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Shot shape  

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  1. 1. On course, do you work the ball both ways or almost exclusively still to a single shape?

    • Work it both ways
      47
    • Play one shape
      100
    • Seriously? I'm just trying to keep the ball on the course
      104


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Basic course strategy discussion: during a round, do you stick to a single stock shape for virtually every shot, or do you attempt to curve the ball both ways to play different shapes of fairway or pins on the opposing sides of the greens?

Scott Fawcett is a major proponent of having a single shape that you play for every single shot. Dustin Johnson, in a fairly recent interview, claims that he fades the ball almost exclusively now.

On the other hand, Tiger famously had his nine ball flights drill to be able to work the ball in every direction.

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I'm by no means as exceptional as these pros but feel comfortable enough flighting my ball one way or the other. For me I tend to play it both ways but my goal is generally shaping the ball to what the best miss is. If left is water I'll try to fade with my line slightly left of center fairway and vice versa. 

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I try to play every shot straight, unless something prevents me from doing that.  Sometimes the ball will fade a little so I allow for that.  I only try to shape a shot if I have no other option.  I can hit a fade or a draw, but can't control how much.  A fade is a little easier to hit than a draw.

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I'm currently working on a fade/slice with my driver and 3 wood because I tend to overcook those. I play a draw with my irons. I will shape the ball if the hole dictates it. For example, the 8th hole last weekend was a sharp dogleg right, so I lefty hooked my 3 Wood into position about 100 yards away. A fade would've likely put me at 150 away.

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25 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Scott Fawcett is a major proponent of having a single shape that you play for every single shot. Dustin Johnson, in a fairly recent interview, claims that he fades the ball almost exclusively now.

Just a quick clarification.  From everything I have read and learned in DECADE; Scott advocates a single shape for you driver and not all clubs.  
 

I primarily play a fade on all shots.   With irons I will hit a draw if needed to get around a tree on a trouble/recovery shot.  

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Spieth recently said during an interview that he tries to cut the ball on every single chip and pitch.  It's a better means of controlling the ball and I tend to agree.  The ball listens and behaves better when it's cut.  One shot for me.

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I play my stock shot as much as possible. Only try to shape it if I need to avoid an object or need to play out of trouble

Zach Johnson has 2 majors and double digit wins only playing a draw 

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24 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

I play my stock shot as much as possible. Only try to shape it if I need to avoid an object or need to play out of trouble

Zach Johnson has 2 majors and double digit wins only playing a draw 

*whispering* ZJ is one of the most boring players to watch...

 

 

(I'm sure he's very nice and obviously a world class player but that Masters he won where he was deliberately laying up on every par 5, while a master class in strategy, was a snoozefest to watch). 

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3 hours ago, vandyland said:

*whispering* ZJ is one of the most boring players to watch...

 

 

(I'm sure he's very nice and obviously a world class player but that Masters he won where he was deliberately laying up on every par 5, while a master class in strategy, was a snoozefest to watch). 

Why risk shots one doesn’t have in the bag? More amateurs would score better if the did the samething. I’ll take  hitting almost every fairway and most greens every day than being in awkward distances, lies or short sided chips and pitches.

It may be boring tv but it’s effective strategy

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Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

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I remember I had a manager at an old job that had a metal plate in his wrist from a skiing accident. He accepted that as a result, he was always going to hit a fade. He still managed to shoot 1 over for his one round that month when I tagged along. It was pretty enlightening to see as I was definitely a beginner at the time. 

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On 7/9/2021 at 2:08 PM, cnosil said:

Just a quick clarification.  From everything I have read and learned in DECADE; Scott advocates a single shape for you driver and not all clubs.  

The impression I have is that he insists on it with a driver and encourages one shape with all shots:

 

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My natural shot shape is a baby fade pretty much through the bag; moving to straight in the scoring irons.  I can play a cut pretty well when needed but struggle with the draw. I think part of that is the issue with my left shoulder and inability to move the swing path out right of target.

