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  • Someone please help me

    From reading another thread about using blades vs "players" CB, there were a few responses that got me wondering. Could someone please help me understand why is it so important to your game that you "work" the ball? Being able to align yourself square to the target, throw it out to the right/left and bring it back into the target (in other words, hit a majestic draw/fade on command).....is it really that beneficial?
    Now I can see the benefit of this on a moderate to long par 4 dogleg with tall trees at the corner where you can't "bomb" it over the trees and land in the fairway. Being able to carve a fade around the corner with the driver makes a ton of sense. I can even see hitting a draw/fade to get around a tree that fronts the green on your side of the fairway/rough. But why would you need to hit a 9-iron approach shot to the green with a "shape" to it? If you're trying to avoid a bunker that the flag is tucked behind, the 9-iron has a high enough trajectory that it's going to "drop and stop" if it's hit cleanly anyway.
    Is this a result of watching the "big boys/girls" doing this so it's something that you want to be able to do as well? Is it an ego thing? Is it just to show off?
    Please don't chew me up too much! I'm not picking on anyone or trying to call anyone out. I'm honestly confused as to why someone would want to hit their irons anything but straight at the target. Most of the "amateur" golfers that I've been around (both through teaching and casual playing partners) have trouble getting the ball to go where they are aimed. Add to that trying to hit a fade/draw to the green and the ball could wind up on another fairway with a double-crossed pull hook or a hosel rocket! Afterall, the vast majority of us are not playing this game for a living......it's just a game (personal enjoyment/entertainment/exercise/etc.). Why make it more complicated than it already is by trying to "work" the ball when it's not really necessary?
    U. S. Air Force, Retired

  • #2
    Re: Someone please help me

    goshawk, I guess the question is whether or not you actually have a 9-iron for the second shot, or if some of them are 5 irons.

    I'll give you an example though. Click on this link,
    http://www.suttoncreekgolf.com/gallery.html

    and then select hole #6. This is my old club, so I know this course very well. The tee shot is not a driver. I've tried everything from 3-wood to get past the tree on the left, to 5 iron off the tee to stay back far enough that I don't have to deal with the trees(but then it's a long shot into a tough green). It is very, very easy to get yourself behind one of the two trees that compress the fairway at the dogleg. If you are on the left side, there are also large trees about 30 yards in front of the green that takes away coming in from the left. So if you are hoping to play more than punch out, you better be able to shape that next shot to get anywhere near the green.

    Personally, I'm in the blades camp because you will learn to strike the ball better than with anything else, but that hole is one where being able to work the ball a little has saved more than a few times.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Someone please help me

      Because the one time when you try to shape the ball and it does go where you want it to go, the feeling is incredible and exhilirating.

      You instantly feel like you are a better player and that all your time spent on the range is finally paying off. Plus, in your mind, you think 'If I can do it once, I can do it again'.

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      • #4
        Re: Someone please help me

        Blue, that's pretty much what I was talking about with your example. Being able to get around a tree and close to or onto the green is a definite benefit. But what I was wondering about is a standard approach shot that's open, or even a moderate length par 3 (up to 175 yards). Is it really necessary to hit that fade to the green, or is it more like BH said it just feels so good when you pull it off on purpose?
        U. S. Air Force, Retired

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Someone please help me

          Originally posted by goshawk
          Blue, that's pretty much what I was talking about with your example. Being able to get around a tree and close to or onto the green is a definite benefit. But what I was wondering about is a standard approach shot that's open, or even a moderate length par 3 (up to 175 yards). Is it really necessary to hit that fade to the green, or is it more like BH said it just feels so good when you pull it off on purpose?
          I don't remember my best round last year, but I will always remember the 200-210-yard 4-iron high shot that I hit at St Andrew Valley. I don't remember my score playing Sandy Lane in February, but I will always remember the purposeful cut fade that I hit on a 423 par 4 that left a 9 iron in to the green.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Someone please help me

            Agrees with everyone, I was once stuck inside the trees and I have a wide clearance to the left, but I'm 210 yards to the green, I tried pulling a low flyer fade... and what do you know I reached the green from inside those trees. One of those shots that I will remember from my whole golfing life! Now if I had my TA4s there, it's gonna be really difficult to cut that low flyer shot, I agree with everyone, having blades forces you to focus on getting clean shots. Because when you do hit a mis hit, it's gonna be really bad for your arm!
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            • #7
              Re: Someone please help me

