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ncates00

Trouble: Curve Away From It or Aim Away From It?

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Hey everyone, sorry for being spotty with my presence here.  Quit teaching high school after 7 years and entered a good law school.  Finals are pretty tough. 

What little time I have had I've been able to swing on my gc2 a little bit and I've gained a lot of ballspeed in a year.  I attribute it mostly to my strength level increases from powerlifting.  Also, due to the long lay off, I don't have any swing thoughts or anything to bog me down.  I just swing the clubhead like Ernest Jones talked about- just feel the clubhead throughout the swing and a freewheeling sling of the clubhead in the downswing.  My average ball speed has gone up about 5 mph across the bag.

 

Ok, here's my question for you guys.  Do you prefer to 1) swing away from trouble and bend it back OR 2) swing at the trouble (or just inside it in case you straight ball it) and curve it away?  I know there's a lot of variable like wind, pin location, sloping of the green or fairway, doglegs, etc.  Further, I understand that many generally play one go-to shape (for me a draw, but i can fade it as well). I haven't played golf on a course in over a year, just 3 times on the sim (law school...) so was wondering what you guys think.  I have a copy of LSW, but can't remember if it talks about this topic.  When answering the question you can consider a tee shot or approach shot where there's absolute death on one side and the other side is fine.  Further, assume for this question that you can draw/fade equally relatively fine.  What do you do- aim at/just inside the trouble & curve it away OR aim away and curve it toward the trouble?  Thanks guys.

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20 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Ok, here's my question for you guys.  Do you prefer to 1) swing away from trouble and bend it back OR 2) swing at the trouble (or just inside it in case you straight ball it) and curve it away?  I know there's a lot of variable like wind, pin location, sloping of the green or fairway, doglegs, etc.  Further, I understand that many generally play one go-to shape (for me a draw, but i can fade it as well). I haven't played golf on a course in over a year, just 3 times on the sim (law school...) so was wondering what you guys think.  I have a copy of LSW, but can't remember if it talks about this topic.  When answering the question you can consider a tee shot or approach shot where there's absolute death on one side and the other side is fine.  Further, assume for this question that you can draw/fade equally relatively fine.  What do you do- aim at/just inside the trouble & curve it away OR aim away and curve it toward the trouble?  Thanks guys.

Lowest Score Wins does talk about it, but not like this. LSW says to:

  1. Play your shot shape. Draw, fade, whatever. Play it just about every time unless absolutely required to change it.
  2. Plot your Shot Zone so it's the lightest colored egg.

Your Shot Zone doesn't care about the path the ball takes to get there, so unless you're talking about some crazy amounts of curve and there are trees or something in the way of that curve on the way to the Shot Zone… the solution is simple: make the lightest colored egg possible, factoring in Penalty Buffers and the like, and aim there. Then play your normal shot.

In other words if you play a draw you're going to be "working the ball away from the trouble" if it's on the right, and "aiming away and bending it toward the trouble" if it's on the left. Makes no difference if the ball ends up in your Shot Zone - it shouldn't be in the trouble area.

20 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Further, assume for this question that you can draw/fade equally relatively fine.

Players who try to work the ball both directions don't hit the ball as well in either direction as those who find their pattern and stick to it.

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If there is serious trouble along one side only, I want my ball to end up generally toward the other side of the fairway.  I essentially try to shift my shot zone away from trouble.  If there's really serious trouble, I want to use my most reliable shot shape, I don't want to do something that is less reliable, that would increase the dispersion.  So with trouble on the right, I may try to start the ball in the right rough and draw it back to the right-center of the fairway.  If the trouble is on the right, I'll try to start it at the middle, and draw it to the left-center.

To assume that I can curve the ball equally well in both directions would be wrong, so I'll ignore that bit.  I think that most people have one shot pattern that is more reliable for them, its a rare player that can curve the ball either way with equally consistent results.  

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For both off tee or going into a green with water/trouble nearby, I will typically aim to have the ball land on the fat part away from the trouble.  Eg. A pin is tucked right, like 5 paces from the water on right, I will aim to have my ball land 1-3 flagsticks left, depending on how far away I'm coming from and how much room left there is.  Once I see what trouble there is, I'm pretty good about ignoring it when I'm in my routine.  I don't want to try something special unless it's absolutely necessary.  So it's always a stock shot and just aiming slightly away from trouble.  The curve really doesn't matter here, it has always been a pick your aim point and go.  If you let water or trouble start influencing your shot too much, you will start to do funky stuff and have some misses.

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Draw is my preferred shape, but not sure if it is my "natural shape."  I have to make a conscious effort though to ensure my start line is to the right and if so, it'll be fine.  I can hit the fade fine, I actually don't think about the swing as much with the fade.  With irons, I simply open the face and then grip and let the clubhead go.  With woods, it's an intentional heel strike to get the fade for me.  It just goes shorter for me (about a club to club and a half shorter).  It probably curves less than my draw though.  I probably don't play the fade correctly but that's how I worked out how to hit it.  

I just ask because once finals are over, I plan on getting out there to play some even in this cold weather.   There's some holes with big trouble on a side and just wanted to see what you guys thought.  I typically just played my draw unless there were trees that got in the way of the initial push portion of the draw shape.  For example, there is one hole in particular from our tees, trees are pretty tight to the tee box down the right hand side.  VERY difficult to play a draw on that hole because the trees are so close to the tee box and are very tall.  Further, they extend nearly down the entire hole.  I decided to just hit a driver out of the heel to get a fade after many times of hitting the trees and dropping straight down haha.

