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Is shaping the ball overrated


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Originally Posted by luu5

So you can slice SW as easily (and as much) as 3i?



A SW is about 35.5 inches while a 3 iron is 39-40 inches. Cut the 3 iron down to 36 inches and bend it up and you'll hit it straighter, probably comparably to the wedge. That's also about 35 degrees difference in loft, while drivers are generally within 4 degrees of one another. It's a strawman argument and it doesn't address my claim. If you only measure the first 100 yards of flight, there wouldn't be much difference I'd bet.

With 2 identical length and shaft drivers, maybe it would make a difference of a paltry couple yards of dispersion, but it's retarded to take too much loft on the driver out of fear of a slice. The extra height and spin can also be troublesome as it's more susceptible to wind, negating the possible accuracy gains in some conditions. You should pick the loft solely on swing speed, spin, and launch angle as I said and shorten the shaft for accuracy if needed. Plus you would slice a 12* driver more than a 3 iron, let alone a wedge. By that logic, why not just take everything but wedges out of slicer's bags? Even a high lofted driver would never beat the almighty sand wedge that goes perfectly straight.

And chippers have less loft than a sand wedge, so wouldn't the wedge go straighter and by your logic be more forgiving? And forget about 4* putters, ramp it up to 55 degrees.

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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 logman

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!!!



BRAVO, logman!!

You have accurately depicted the overwhelming majority of "purists" at my club....and I simply cant believe the folks here on the board who have trouble understanding my ability to hit a 37 degree niblick for a sweet, straight 100+ yard bump and run spilling out nicely onto the dance floor....instead of chunking or skulling a wedge into the bunker!!

Niblicks save me at least 6 strokes per round...and another niblick using poster said about the same....my favorite bit of testimony here was when Cleveland tested the niblick against the personal wedges of low handicappers -who then saw with their own eyes that the niblick was more accurate and effective STILL! STILL! said that they would not carry one in their bag!!  LOL

THAT, amigo, is pure hubris and self destructive ego on display.....these are the same folks who slow up play everyday at courses around the nation (world?) by hitting tee shots from the tips -because Tiger and Phil do...LOL   I love stunning these guys with a niblick pitch that just sticks on the pin thanks to those good ol' zip grooves.....and another "purist" bites the dust!  Yup, only hacks use chippers -hacks who never forget what Bobby Jones said about golf being a game of turning 4 shots into 3....he didnt say exactly which clubs you must use to do so....and for the very few single digit handicappers in this thread -it should occur to you that the vast majority of golfers do not hit wedges as well as you claim to ...and this club helps them enjoy the game ....Cheers

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To be perfectly frank...if you are a 30 handicap as you state here you really shouldnt even touch a 9 degree driver....minimally a 10.5 and UP (11 plus ) will yield MUCH better results....

and the guy I beat far from "sucks" since he is a vastly better ballstriker than me -and thus certainly you....I simply possess a much better short game -a part of which includes the Cleveland Niblick which any 30 'capper would most certainly benefit from.....and BTW: When I bring my A Game, I putt lights out -while I am an 18 capper I am widely recognized at my club as one of the very best putters ....indeed considered a club "Boss of The Moss".....so please dont imply that I somehow luck out when I defeat big ballstrikers because I do this almost every week at my club...Hint : It's ALL about the shortgame...I dont know how old you are nor how long you've been playing but I picked up the game only 5 years ago and I'm a senior...I've gone from a 30 plus 'cap to an 18 and can now play bogey golf or better every time I tee it up....and it has nothing to do with ballstriking nor purist attitudes toward clubs ...I carry usga conforming clubs that are most effective for MY game....at my club....different courses for different horses....

too many golfers focus on tee to green approach....when the more effective strategy is green to tee....mastering the shortgame is the fast track to lower handicaps....the average amateur golfer hits tee shots between 200 -240 yards -and this doesnt improve much over time ...while anyone can improve their shortgame be they old, young , new or a long time player...and chippers like the Cleveland Niblick have proven results ....toward that goal.    Cheers.

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That's too big of a blanket statement.  I play with a couple high handicap guys that hit the ball extremely high with a 10.5 degree driver, and would be better served hitting a 9 degree driver.  Can you imagine if they tried to hit a 12 degree driver like you suggested?  Their driver shots would look like pitching wedge shots.

The loft used depends a lot on their swings, you can't just make a blanket statement like that.  That's like saying I shouldn't be playing MP-57's as a 14 capper and would be better served with a GI iron.  I can't hit GI irons because of the offset in them, they don't fit my swing.  Someone who hits up on his drives wouldn't be served well with a 12 degree driver either.

