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Game Improvement, Super Game Improvement, Forgiveness... vs. Shot Shaping ability (Playability)


doubleduhric

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The thoughts for consideration are...

 

  1. I find it noticeably more difficult to consistently shape shots, or hit a variety of shots properly, with today’s tech maxed out for distance and forgiveness (talking to the title here). What's your take? Have you had an opportunity to play a variety of club designs?
  2. Would a properly 'fit' club/shaft/grip (regardless of style) significantly assist the average golfer in a similar way with an increased advantage for real game improvement? This with the idea of learning 'how' to hit different shots within your game, where and when needed?

Anyone here have real experience with the opposite? I've always assumed I would move to game improvement and super game improvement when my back stopped rotating quite as smoothly. Trying like hell to stay young. 

My take: Golf is a lifelong game and that alone is one of the best reasons to commit and practice. Practice anything and you will see improvement. Shot shaping isn't only for professionals. With the right friend, coach, or lesson it can be a valuable addition to your arsenal. Everyone has their reasons. I prefer to play as traditionally as possible, whenever possible. 

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DO NOT TRY TO WORK THE BALL!!!!!

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18 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

DO NOT TRY TO WORK THE BALL!!!!!

Slight push back. 

Why not? I have spent the good part of this early season going from a draw which turned into a nasty hook being my naturalish shape to now playing a nice fade. This is in large part to the course I play which suits that shot shape and at least for me being really punished by those hooks. Since I have really worked on this I have gone from loosing 3-4 penalties off the tee per round to 1 in the last 3 rounds and that was my own stupidity. Learning to shape or work this has really helped my game. 

I agree that playing your natural shape is often so beneficial. However learning how to play different shot shapes can help better understand your swing and there will be the odd time it could be required. 

Now trying to work it left this shot, right the next... etc yea that is too much in my opinion. 

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1 minute ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

Slight push back. 

Why not? I have spent the good part of this early season going from a draw which turned into a nasty hook being my naturalish shape to now playing a nice fade. This is in large part to the course I play which suits that shot shape and at least for me being really punished by those hooks. Since I have really worked on this I have gone from loosing 3-4 penalties off the tee per round to 1 in the last 3 rounds and that was my own stupidity. Learning to shape or work this has really helped my game. 

I agree that playing your natural shape is often so beneficial. However learning how to play different shot shapes can help better understand your swing and there will be the odd time it could be required. 

Now trying to work it left this shot, right the next... etc yea that is too much in my opinion. 

 

I think it is okay to practice hitting different shapes, but the general on course strategy is to hit your stock shot.   People often refer to Tiger and his 9 shot drill; but when playing unless he needed to,  he played stock shots.   One of the foundations of DECADE is never try to work your driver;  you can try to work your irons but probably better not to.  

As for the original question,  people slice and hook game improvement clubs just as much as players type clubs.   During most wanted testing,  I can attest to the face that I can hit fades and draws with those clubs.  As for improving your game;  IMO, it is probably best to focus on a stock shot and the only working of the ball should be trajectory and not shape.

 

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4 minutes ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

Slight push back. 

Why not? I have spent the good part of this early season going from a draw which turned into a nasty hook being my naturalish shape to now playing a nice fade. This is in large part to the course I play which suits that shot shape and at least for me being really punished by those hooks. Since I have really worked on this I have gone from loosing 3-4 penalties off the tee per round to 1 in the last 3 rounds and that was my own stupidity. Learning to shape or work this has really helped my game. 

I agree that playing your natural shape is often so beneficial. However learning how to play different shot shapes can help better understand your swing and there will be the odd time it could be required. 

Now trying to work it left this shot, right the next... etc yea that is too much in my opinion. 

