouble lies. The fact they're seen as hacker gear really didn't enter the pictur

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I think knowing your typical ball flight shape is important.  And being able to hit fade or hook to get out of trouble is a good skill to learn.  I do  agree that it is the next level up to be strategizing your ball shape if you can not do it consistently.

However, we improve by trying and practicing things that are out of our comfort zone.  If you want to improve, you must keep working at it.  If you are happy at the level you are currently, then just go with what you have.

For me, I am never satisfied and always want to improve.

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Yes, I believe it is. For the average amateur, there is rarely a need to shape the ball from different angles to hit the right spot on the green. The main concern should be finding the green in the first place. Pros don't shape the ball as much as some think. You got some players that hit different shapes regularly, but most hit their stock ball flight shape 95% of the time. Why make things harder than needed? If you have a predictable draw, why not hit that shot all the time instead of trying something fancy? If the pin is on the right side of the green and right next to the water, just make sure you find the green. With a decent, high ball flight, the ball will pretty much stop dead with any shot shape. I use different shapes when I need to go under, over or around something in my way. If I have a clean lie and clear shot into the green, I won't try to hit a fade. I'll hit my stock push-draw. KISS. What's easier? Hitting a bunch of different shot shapes during a round or hitting the same shape over and over? Our swing is built by muscle memory. Why make it harder by trying something different all the time? If the shot demands a different shape, no problem. If it doesn't, stick with the most predictable shot you got.
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Yep, but just going back to the vid on the Ball flight thread(Luke Donald). So he's hitting a fade into a green with a 6 iron. So unless he's playing on rock hard Melbourne greens where nothing's going to stop or Scottish links in a down wind gale.....any 6 iron that Donald hits will stop within a couple of meters. So why not go straight at it! The thing is Donald can do it, and when it stuffs up he can recover and walk to the next hole. Golfers like me try(ed) to do it and all it does is set your game back. My point is Shaping is eye candy gobbled up by aspiring hackers......to their own detriment.

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Having a stock fade or draw is something I would recommend. Makes it easier to take one side of the course out of play. If you hit a straight shot, you are more likely to miss both ways. With a stock draw, you'll be less likely to miss it right. Still, I'm working on a bit less in-out to make my stock draw curve less. Enough to make it a predictable right-to-left shot, but not so much that it's hurting me.
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Agree with you on shaping. It would be great and speed up play if everyone learned the value of hitting a straight shot. A slight draw or fade for shaping can be done by setting the feet differently. That's good enough for most of us.

As to high lofted wedges, those with decent fundamentals can handle them.

As to drivers, agree on going to 11 degrees and up. It's easier to find the fairways.

But once again, if golfers stuck to fundamentals and a little practice and swing within themselves, the game would be more enjoyable and shorter. If some would just pick up a decent book ...

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The problem with a straight shot is its very hard to hit. It may go straight or just a bit left of just a bit right. If you are trying to take away the bunkers left of a left center pin then a nice cut at the pin with do that. I find it easier to purposely hit it one way or the other to take away trouble. Also not sure I agree with your assessment of driver lofts etc etc... Really depends on your speed and skill. I like my 60 for many things and yield it very well. Also I bought into the everyone needs more loft on their driver movement and went from a 9 to a 10.5 and my spin rates went up over 1000 rpms killing my distance. Its a very nice G15 10.5 with a aftermarket axivcore red (pureed) if you are interested. Basically new!

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problem is I hit a draw/semi-hook almost all the time ... can't fix it, so I'm learning to adjust for it.     So I typically aim right of where i want it to finish.    Problem is, the amount of hook varies from shot to shot & it's different with each club - for some reason, my 3W & hybrid  usually goes nice and straight, and my irons curve left ... last round I absolutely smoked a 3w off the tee & was aiming to the right to account for the anticipated hook (like I would for an iron shot) & just caught a tree on the edge of the fairway.   Mental lapse.    Just wish I could hit everything straight ... would simplify the game.

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I agree with both of your points. Shot shaping is nice if you can do it, but as stated above, finding the putting surface should be your first priority. It is important to know how to shape shots to get out of trouble with the most favorable outcome.

