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Is shaping the ball overrated


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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 can control the ball easier. Right now my ball flight is very straight so I'm heading in the right direction. Luckily I do know how to hit a draw if I ever wanted to in certain instances which is a good tool to have. Answering your question, no, shot shaping is not over rated but I think that knowing what your natural shot shape is is a must before you try to shape your shots.

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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



Originally Posted by stogiesnbogies

chippers..yes they are legal provided they are not double sided and do not have putter grips affixed to them....they make the game more enjoyable for those of us without a lot of time to practice with hard to hit low percentage wedges....golf snobs be damned ..this past week I holed out two 30 ft plus chips and defeated yet another big ball striking "purist"  LOL

I see guys at the practice greens hitting bag loads of chips with wedges and frankly showing little improvement overall....since none of these guys will be getting tour cards anytime soon wouldnt it make more sense to invest in a good chipper and spend a fraction of that time getting the feel and distance down...I know it would shave a good many strokes off their game, and make them feel good heading out of the parking lot at the end of a round....pure masochism , methinks!   :)



Well, you're welcome to your opinion, but the last time I checked most players don't consider chipping a "low percentage" shot. Maybe a high flop shot off a tight lie could fall under that classification, but a bump and run shot isn't hard at all. Any shot that poses a real challenge wouldn't be playable with a chipper anyway. They work fine for you but I'll take the spot in my bag for a nice versatile wedge or two instead of a second putter that has only one purpose. Being great with a chipper is like winning the Tour de France with training wheels to me. Not taking away anything from the winner, I'm glad it makes it fun for you, but don't pretend that a really versatile short game isn't worth learning. I'd rather put in the work and learn creativity and shotmaking than over simplify things.

As for high lofted drivers, they do what one might expect in my case; they hit the ball higher. In fact, I hit my 9* way too high despite a low launching shaft. I don't see an advantage in straightness between lofts however; the lower lofts have slightly better ball speed, much lower backspin and a lower launch so if you can swing fast enough they work well, and you'll get murdered in the wind if you use a loft that's too high for your ball speed and spin. Ditto with most hybrids; they launch the ball up and not forward for me and they feel rubbish. I'll admit long irons aren't as easy to hit off the deck, but I can hit them great off the tee compared to a hybrid.

So golfers should be realistic about their own games. If they don't want to put in much work to maintain their swing and short game, by all means use gear that allows you to play. But don't think there isn't value to learning the finer points to the game. Just because you beat a guy who sucked and claimed to be a purist doesn't mean someone good shouldn't learn to shape shots.

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

Well, you're welcome to your opinion, but the last time I checked most players don't consider chipping a "low percentage" shot. Maybe a high flop shot off a tight lie could fall under that classification, but a bump and run shot isn't hard at all. Any shot that poses a real challenge wouldn't be playable with a chipper anyway. They work fine for you but I'll take the spot in my bag for a nice versatile wedge or two instead of a second putter that has only one purpose. Being great with a chipper is like winning the Tour de France with training wheels to me. Not taking away anything from the winner, I'm glad it makes it fun for you, but don't pretend that a really versatile short game isn't worth learning. I'd rather put in the work and learn creativity and shotmaking than over simplify things.

As for high lofted drivers, they do what one might expect in my case; they hit the ball higher. In fact, I hit my 9* way too high despite a low launching shaft. I don't see an advantage in straightness between lofts however; the lower lofts have slightly better ball speed, much lower backspin and a lower launch so if you can swing fast enough they work well, and you'll get murdered in the wind if you use a loft that's too high for your ball speed and spin. Ditto with most hybrids; they launch the ball up and not forward for me and they feel rubbish. I'll admit long irons aren't as easy to hit off the deck, but I can hit them great off the tee compared to a hybrid.

So golfers should be realistic about their own games. If they don't want to put in much work to maintain their swing and short game, by all means use gear that allows you to play. But don't think there isn't value to learning the finer points to the game. Just because you beat a guy who sucked and claimed to be a purist doesn't mean someone good shouldn't learn to shape shots.




Agree 100%.  I wouldnt waste a spot in my bag on a club that only hits 1 kind of shot when I could learn how to do the same shot with various clubs and have many more options in chipping.  As for the driver, also agree.  I was gaming a 10.5* driver with a stiff shaft and was still hitting shots that went about as high as a 9-iron does (was still hitting them about 260 yards though).  High-lofted drivers are great, if you have the right swing for them.  They arent for everyone, especially if you have a faster swingspeed and already launch the ball plenty high enough.  Thats why they make drivers with various lofts and various shafts though: you need to match the shaft and the loft to your swing.