23 minutes ago, iacas said:

In other words if you play a draw you're going to be "working the ball away from the trouble" if it's on the right, and "aiming away and bending it toward the trouble" if it's on the left. Makes no difference if the ball ends up in your Shot Zone - it shouldn't be in the trouble area.

Thank you.

20 minutes ago, phillyk said:

For both off tee or going into a green with water/trouble nearby, I will typically aim to have the ball land on the fat part away from the trouble.  Eg. A pin is tucked right, like 5 paces from the water on right, I will aim to have my ball land 1-3 flagsticks left, depending on how far away I'm coming from and how much room left there is.  Once I see what trouble there is, I'm pretty good about ignoring it when I'm in my routine.  I don't want to try something special unless it's absolutely necessary.  So it's always a stock shot and just aiming slightly away from trouble.  The curve really doesn't matter here, it has always been a pick your aim point and go.  If you let water or trouble start influencing your shot too much, you will start to do funky stuff and have some misses.

Awesome.

22 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I want to use my most reliable shot shape

Absolutely.

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43 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

For example, there is one hole in particular from our tees, trees are pretty tight to the tee box down the right hand side.  VERY difficult to play a draw on that hole because the trees are so close to the tee box and are very tall.  Further, they extend nearly down the entire hole.  I decided to just hit a driver out of the heel to get a fade after many times of hitting the trees and dropping straight down haha.

One thing you might consider on that hole is where you tee the ball in the tee box. Since you hit a draw, teeing the ball as far left as possible (your feet can be outside the tee markers) will give you the most amount of room to start the ball right and hit a draw. 

Not sure if it will help on that hole or not, but just something to consider rather than just putting the tee in the middle of the tee box every time. 

My shot shape is a fade and my miss is a slice, so I am almost always teeing it up towards the right half/right edge of the tee box and aiming left edge/left middle of the fairway.

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12 minutes ago, klineka said:

One thing you might consider on that hole is where you tee the ball in the tee box. Since you hit a draw, teeing the ball as far left as possible (your feet can be outside the tee markers) will give you the most amount of room to start the ball right and hit a draw. 

Overrated. Most of the time you're talking about a few feet, maybe a few yards. It may look slightly better, but that's about it.

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5 minutes ago, iacas said:

Overrated. Most of the time you're talking about a few feet, maybe a few yards. It may look slightly better, but that's about it.

Oh interesting. Good to know that it doesn't matter as much as I thought it did.

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Like others have previously posted,, I tend to aim away from possible problems in front of me. It's just better for my over all score in the long run. 

I look at some issues on the golf course on a multi round basis. Not so much based on a single round. Hazards, and other problem are some of those issues. Over the course of a season of play, playing away from problems will save alot strokes. 

Of course there will also be times, usually when playing with my buddies we will do stupid stuff just for the fun of it. Those dumb decisions are usually accompanied with a wager of some sort.

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31 minutes ago, klineka said:

Not sure if it will help on that hole or not, but just something to consider rather than just putting the tee in the middle of the tee box every time. 

It's a good thought, and i've tried that.  But as stated, the trees are very tight to the right side of the tee box.  Tons of room left though.  If you push it at all, you're in the trees.  You'd have to hit at max a 5 yard draw, I'm not kidding.  I cannot do that.  I curve it about 10-20 yards.

21 minutes ago, iacas said:

Overrated. Most of the time you're talking about a few feet, maybe a few yards. It may look slightly better, but that's about it.

Especially on the hole I'm referring to.  You've essentially got a wall down the entire right hand side and it is tucked close to the tee where i would generally hit a push draw as my standard shot.  I'm not a straight ball hitter either.  I don't hit 40 yard hooks, but that hole begs for a heel fade.

 

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IF OB/water/deadZone left, i like to release my hands to the rigth of my target and work the ball back to the target with a draw. That´s my normal shot shape, no problem there.

IF OB/water/deadZone rigth I try with this approach:

1 hour ago, iacas said:
  • Play your shot shape. Draw, fade, whatever. Play it just about every time unless absolutely required to change it. 
  • Plot your Shot Zone so it's the lightest colored egg.

But in order to do that i had to release my hands towards trouble and that felt awfull, make me block it way rigth into trouble or hit a nasty hook left. My dispersion with OB rigth was bigger than my disspersion with OB left.

Instead I worked to find a go to fade for this scenarios releasing my hands left of the target and away from trouble. I really feel more confident now with this scenarios, and my SG Driving improved a lot so it´s a win win.

  

50 minutes ago, iacas said:

Overrated. Most of the time you're talking about a few feet, maybe a few yards. It may look slightly better, but that's about it.

Totally agree.

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Maybe I'm weird, but I prefer to pick a target and take dead aim. I do much better that way than trying to play "away" from things. And yes, it's vital to know your predominant shot shape. 

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When dealing with a possible problem in front of you, there is a third option. That being to fly the ball over the problem. 

If your swing allows for a "fly over", that sometimes will be the shortest distance to your end target. 

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If the hazard is off the tee I’ll generally play a shot shape curving away from it. However, say I’m hitting an iron to a green with water all left and a left pin, I’ll just aim more center green and play my stock draw. 

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Neither or either. I adjust my shot zone to the situation in front of me and select the best club and target to give myself the best change of being successful with the shot. 

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