IMO that's a large difference from trying to work the ball. I joined a new club 6 years ago, went from drawing/hooking the ball off the tee to playing a fade due to course routing. Now my shape off the tee is a fade. I would consider working the ball trying to hit the ball different shapes during a round, ie a draw to a back left pin (RH) or a fade to right pin. Scoring in golf comes down to reducing mistakes. It is hard enough to play one shape consistently let alone trying to add different shots. On top of that there is little statistical evidence that working the ball improves scoring over the long term. For everyone other than Tiger you are just adding more variance.

:taylormade-small:     Stealth 2+ 9 (Diamana PD 60 S 45") 

image.png.dee92ef6cebb2ac4a3883744fc248f12.png     Stealth 2+ 15 (Diamana PD 70 S 43")

:ping-small:          G425 19 (Raijin 2.0 85x)

:ping-small:          G425 22 (Raijin 2.0 85x)

:srixon-small:            ZX7 5-9 (KBS C Taper S)

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 :titleist-small:           Vokey SM9 49 08 F (KBS 610)

 :titleist-small:           Vokey SM9 55 08 M (KBS 610)

 :titleist-small:           Vokey SM9 59 04 T (KBS 610)

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"One thing Golf has taught me, is that my muscles have no memory."

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4 minutes ago, cnosil said:

 

I think it is okay to practice hitting different shapes, but the general on course strategy is to hit your stock shot.   People often refer to Tiger and his 9 shot drill; but when playing unless he needed to,  he played stock shots.   One of the foundations of DECADE is never try to work your driver;  you can try to work your irons but probably better not to.  

As for the original question,  people slice and hook game improvement clubs just as much as players type clubs.   During most wanted testing,  I can attest to the face that I can hit fades and draws with those clubs.  As for improving your game;  IMO, it is probably best to focus on a stock shot and the only working of the ball should be trajectory and not shape.

 

Agree with the 'stock shot' being the go to. You can hit fades and draws... but with the same desired outcome?? I find spin rates drop (a lot) and the trajectory is.. just.. very different. Maybe its all practice, adjustment, and comfort. Given the whole 'life long' consideration, maybe I should switch before my back stops working!!

** Random days warrior. Walk the course. Play a minimum of 4 rounds per year w/o keeping score. Love the outdoors no matter the weather. **

  • Calaway Epic Speed 1w, 4w
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  • Maltby Pure-Track Tour Milled No.4 Putter
  • KBS and Project X
  • Lamkin Crossline+ and Skinny Pistol grips
  • Maxfli Tour, Vice Pro, Titleist Pro V1

 

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I don't really have a "stock shot" off the tee or iron shots.  I try to play everything straight, so maybe that's my stock shot but I can fade it, draw it, push or pull.  I don't hook or slice (although I used to many years ago).  What shot comes off my club depends on how my body is feeling and my L.O.F.T.  🤪  So I try to hit the ball straight at my target; a fairway or middle of a green and that seems to minimize any miss.

Yes, I know how to hit a fade and a draw, but I will do so only if that is my best choice of shot from a bad location.  I generally make that decision based on where the ball would go if I hit it straight, because when I try to hit those shots I may not pull it off and the ball will go dead straight.

I will say that I have a much easier time hitting SGI irons straight, but I went back to my MacGregor MB irons because I can hit them straight and have a better chance to hit that fade or draw when needed.

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1 hour ago, Kenny B said:

I don't really have a "stock shot" off the tee or iron shots.  I try to play everything straight, so maybe that's my stock shot but I can fade it, draw it, push or pull.  I don't hook or slice (although I used to many years ago).  What shot comes off my club depends on how my body is feeling and my L.O.F.T.  🤪  So I try to hit the ball straight at my target; a fairway or middle of a green and that seems to minimize any miss.

Yes, I know how to hit a fade and a draw, but I will do so only if that is my best choice of shot from a bad location.  I generally make that decision based on where the ball would go if I hit it straight, because when I try to hit those shots I may not pull it off and the ball will go dead straight.

I will say that I have a much easier time hitting SGI irons straight, but I went back to my MacGregor MB irons because I can hit them straight and have a better chance to hit that fade or draw when needed.