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Geez I thought people were over the whole golf purist thing. I thought with the advent of hybrids those tossers that parade around golf courses wearing white belts and swinging 2 irons had gone the way of the dinosaurs. Nuh! there still there.....still trying to hit 200 meter balls off the deck with their 2 iron blades, Ha! Who would have thought that a game that is so outwardly camp(yes, white belt ,I'm talking about you) could at the same time be SOOOOO macho. Who would have thought that the idea of having a 2 iron in your bag could make the owner of such a redundant piece of golfing memorabilia strut about the course......and the forums like a bantam rooster. Just a question here for all the "a chipper is not a real golf club" crew. So what's your greens in regulation percentage like and do you think that you can get up and down from all the myriad of positions that a wayward shot has given you.......remembering of course that your not an overly talented golfer.....who doesn't practice greenside chipping enough.....whose score depends on this shot....and the contact has GOT to be solid.......Oh **** you chunked it into that bunker!!!!!........ Ah well only hacks carry chippers!!!

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What is the problem with a 2 iron if you can hit it? I would put a 3 iron in my bag straight away if I just could hit it properly.
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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 picture.


Anyway, like someone suggested earlier, the only people I know trying to actively work the ball rather than just play slightly away from trouble, are very low handicappers, professionals on television, and high handicappers on the internet.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

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 picture.

Anyway, like someone suggested earlier, the only people I know trying to actively work the ball rather than just play slightly away from trouble, are very low handicappers, professionals on television, and high handicappers on the internet.


lol, post of the week.

Brandon

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Originally Posted by stogiesnbogies

"Golfers should be realistic, and use the equipment and techniques that will make our games better..."

Righto...and you make many good points in your post...here's a few more:

Hybrid iron sets give the amateur a chance to hit it longer, higher and straighter...cant imagine ever going back to traditional irons sets...

chippers..yes they are legal provided they are not double sided and do not have putter grips affixed to them....they make the game more enjoyable for those of us without a lot of time to practice with hard to hit low percentage wedges....golf snobs be damned ..this past week I holed out two 30 ft plus chips and defeated yet another big ball striking "purist"  LOL

I see guys at the practice greens hitting bag loads of chips with wedges and frankly showing little improvement overall....since none of these guys will be getting tour cards anytime soon wouldnt it make more sense to invest in a good chipper and spend a fraction of that time getting the feel and distance down...I know it would shave a good many strokes off their game, and make them feel good heading out of the parking lot at the end of a round....pure masochism , methinks!   :)

And you're correct about drivers too...I play a 14 degree High Loft Driver ...hit it about as far as I can hit a 10.5 but the difference being I hit the fairway the overwhelming majority of the time...I'll take my 220-240 yards on the shortgrass over 280 in the woods anyday...

No sense in making a hard game more difficult...as for shot shaping....straight is never over estimated...


Sorry, you are wrong.  It doesn't take bags of balls and hours of practice to learn how to chip.  All it takes is learning proper technique and understanding how clubs work.  And I'm no "purist", I simply have no room in my bag for a specialty club whose function can be easily duplicated with other irons.  A chipper leaves no options.  It has one use, one trajectory.  My greenside play requires more flexibility than that.  I can be lying in anything from deep rough to hardpan, from 4 feet off the putting surface to 30 feet (I've even chipped from 50-60 yards with an 8 iron), with anywhere from 10 feet of green to 60 feet of green.  I cannot execute all of the necessary shots with just a chipper.  However, I can execute all of those shots with anything from an 8 iron to a 56° wedge depending on the situation.  And then I don't need to waste one of my 14 slots with such a limited use club.

And by the way, I carry TWO hybrids.

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Originally Posted by Paradox

I need to pick me up another hybrid....actually, two if I could find one stronger than 19 degrees



I had one for a while that was 16 degrees.  Couldn't hit it, so I sold it to a low handicapper.  He hit that Tour Edge hybrid quite a bit farther than I hit my driver.

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Originally Posted by Paradox

I need to pick me up another hybrid....actually, two if I could find one stronger than 19 degrees

Originally Posted by Fourputt

I had one for a while that was 16 degrees.  Couldn't hit it, so I sold it to a low handicapper.  He hit that Tour Edge hybrid quite a bit farther than I hit my driver.