              Knowledge is power - if I understand why a ball is fading to the right (I'm a lefty) then I will understand what I need to do to correct it.
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              • #8
                Re: Someone please help me

                My natural shot shape with a 9 iron is a 15-30 foot draw. It's much easier to get close to back left pins than say front right. A big cut for me is a straight ball - if I could hit a reliable cut it would definitely help me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Someone please help me

                  Originally posted by goshawk
                  Blue, that's pretty much what I was talking about with your example. Being able to get around a tree and close to or onto the green is a definite benefit. But what I was wondering about is a standard approach shot that's open, or even a moderate length par 3 (up to 175 yards). Is it really necessary to hit that fade to the green, or is it more like BH said it just feels so good when you pull it off on purpose?
                  Getting closer to the hole....

                  I saw your last line about "why make things more complicated?", and I have to take issue with that. Now, me being upfront, I will say here that I really can't relate to someone who isn't trying to get better. I don't begrudge that, but I consider trying to get better fun. this doesn't mean I expect everyone to hit balls for 4 hours a day. Now that I'm married I don't think I will be able to practice as much as I once did, but for the time I will be able to devote to it, playing and practicing will be done with the eye of getting better. If I fall on my face a few times, well, that's part of the process.

                  So having said that, sure, I could hit an iron straight at the flag. But if it's missed a bit and I'm short I'm in the bunker, and if I'm long. But if I'm playing that fade, now my margin for error has increased greatly, because now the ball, if it's short, has a line that will probably avoid the bunk and leave me a better chip shot, if it's long, probably has a better shot at staying on the green, and if it's right on it nestles right up to the hole.

                  There's a commerical on with the pros talking about how they practice shots most people never dream of hitting. Why? So they can have it in the bag if they ever need it. Yeah, we're not pros, so you adjust for that, but if we're trying to get better as well, should we not still try to have multiple shots in the bag we can call on when the situation warrants?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Someone please help me

                    Originally posted by goshawk
                    Blue, that's pretty much what I was talking about with your example. Being able to get around a tree and close to or onto the green is a definite benefit. But what I was wondering about is a standard approach shot that's open, or even a moderate length par 3 (up to 175 yards). Is it really necessary to hit that fade to the green, or is it more like BH said it just feels so good when you pull it off on purpose?
                    i think if you hit a draw of fade at a green then it reacts a lot better on the green (lots of spin) if you just hit straight at it, its gonna spin but not as quick
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                    • #11
                      Re: Someone please help me

                      Originally posted by sellis
                      Knowledge is power - if I understand why a ball is fading to the right (I'm a lefty) then I will understand what I need to do to correct it.
                      Doesn't the ball fade to the left for us?

                      I think the workability thing is overrated myself...for all those shots that go the way you want them to (unless you're consistent enough), there will be more that don't, which will cost you way more strokes than it saves you over the course of 18 holes. Just my 2

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Someone please help me

                        Originally posted by imAnewbie
                        Agrees with everyone, I was once stuck inside the trees and I have a wide clearance to the left, but I'm 210 yards to the green, I tried pulling a low flyer fade... and what do you know I reached the green from inside those trees. One of those shots that I will remember from my whole golfing life! Now if I had my TA4s there, it's gonna be really difficult to cut that low flyer shot, I agree with everyone, having blades forces you to focus on getting clean shots. Because when you do hit a mis hit, it's gonna be really bad for your arm!
                        I once hit a beautiful fade with a 5 iron from behind a tree from 170 yards out to land on the green about 15 feet from the pin. Once. The beauty is I actually meant to do it. But Every other single time I've ever tried a hero shot it always resulted in more strokes to fix the damage. I'm thinking my game would be better served, overall to just punch out from behind a tree and go straight at my target
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                        • #13
                          Re: Someone please help me

                          Goshawk, this thread kinda relates to the poll I started in the golf instruction forum.
                          http://www.torontogolfnuts.com/showthread.php?t=37337

                          I wanted to get a sense of who actually focuses on their target as oppose to other things. I believe a lot of players believe their NATURAL SHOT SHAPE is working the ball, when in fact its the ability to move the flight left OR right on command. However, I find it takes the FUN out of it if you ask me since many play the game for entertainment purposes rather than financial benefit, eventhough that would be nice!