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Originally Posted by stogiesnbogies

and chippers like the Cleveland Niblick have proven results ....toward that goal.    Cheers.



I am agreeing with most of your post, but the Niblick is not a chipper, it is actually more of a hybrid wedge - what chipper can you hit over 100 yards?

The 37 degree is sweet (and deadly)- unfortunately no one can purchase a new one - they are currently only made in 42, 49 and 56 degree (I also bought a 56 degree which i primarily use out of the sand)

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Originally Posted by meenman

I am agreeing with most of your post, but the Niblick is not a chipper, it is actually more of a hybrid wedge - what chipper can you hit over 100 yards?


Yes.  I went to the Cleveland website to look up these Niblicks and they just looked like slightly lower profile wedges with a wider sole than most.

Not to speak for anybody else, but when I hear the word "chipper" I think of a blade butter with 30-40 degrees of loft and grooves.

And Larry Jones.

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Originally Posted by Bullitt5339

That's too big of a blanket statement.  I play with a couple high handicap guys that hit the ball extremely high with a 10.5 degree driver, and would be better served hitting a 9 degree driver.  Can you imagine if they tried to hit a 12 degree driver like you suggested?  Their driver shots would look like pitching wedge shots.

The loft used depends a lot on their swings, you can't just make a blanket statement like that.  That's like saying I shouldn't be playing MP-57's as a 14 capper and would be better served with a GI iron.  I can't hit GI irons because of the offset in them, they don't fit my swing.  Someone who hits up on his drives wouldn't be served well with a 12 degree driver either.

I think the bigger blanket statement would be to assume anything about a 30 'cappers swing....

In the case of a 30 plus 'capper the problem is more likely something like ball position , height of tee , stance , grip.....a virtual panoply of possibilites that confront all golfers but more so the 30 plus 'capper....however as a general rule slower swing speeds -and newbies and high cappers often  fare much better with higher lofted drivers -they take off some of the side spin that leads to slices-the #1 problem for most amateurs... ...i.e. I use a 14 loft driver and rarely miss a fairway (at least not terribly so  LOL) -while not sacraficing much in  distance  since like most amateurs I only hit driver 200-240  (and 240 is clocking it -with the wind LOL)

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Yes.  I went to the Cleveland website to look up these Niblicks and they just looked like slightly lower profile wedges with a wider sole than most.

Not to speak for anybody else, but when I hear the word "chipper" I think of a blade butter with 30-40 degrees of loft and grooves.

And Larry Jones.


FYI: I can also hit a Ray Cook Classic Plus Chipper 100 yards-and since I'm hardly a reknowned ballstriker I'd venture that you can as well.......but the Niblick has the best qualities of a chipper , wedge and an iron ..it has alignment guides of a putter and a nice heavy head for tempo and MOI.....combine all that with a 35 inch putter length shaft and zip grooves that spin and stop a shot like a butterfly with sore feet and you've got yourself a multi-purpose scoring weapon!

Now that you've read about them I suggest you demo one and see for yourself....

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Yeah..I cant understand why they stopped production of the 37 degree myself since that loft is a common chipper loft (aka 7 iron) ..I grabbed a couple of all the lofts before they stopped making them with zip grooves ..and man I'm glad I did!

If you cant get the 37 you might like the 42...it plays much like a 9 iron to me ...and does much the same things as the 37 -of course with slightly less roll out...but remember that the new models have what they call "Tour Zip Grooves" which are the newer less square and deep type that wont give you that sweet spin!

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I've questioned high cappers insisting on using game improvement long clubs and blade wedges. It's the short approaches that need the most forgiveness for some players. I'd personally shun a Cleveland Niblick because it's butt ugly and I already use wide soled high forgiveness wedges.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Not to speak for anybody else, but when I hear the word "chipper" I think of a blade butter with 30-40 degrees of loft and grooves.

When I think Chipper, I envision Steve Buscemi's leg and red snow.  Yah, sure, great movie, y'know?

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

When did this hackers pretending they can consistently work the ball become a platform for cigar smoking geriatrics to peddle Cleveland Niblicks?

Ya got me. No idea.

Edit: and.... you edited. Okay then.

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Yes and no, you can become overly obsessed with trying to work the ball some many different ways when just Having a one stock shot you can hit every time would do fine, instead most hackers\high handicappers spend hours of their time very little golf time working on hitting fifty billion different shots when they can`t even hit one shot shot pattern right.. but i`m not saying that their are not times when you should not try to add another shot shape into your ball flight pattern but what i`m saying is, make sure you have your shot that you can hit EVERY TIME down first before you try to add anything else, I mean really? golf`s hard enough as it is trying to hit one shot! to make a long story short keep your shot shape  simple!