I've owned hybrids that were 14*, 16*, 17*, and 18*.  There are plenty out there if you look.

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I've never had an issue playing a bump and run (something that you can practice over and over again in your house if you have carpet), so no, a chipper isn't necessary... but I wouldn't care if someone else was using it either. It's their choice to use it.

In terms of shot-shaping, until one has a solid, repeatable swing which is either dead straight or eliminates one side of the course through a draw or a fade, then yes shot shaping is overrated. But if you fall into the category of being able to hit your stock shot perfectly, then learning to shape your shot can become valuable. For the most part, playing your stock shot could still merit a higher percentage chance of you hitting that GIR.

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Originally Posted by Paradox

I need to pick me up another hybrid....actually, two if I could find one stronger than 19 degrees



You need to look at better player's hybrids, such as the "tour" models for most brands; almost all brands have a 16-18 degree, and some can be found as low as 14*. Look at Adams, who have at least a dozen models of hybrid, for example.

Most standard hybrids go down to replace the 4 iron and usually the 3 iron as well, but the normal models stop there usually. The tour product lines have some more options.

And don't buy into the idea that the tour models are harder to hit; they launch lower with less spin and have better shafts for a high swing speed but are still quite forgiving in general.

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Lower lofted drivers in the hands of amateurs are very unforgiving...the higher the loft the bigger the" sweet spot of forgiveness"...aka less slice= more fairways...if its windy just tee the ball down a tad and continue hitting fairways....

and perhaps in your view the chipper is a "one dimensional club" but I can hit mine for those lovely bump and runs from 100 yards out -and then some....hitting an elevated wedge approach shot when a simple bump and run will get you to the dance floor safely is poor course management at best and ego driven foolishness at worst ( a side effect of watching too much PGA Tour Pro golf!)...

a wedge shot approach is what I was refering to as a low percentage shot for many amateurs as I see guys missing greens all over the course...some call it "old guy" golf but its far more common in Europe to simply hit a long bump and run ...then reach for the "Great Equalizer" -the putter to slay another opponent who hits his tee shots a country mile....I dont elevate my wedge shots unless I've got something between me and the green (bunker, etc.)

The modern chipper is far from a single purpose club:...have you read up on the Cleveland Niblick...which states clearly its multipurpose functions:  Pitch, Chip , Approach and Rescue.....all of my wedges are Cleveland Niblicks which gives me at least 4 ways to use each one....and I'm only carrying 12 clubs as it is , mate!! (Dont need the woods as my hybrids are far more accurate with relatively little loss of distance...)

The 37, 42,49 and 56 degree Niblicks have takens scads of strokes off my game in short order -in a fashion that would have taken forever with traditional wedges....one of the more revealing experiments conducted with the Cleveland Niblicks involved a series of shots by low and higher handicaps with their own wedges and the Cleveland Niblicks...in ALL cases the Niblick shots averaged closer to the pin ...yet the higher handicaps said they would still not be willing to make room for one in their bags....pure ego?!

I'm a "shortest distance between two points" kinda guy myself and would not flinch at using a purple club with pink polka dots were it usga conforming and helped my game!!  LOL

Takes much less time to learn these shots with a good chipper and enjoy watching the "purists" chilidip and skull their 56 or, even more laughable, their 60 degree wedges.. With chippers "All it takes is learning proper technique and understanding how clubs work"  as you say...and when you fool around with a good chipper that fits your game you can quickly become something of a magician of the short game...

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I bought into the Cleveland Niblick a couple years ago, it stayed in the bag about a month and I'm surprised it stayed that long.  I guess I just wanted to really give it a chance.  I learned quickly that I could make any shot with a 9 iron or wedge from around the green that I could with a specialty club.  My distance control on short bump and runs absolutely sucked with it as well.  I do much better putting a wedge back in my stance and letting it carry a bit further and then checking up.

As far as shaping shots, I have a natural fade and play it unless I'm in trouble.  I can hit a low draw or hook typically if needed from a troubled spot, but I'm not going to try to fight my natural shape for the sake of just doing it.  There's too much that can go wrong.

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Right there with ya stogies. My wedges are mizuno PW mizuno51 and vokey 56 ....PLUS....niblick 56. The niblick is great for putting style chipping, tight lies, etc the vokey is good for more finessed shots, bunkers,open face flops etc. The niblick has alot of weight very low on the face and I think that translates into more solid conections in different areas of the face. In my game(and I suspect it should be the same for most hackers)forgiveness is the key word around the green. With the niblick I don't get thin, tinny traditional wedge contacts, I get meaty, solid, out of the sweet spot contacts that I can rely on.