                          Actually, many of the 'big boys' that you mention that work the ball usually fade/draw the ball into the wind so they can get a straighter ball flight out of their shot.

                          Play a match with someone thats actually meaningful, play a $40 Nassau as oppose to a $5 one, high man for the 9 picks up the bill at the turn, high man for 18 picks up the bill for dinner and you'll quickly notice how good they can play or bad!

                          IMO, the pressure isn't there to go low unless its a qualifier or a tournament, or a money game.
                          Hence the saying............'I play for FUN!' A lot of people accept they're a 10 or whatever handicap and go with it and dont look to improve or dont want to put the effort to in to improve or even worse dont know how to improve. I kinda disagree with not improving something that you have such a passion for but thats me.

                          As for clubs, players should play the biggest club they can that minimize the mishits that they can bare to look at!
                          And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought, "Wait a second, could it be?"
                          And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack.
                          Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine.
                          So tonight, I make a toast!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Someone please help me

                            Originally posted by goshawk
                            From reading another thread about using blades vs "players" CB, there were a few responses that got me wondering. Could someone please help me understand why is it so important to your game that you "work" the ball? Being able to align yourself square to the target, throw it out to the right/left and bring it back into the target (in other words, hit a majestic draw/fade on command).....is it really that beneficial?
                            Now I can see the benefit of this on a moderate to long par 4 dogleg with tall trees at the corner where you can't "bomb" it over the trees and land in the fairway. Being able to carve a fade around the corner with the driver makes a ton of sense. I can even see hitting a draw/fade to get around a tree that fronts the green on your side of the fairway/rough. But why would you need to hit a 9-iron approach shot to the green with a "shape" to it? If you're trying to avoid a bunker that the flag is tucked behind, the 9-iron has a high enough trajectory that it's going to "drop and stop" if it's hit cleanly anyway.
                            Is this a result of watching the "big boys/girls" doing this so it's something that you want to be able to do as well? Is it an ego thing? Is it just to show off?
                            Please don't chew me up too much! I'm not picking on anyone or trying to call anyone out. I'm honestly confused as to why someone would want to hit their irons anything but straight at the target. Most of the "amateur" golfers that I've been around (both through teaching and casual playing partners) have trouble getting the ball to go where they are aimed. Add to that trying to hit a fade/draw to the green and the ball could wind up on another fairway with a double-crossed pull hook or a hosel rocket! Afterall, the vast majority of us are not playing this game for a living......it's just a game (personal enjoyment/entertainment/exercise/etc.). Why make it more complicated than it already is by trying to "work" the ball when it's not really necessary?
                            I am leading the charge of blades in the other thread, and I don't really get the "work the ball" argument either. I think a consistent shape, be that a draw or a cut, is what you want. Better yet, consistently straight. Being able to draw/cut on command is so out of the way from where I (or probably any of us) are at.

                            That said, at the top level of the game, I can understand how approaching the target from a specified angle other than "direct" may be beneficial, give you more room for error, etc.

                            I have always wondered though, if you work on shaping the ball, would you see benefit in terms of control? I.e. instead of trying to hit straight, learn a cut, learn a draw, and in the process gain better feeling for your swing that manifests itself in more overall control?

                            Thats just a thought though. Not a belief as such.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Someone please help me

                              Originally posted by cobbie_90
                              i think if you hit a draw of fade at a green then it reacts a lot better on the green (lots of spin) if you just hit straight at it, its gonna spin but not as quick
                              Actually, the spin rate is probably going to be pretty much the same. The difference is that the spin "angle" is not a straight backspin but now a "tilted" spin causing the ball to curve in one direction or the other.

                              Blue, I don't begrudge you or anyone else for trying to improve. I think everyone would enjoy the game a lot more if they continually strive to get better. If that includes learning to "work" the ball, so much the better. If I had the time to devote to my game, I'd be doing a lot more practicing to get more consistent myself.
                              What I'm having trouble justifying in my own head is someone who constantly scores mid-90's or higher trying to learn to "work" the ball. I'm not referring to accomplished players who have their ballstriking pretty much under control.
                              U. S. Air Force, Retired

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