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Originally Posted by stogiesnbogies

BRAVO, logman!!

You have accurately depicted the overwhelming majority of "purists" at my club....and I simply cant believe the folks here on the board who have trouble understanding my ability to hit a 37 degree niblick for a sweet, straight 100+ yard bump and run spilling out nicely onto the dance floor....instead of chunking or skulling a wedge into the bunker!!

Niblicks save me at least 6 strokes per round...and another niblick using poster said about the same....my favorite bit of testimony here was when Cleveland tested the niblick against the personal wedges of low handicappers -who then saw with their own eyes that the niblick was more accurate and effective STILL! STILL! said that they would not carry one in their bag!!  LOL



What do you do when there is a bunker between you and the green?

What do you do when there is water between you and the green?

What do you do when there is thick rough fronting the green?

What do you do when there is a severe change in elevation between you and the green?

Maybe on certain courses the 100 yard bump and run can be a successful shot, and maybe that is the kind of courses you play.  But on many many courses the 100 yard bump and run is impractical because of the difficulties between the ball and the green.  So on those courses you need to be able to hit the higher pitch type shot.

One of the courses I play has pretty open fronts on most holes and when the season is just starting and the grass is thin and lies are tight I'll play the 100 yard bump and run.  But I don't need a special club for it - I just take a 5 or 6 iron, choke down, move the ball back in my stance and punch it in there.

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

A SW is about 35.5 inches while a 3 iron is 39-40 inches. Cut the 3 iron down to 36 inches and bend it up and you'll hit it straighter, probably comparably to the wedge. That's also about 35 degrees difference in loft, while drivers are generally within 4 degrees of one another. It's a strawman argument and it doesn't address my claim. If you only measure the first 100 yards of flight, there wouldn't be much difference I'd bet.

I thought your claim was a general claim in the way of "the loft does not affect sidespin/backspin ratio", but I guess I read it wrong.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

When I think Chipper, I envision Steve Buscemi's leg and red snow.  Yah, sure, great movie, y'know?


Alright then, I'll just go ahead and fax that on over to ya.

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I think I tend to agree in lare part that shot shaping, from an amature's point of view, is given way too much importance...hitting the ball consistently well and the same way should surely be the aim (if not pro)...I think a lot also depends on how you're swing feels and how you're hitting it on a partcialr day. I know pro's who wont try to hit different types of shots if their swings don't feel great...they try to keep it simple so that they can score reasonably well on a day when everything isn't working how it should. I think the same approach in general should be adopted by ametures...don't try hitting different types of shots unless you feel you're nailing everything perfectly with your stock shot...maybe at the end of the day, you could try bending one the opposite direction (to your stock shot)..but as I said, its only if you feel you are getting everything almost perfectly (which from an amatures point of view, raraely happens anyway).

p.s...I am an amature and wouldn't think about shot shaping normally...there was one day I remember though at the range with my old coach...it was almost 20 years ago...and I remember it like yesterday. I was playing some of my best golf at the time and I can remember the coach saying...you're swingging really well and hitting that high draw perfectly...let's see if you can hit a cut now (moved the left foot back slightly) and it came off perfectly...we then tried hitting it low etc...etc...and I was almost always on target...the reason I remember that day so well is because in all my time playing golf (from 8-35 years of age), I've only ever been able to hit exactly the kind of shot I had in my mind for a 2 hour practice session with my coach (on that day)...the rest of the time/years...I'm just trying to keep the ball in play and keep the scoring respectable. Don't bother with shot shaping till you can hit your stock shot perfectly.

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I think there is no doubt that shot shaping (fade,Draw,high.low) can be very useful but my game improved a lot when I figured out what my stock shot was. However, that has now changed. I used to only play draws with the Driver and irons as well. Then I started to mess around with hitting a fade with the driver for a few reasons:

1) Some of the courses I played all the time really required a fade off the tee box

2) When a draw works it's awesome but I notice all too often that the ball would roll too much sometimes and roll right out of the fairway.

I heard Fred Couples give a clinic and talk about how Jack Nicklaus effectively eliminated one entire side of the golf course and Fred then added that he thought a fade was safer as it is a softer landing shot. This intrigued me and into fade land I went. I like to hit one or the other depending on how the hole "feels" to me and also greatly depending on how I am swinging on any given day. this does not mean I work the ball all time - to me it's just another tool to have when I need it. That being said, I shoot in the low 80's and only in the 70's a handful of times. When I try the shot and it doesn't work it's bad and most of the time my only concern is getting the ball to the putting surface as quickly as possible with the fewest amount of strokes.

Also, Golf needs to be fun and not just score orientated - for some, working the ball adds to the excitement!

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