I'd say that the straight shot is your stock shot.  Sounds like you always try to hit that shot;  the fade/draw/push/pull are just the variances that happen with shots.  

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On 3/10/2023 at 6:47 PM, Kenny B said:

but I will do so only if that is my best choice of shot from a bad location.

Agree 100%,  with an unobstructed shot,  I simply hit "my" shot into the green.  I'm not good enough to try fading to one pin location or drawing to another, and my opinion is that "most" people will only bring more difficulty to themselves trying to do this.  I did however learn the basic set up for hitting a fade or a draw, from Tom Watson's Strategic Golf, and use it regularly to bend or draw around the trees in front of me, when in a bad location, mostly with 4 and 5 iron!!

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16 minutes ago, Golfspy_Lukes said:

It's a absolute myth that GI and SGI irons can't work the ball. 

It's all physics (face to path relationship)

Agree, the only caveat is that the super game improvement clubs will generally flight the ball higher by design. They say to really be a great ball striker you need to be able to hit nine different shots on demand. A High, a mid and a low trajectory fade, draw and straight shot. Having the skill backed with the equipment that allows for this action within your individual skill level is the key.   

Play like a champion today!

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1 minute ago, Javs said:

Agree, the only caveat is that the super game improvement clubs will generally flight the ball higher by design. They say to really be a great ball striker you need to be able to hit nine different shots on demand. A High, a mid and a low trajectory fade, draw and straight shot. Having the skill backed with the equipment that allows for this action within your individual skill level is the key.   

Most people that fit into GI and SGI clubs need all the help they can get helping the ball in the air.  The amount of amateurs that think they hit the ball too high when in reality they hit it too low is extremely high

I get what you're saying about having more shots at your disposal, but most amateur golfers with double digit handicaps can't groove one consistent swing, much less 9

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43 minutes ago, Golfspy_Lukes said:

Most people that fit into GI and SGI clubs need all the help they can get helping the ball in the air.  The amount of amateurs that think they hit the ball too high when in reality they hit it too low is extremely high

I get what you're saying about having more shots at your disposal, but most amateur golfers with double digit handicaps can't groove one consistent swing, much less 9

Oh I totally agree about amateur golfers in general. I was just adding to your comment on the physics of the swing path verses face angle. If more golfers understood that they would hit better shots. 

Play like a champion today!

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I have a natural high fade. In my experience with gaming Cleveland Ta3, Ping G25, Titleist T200 and my current Callaway Apex '19, my dad's Ping g700, rogue st max and pro that I tested, I've noticed I have a consistent flight path left to right with high launch when I swing correctly. My pulls left will stay left and my toe strikes will make a banana shape to the right, but when I make a good swing and start at my target the path is usually up and to the right to the apex of the shot's height then straightening as it tumbles over.

I went through a phase where I tried to hit a draw. I read a golf Digest article by Tiger about how he does his 9 window drill and the swing mechanics behind how he hits each of the 9. The results were more inconsistency in my game, so I ditched the effort and went back to playing my stock shot all the time. It's still something I'll practice with at times at the range or warming up at the indoor place.

What helped me most about this exercise and what I took away and actually incorporated into my game is Tiger's simplified process for controlling the height of the ball. To paraphrase "When I want to hit high, I finish high with my hands above my head. A low shot my swing finishes with my hands at shoulder height. Hit it high, finish high. Hit it low, finish low. I don't move the ball much back and forth in my stance."

Now I'm at the point I can do a 6 window drill. Those other 3 windows I would definitely have to spring for a lesson or 2.

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You can shape the ball with SGI irons but ,as said above, they usually are high launching which can make it harder to hit knock downs.  Also, SGI irons usually give you less spin which will equal less curvature.  Working the ball is an interesting topic with modern golf balls which are designed to spin less the harder they are hit.  There seem to be only a few pros left who will put large curves on their shots.  Most play a small draw or small fade.  I loved watching Bubba Watson curve irons shots.

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