I really like what you said about the equipment tho. I hit a 9.5 pretty well, I guess. Not very far, but I don't hit a HL very far right now either. But I have a 60* and I wonder just wtf I'm doing with that thing in my bag sometimes. I pretty much strictly use it for chipping the most delicate of chips. Bubba talks about loving his 64* wedge, and that's just ridiculous for the average golfer. I hate feeling like a bad player because I can't hit a 6i 200 yards like the pros. Golfers need to know their own shapes and distances and play the game accordingly. If you reach a par 4 in 3, and one putt, I'm pretty sure that's par.

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Here's the deal: 95% of the shots a pro plays are their "stock" shot and shape. It might be different with the driver than the irons (some fade drivers and draw irons, or vice versa). But 95% of the time it's their stock shot, period.

Also, the stock shot of most pros, regardless of direction, curves about three yards. Almost nobody's out there really "working" the ball.

Good story about Kenny Perry playing with someone at Doral. An instructor I know wanted his student to hear these answers, so he asked Kenny Perry about how he plays golf. Kenny draws every golf ball. So he first asks "what do you do if the pin is on the right?" He says "I aim at it. If the ball doesn't curve much, I'm close. Otherwise, I'm center of the green." "What do you do if the pin is left?" Kenny says "I make birdie."

Working the ball is over-rated. When a modern pro "works" the ball it's often more about trajectory, not curve.

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Originally Posted by Zeph

Having a stock fade or draw is something I would recommend. Makes it easier to take one side of the course out of play. If you hit a straight shot, you are more likely to miss both ways. With a stock draw, you'll be less likely to miss it right.

Still, I'm working on a bit less in-out to make my stock draw curve less. Enough to make it a predictable right-to-left shot, but not so much that it's hurting me.



^ This.  You need to learn how to hit a stock fade or draw because you will always have to play the wind.  Even the pros dont hit it perfectly straight most of the time, so you need to be able to turn the ball back into the wind because trying to predict exactly how much the ball will drift in the wind is never going to make you consistent.

As Ben Hogan once said, "if you ever see me hit it straight it was an accident".

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Fantastic

Originally Posted by iacas

Here's the deal: 95% of the shots a pro plays are their "stock" shot and shape. It might be different with the driver than the irons (some fade drivers and draw irons, or vice versa). But 95% of the time it's their stock shot, period.

Also, the stock shot of most pros, regardless of direction, curves about three yards. Almost nobody's out there really "working" the ball.

Good story about Kenny Perry playing with someone at Doral. An instructor I know wanted his student to hear these answers, so he asked Kenny Perry about how he plays golf. Kenny draws every golf ball. So he first asks "what do you do if the pin is on the right?" He says "I aim at it. If the ball doesn't curve much, I'm close. Otherwise, I'm center of the green." "What do you do if the pin is left?" Kenny says "I make birdie."

Working the ball is over-rated. When a modern pro "works" the ball it's often more about trajectory, not curve.



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I like the profile pic, you live in Eugreen?

Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer

I can curve the ball both ways, but I'm definitely not good enough with what I can do to go pin-hunting or put a tee ball on this side of the fairway or that. The only time I use those shots intentionally is to bend the ball around trees.



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Shaping the ball is not overrated because most people learn to live with their natural ball flight and don't "shape" it.

TALKING about shaping the ball is overrated.

The only people who talk about "shaping" the ball are generally those who imagine they can do it on command. They're the ones on this forum who say "I like hitting a high draw!!!!" and stuff like that.

Bubba Watson shapes the ball like crazy, but he goes with his natural tendencies.

The Kenny Perry example was a good one.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

Shaping the ball is not overrated because most people learn to live with their natural ball flight and don't "shape" it.

TALKING about shaping the ball is overrated.

The only people who talk about "shaping" the ball are generally those who imagine they can do it on command. They're the ones on this forum who say "I like hitting a high draw!!!!" and stuff like that.

Bubba Watson shapes the ball like crazy, but he goes with his natural tendencies.

The Kenny Perry example was a good one.



And when Bubba does shape it, sometimes he really over does it and gets himself into trouble.

I used to be able to shape the hell out of the ball... on Sega PGA Golf back in the early 1990s.

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Originally Posted by bwdial

And when Bubba does shape it, sometimes he really over does it and gets himself into trouble.

I used to be able to shape the hell out of the ball... on Sega PGA Golf back in the early 1990s.



I LOVED the PGA Tour games on Sega. Had all of them.  Still play them sometimes because of the magic of genesis roms.  Good times.

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