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Each club has its own shape.

 

Driver: Fade

3 Wood: Workable, but stock is a tiny tiny draw.

2 Hybrid: Draw, fade is nearly impossible, but if it is a must I will try to force one.

Irons: mostly a draw, can hit fades, but stick with the stock. Bigger draw with the longer irons, working its way to a small draw on the PW.

Wedges: mini draw

putter: crooked

 

i have been noticing that my shoulders creep more and more closed as I play, which makes the draw a hook, and the driver a pull.  Working on keeping shoulders squared up, maybe even slightly open.  I hit draws, but I would rather  have them lean the other direction… but I shouldn’t mess with what is working right now.

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On 7/9/2021 at 3:34 PM, bens197 said:

Spieth recently said during an interview that he tries to cut the ball on every single chip and pitch.  It's a better means of controlling the ball and I tend to agree.  The ball listens and behaves better when it's cut.  One shot for me.

Love the fade.  Love the fade….

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Generally I'm a one shape guy.  I play a fade off driver and have been working this year to minimize curvature some more.  I'm most comfortable lining up aiming down the left side and swinging freely.  However,  I still work on being able to draw that ball for holes that set up for it on days where I'm hitting it well.  

Also my 5-wood tends to be the one I can most easily turn over or hold off.  I have a lot of confidence in that club.

Irons I basically play straight to a "fall off to the right" cut shot, but it's not a lot of movement.  

It's been an interesting year as I've put a little more focus on playing around at the range trying to hit different shot shapes and that has snuck into my on course rounds a little bit, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but for any given shot you see me getting ready for on the course there is probably a 90% chance I'm setting up for a baby fade.

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Not directing this comment at any one specific but if you are working the ball both ways but also a double digit handicapper...I think you might be trying to do too much. Or maybe that is anecdotal from the guys I play with. I play with a guy who is probably a 16 HDCP and the main reason, in my opinion, he isn't better is because he insists on doing things like "I'm going to try to hit a butter cut 7 iron here" or "this is a great chance to hit a trap draw 8 into that pin." In reality, my guy should just be trying to hit it high and straight when possible unless there is something actively in his way. Before anyone says maybe this is how he enjoys playing the game, he gets super pissed when these shots don't come off...which is most of the time. I think I need a new foursome...

For what is it worth, I am trying to keep the ball on the course. My driver fades naturally so I play that, I never try to turn over a driver. The only club I can turn over is my hybrid and that is due to a draw bias. Everything else I am aiming at the center of the fairway or center of the green knowing that I can miss both directions though my dispersion is right of target about 65% of the time. 

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18 minutes ago, vandyland said:

if you are working the ball both ways but also a double digit handicapper...I think you might be trying to do too much. Or maybe that is anecdotal from the guys I play with. I play with a guy who is probably a 16 HDCP

To an extent I would agree. The 15+ hdcp is probably where working on a single shape is best until they get control of the club face. 10-15 is a double digits and usually a pretty decent golfer. But my caveat is that it depends on why a person is a double digit cap including those above 15. I know some guys who are close to or just above 15 that don’t practice short game so their scores are highly dependent on how their touch is that day. They are good ball strikers with full swings and would keep so have the ability to work the ball.

Also for those who practice and I’m kt talking about going to the range and beating balls but are actually working on their game they would benefit from trying to work the ball both ways to learn face and swing path control. When I was in that 12-15 range the instructor I was using had me try to start the ball on the left and right side on an alignment stick to learn how to start the ball for my intended shots. To learn to hit the fade he would have me basically hit a pull shot by staring the ball left and make it draw.

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Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

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I play a fade with my driver and long irons, striaght with the rest of my irons.

Tommy Armour TA -1 driver

2 hybrid

 Adams 3 hy

Tommy Armour 4hy

Adams 5 hy

STi-2 irons 6-GW

Acer 52 & 54 wedges

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