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Is shaping the ball overrated


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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

Lob wedges, Drivers, and long irons wouldn't be in the bags of the world's best players if they weren't worth learning how to hit. Granted you don't need the clubs to play very good golf, but there isn't a replacement for any of them that's quite the same. ...

Golf is a game of what works (within the rules)... There's usually more than one way to hit a given shot you face - you just want to be able to get it done some way. Before high-launch (13*) drivers came along, I knew golfers who use low-loft 3Ws for most of their tee shots. Also, people who started playing golf before 1980 spent years without lob wedges. We hit SW cut shots from fluffy grass around the greens.

I have played with the 60* LW in the past, but the only time it worked for me was a couple of seasons on unusually moist and plush bermuda down in Dallas area. Move to the hardpan in Oklahoma, and half the 60* shots were wayward bullets. I use a 58* now, but it's almost more hassle than it's worth - I can get about the same output from a 56*. And, people who avoid short-siding themselves on approach shots have less need for a lob wedge.

A few beginners catch onto the LW quickly. For others, it can eat up a lot of practice time for not much reliable result.

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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

I like to shape the ball. All depends on the situation. If I'm playing a dog leg left I typically like to hit a draw. If it's a dog leg right I typically like to hit a cut. If the green is straight ahead sometimes when I stand behind the ball for whatever reason a draw or fade suites my eye to hit in (normally based on pin placement). I also think that if someone has a "go to shot" especially off the tee theres no reason for them not to play it especially under pressure.

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Not if your home course is Harbour Town!  Man, there seemed to be several holes there this weekend where guys had to curve shots around trees after hitting the middle of the fairways!  (Looks like a really fun course)

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Not if your home course is Harbour Town!  Man, there seemed to be several holes there this weekend where guys had to curve shots around trees after hitting the middle of the fairways!  (Looks like a really fun course)


I've played it a few times, and "fun" isn't how I'd describe it.  It's challenging.   It's also frustrating, because you can be in the middle of the fairway but have no shot to the green on about half of the holes.  It's definitely memorable, and worth playing, but not a course I'd want to play all the time.

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I don't think shaping shots is overrated at all.  It's very important in shaving some strokes off your score when your handicap gets low and gets harder and harder to get it any lower.

It's for advanced players though, not for beginners or high handicappers.  Besides being able to get around a tree or dogleg or whatever, it allows you to hit safely onto greens with tough pin placements.  You can aim to the middle of the green and then baby fade or draw it to the flag where if you don't shape it the ball should still end up on the green.  Watching golf on TV it seems the pros are always trying to shape it one way or another, even off the tee, or even hitting a stinger like Tiger and some of the other players do.

I didn't find it too hard to learn how to fade the ball.  Hitting a draw was a lot harder for me and I never got good enough where I could rely on it consistently.

I think carrying a lob wedge is a big help too.  I don't use it much but the 4-6 times I might use it in a round really helps.  Instead of using a lower lofted wedge and opening up the face it's much easier for me to hit the lob wedge with the sole lined up square to the target and swing straight through instead of trying to cut across the ball.

Looking at the "What's in the bag" I'm surprised to find quite a few pros who don't carry a lob wedge.  They'd rather carry another long iron or fairway wood.  But these guys are really skilled with the wedges they carry and can hit any kind of shot they want with them.

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Originally Posted by Rudyprimo

I don't think shaping shots is overrated at all.  It's very important in shaving some strokes off your score when your handicap gets low and gets harder and harder to get it any lower.

It's for advanced players though, not for beginners or high handicappers.  Besides being able to get around a tree or dogleg or whatever, it allows you to hit safely onto greens with tough pin placements.  You can aim to the middle of the green and then baby fade or draw it to the flag where if you don't shape it the ball should still end up on the green.  Watching golf on TV it seems the pros are always trying to shape it one way or another, even off the tee, or even hitting a stinger like Tiger and some of the other players do.

I didn't find it too hard to learn how to fade the ball.  Hitting a draw was a lot harder for me and I never got good enough where I could rely on it consistently.

I think carrying a lob wedge is a big help too.  I don't use it much but the 4-6 times I might use it in a round really helps.  Instead of using a lower lofted wedge and opening up the face it's much easier for me to hit the lob wedge with the sole lined up square to the target and swing straight through instead of trying to cut across the ball.

Looking at the "What's in the bag" I'm surprised to find quite a few pros who don't carry a lob wedge.  They'd rather carry another long iron or fairway wood.  But these guys are really skilled with the wedges they carry and can hit any kind of shot they want with them.

Very well said! I agree with everything you said except I didn't have much an issue hitting the draw when I learned how to hit a fade.

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I just read that Ben Curtis won this week playing Titleist AP-1's.   For those unfamiliar with that club it's what's considered a "game improvement" iron and is essentially designed to hit the ball straight.

It seems like more and more tour pro's are putting more and more GI irons into their bags.    Modern drivers are largely designed to hit the balls straight so are we seeing a trend?

Is "working" the ball overrated or is high and straight the new norm.    Why hit it around the trees when you can hit it over! :)

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We got a pretty recent thread on this subject, with almost identical topic title. http://thesandtrap.com/t/56561/is-shaping-the-ball-overrated You can shape the ball with GI clubs too by the way.
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Originally Posted by GolfBear

I just read that Ben Curtis won this week playing Titleist AP-1's.

Yup. http://www.titleist.com/players/317/Ben-Curtis.aspx

In previous years he had the AP2s in the bag.

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Note: This thread is 3350 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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