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Originally Posted by stogiesnbogies

Lower lofted drivers in the hands of amateurs are very unforgiving...the higher the loft the bigger the" sweet spot of forgiveness"...aka less slice= more fairways...if its windy just tee the ball down a tad and continue hitting fairways....

and perhaps in your view the chipper is a "one dimensional club" but I can hit mine for those lovely bump and runs from 100 yards out -and then some....hitting an elevated wedge approach shot when a simple bump and run will get you to the dance floor safely is poor course management at best and ego driven foolishness at worst ( a side effect of watching too much PGA Tour Pro golf!)...

a wedge shot approach is what I was refering to as a low percentage shot for many amateurs as I see guys missing greens all over the course...some call it "old guy" golf but its far more common in Europe to simply hit a long bump and run ...then reach for the "Great Equalizer" -the putter to slay another opponent who hits his tee shots a country mile....I dont elevate my wedge shots unless I've got something between me and the green (bunker, etc.)

Takes much less time to learn these shots with a good chipper and enjoy watching the "purists" chilidip and skull their 56 or, even more laughable, their 60 degree wedges.. With chippers "All it takes is learning proper technique and understanding how clubs work"  as you say...and when you fool around with a good chipper that fits your game you can quickly become something of a magician of the short game...



-Loft does not just change launch angle; Angle of attack has more of an effect than loft. Too much loft adds backspin, and it can get out of hand with a 115 mph swing speed or more. You can create all the ball speed you want and the spin will make your ball climb instead of going forward, especially in the wind. Higher loft does not make the club forgiving unless you hit it off the deck; it increases launch angle and spin for slow swingers and makes it launch better for low ball speeds. The idea that higher loft makes the ball go straighter doesn't make sense to me; if you want to make a driver go straighter then shorten the shaft and fit the loft solely on launch conditions.

-I don't get where you find so much challenge in a 100 yard wedge shot. I adore that distance; it's a full sand wedge for me and I put plenty of spin to stop it on landing. Being able to hit full iron shots is crucial and if they're a "low percentage" shot, you suck at golf. If you're on the edge of the green, hitting a high flop shot might not be the right play, especially if you're not good at the shot. But you can't hit a chipper from 100 yards if there's a bunker or some rough in the way. You can't spin check them, shape the shot around the bunker, loft them over the bunker high enough to stop, take slopes out of play, or overcome a patch of mud near the green. Maybe in 1880 golf was played along the ground, but the modern game requires full shots through the air for most of it. Chippers can be used from lots of distances, but can't fly the ball more than 1/3 the way there or so without rolling way past the pin. You have to hit them straight and play the full slopes in the way, as well as being totally stymied by any rough or hazards in the way. Your result of playing one with a hazard in the way would likely be no better than a skulled wedge, and playing a good shot with the wedge would get you close while the chipper would be in the bunker or over the green no matter how well you hit it. They're good for holing chips from 30 feet, running it up the fairways to an unprotected green from 30-40 yards, and chipping over rough or a hazard that's right in front of you and no more than 10 feet long. The pros do things most of us couldn't, but they also play a lot of shots that simply aren't that hard to pull off.

-European courses are typically set up differently than those in the US. Wind is often a bigger factor, the fairways are often hard and fast, and the greens can be huge on links courses. But pitch shots aren't hard at all to land within 15 feet and are often possible to stick within 8 feet if your distance control is good. A full shot with a wedge is a bit tougher, but it stops faster and requires less distance control; all it takes is solid contact. If someone puts his wedges more than 5-10 yards off line from 100 yards, I can't imagine how badly he would slice on other shots. That would usually put someone around the middle of the green, and that distance is no trouble to 2 putt from most of the time for someone with any putting skills.

-If the club is fun for you, enjoy using it. But the "purists" you play with aren't representative of decent golfers. If you want to get really good, low single digits, you have to make the most of every club in the bag and the chipper just can't do anything except chip. It can't do anything a putter can't, barring the first 30% of the shot. It's easier to learn, and someone who doesn't practice would generally gain a benefit from one as with hybrids and niblicks, etc. But some golfers do want to get to a higher skill level and polish their game so that the harder shots and more versatile equipment can go in their bag. Sure there are posers, but a lot of players genuinely want to improve and there's no reason to scoff at that.

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