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Working The Ball Both Ways


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#1 PapaBravo

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:18 AM

Interested in hearing the thoughts of the forums...

 

At what point, if any, does a player need to become competent at working the ball both ways.

 

I hit a natural draw shape, and lack some confidence in alignment with an intentional cut or fade. I understand the concept of hitting the fade, and can do so on demand, but from a directional point of view it can result in a straight pull or too much of a push fade. I feel as though half of the problem is confidence in the shot, and whilst 1 in 2 shots will end up with a reasonable result, I almost make excuses not to hit a fade even when it's the obvious shot shape required.

 

Many pro players have their stock shot flight, and just become so good at it that they almost never have to bother with changing it, Dustin Johnson would be the perfect example here, where he will hit a fade off the tee almost regardless of the shape of the hole. He mostly gets away with it due to his power and precision. Other players like Jason Day will draw it much more frequently than bothering with a cut.

 

So I suppose the questions here are:

 

How important is it to have confidence in hitting both draws and fades?

At what point should a player focus on developing that part of their game further, rather than focusing on other things (putting, chipping, pitching etc)?

Do we ever become fully confident in our non-preferred shot shape?


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#2 Itchy4Scratch

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:28 AM

Depends on your preference, in my opinion. I see the shot I want to play in terms of ball flight and that's both right and left. If the pin is on the right of the green I can aim at the centre and cut it, if it's on the left I can aim at the centre and draw it. The golden rule here is that you don't want to ever get punished for a straight shot. 

Some others will just pick a target that means they can hit their favoured shot, even if that means they won't be as close to the hole or in the best position in the fairway. Say you want to hit your draw to a pin on the RH side of the green. You have to aim right of the green which will punish you if you hit it straight. Otherwise you aim at the pin and draw it knowing you aren't going to hit it close unless you get lucky and hit it straight. 

The other thing to consider is distance control. If you can work the ball both ways, you have an option to hit a given club to different distances and it allows you to play better in the wind.

For example, with your draw I bet you struggle to hit good shots with a 30kmh right to left wind (assuming you're Right handed) If you could hit a fade with confidence you could take a club or two extra and hold a fade in to the wind, making the shot go straighter and with far less run out when it bounces. 

 


Edited by Itchy4Scratch, 09 October 2017 - 11:29 AM.

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#3 PapaBravo

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:50 AM

The golden rule here is that you don't want to ever get punished for a straight shot.

 

Sometimes stating the obvious is the best response ever.

 

I think whilst what you stated here should be obvious to everyone, something so simple can be overlooked in the thought process pre-swing.

 

I think I'm going to try incorporating this into my next round, and it may help overcome my reservations on hitting the cut when it's required. I fear it may just result in more straight shots rather than cuts, just due to my natural in to out swingpath, but using this mindset it might be enough to remain in play even on my bad cuts.


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#4 Weetbix

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 12:18 PM

I know where you're coming from PB

I can hit a ball that moves right but controlling the start line and how much it moves is something I can't do consistently

I have been changing my swing to make my path closer to square (I have always had a strong in to our path) which should help with this

It's something I want to develop but it's not a big priority yet - getting a more consistent confident shape that I can use to give myself more margin for error is first; our resident guru here has emphasised to me a number of times that I need that ability first

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#5 Deege

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:01 PM

But can you draw a ball around a tree with a gap wedge?


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#6 bazinoz

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:51 PM

But can you draw a ball around a tree with a gap wedge?

 

Yep.

 

 

Every single time that I don't want to.


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#7 PapaBravo

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 05:00 PM

Yep.

 

 

Every single time that I don't want to.

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#8 bazinoz

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 05:24 PM

 

 

Very true Papa. Where did you get that pic of me?


Edited by bazinoz, 09 October 2017 - 05:25 PM.


#9 Tochakka

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 08:18 PM

I can hook a ball on command and slice the ears off it with out much trouble.
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#10 Ji Bao He

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:35 PM


All I know is that if I commit to hitting a shot that requires a cut or fade from the treeline, I always go up two clubs for the distance I know I will lose.
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#11 wOzz

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:09 AM

I've had the pleasure of 2putts company on several occasions since the nationals started and the mans ability to move the ball both ways is great to watch. I have done my best to incorporate it into my swing when the need arises and it works. l only change the swing path on the back swing, nice quiet hands and a baby fade or draw is the result 90% of the time. The other 10% is a push or pull, but l can work on that.


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#12 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:31 PM

It can only benefit your game by being able to move the ball in either direction ... so I'd say its never to early to learn. Its all about control however and being able to narrow both draw and fade shapes down enough to fit into the particular hole your about to play.

 

Its important with irons to hold up against a crosswind when hitting into a green, but even more so off the tee I think, where you can ride the wind with a particular shot shape in order to gain some additional distance.


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#13 Can Break 80

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:35 AM

I would say that learning to draw or slice a ball at will is not essential skill a golfers needs to learn to in order to break 100, 90, or even 85.

far better to focus your valuable practice time on short game improvement to reduce your scores.

 

However, as ones skill level improves and knowledge of your own swing we do develop a standard shot shape which gives us good shots.

ie a fade might be good shot and your bad one becomes an over top pull left.

 

Instead of playing with a consistent shape shot (ie a fade) and learning how to score with that, what happens to a lot of golfers is they fiddle  around with their swings trying to hit hooks to counteract slices or try another "tip or secret???) to try and get rid of the slice.

 

result is instead of hitting nice fades down middle keeping ball in play and scoring well they end up snap hooking and or not knowing where ball is going and score worse or dont improve

 

Once your game develops to point where can consistently control distance of shots, with a fade, I would recommend to learn this new skill by having a few lessons so teacher can give you the right way to hit draws for your swing.


Edited by Can Break 80, 12 October 2017 - 12:37 AM.

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#14 2Putts

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:44 PM

 

At what point, if any, does a player need to become competent at working the ball both ways.

 

How important is it to have confidence in hitting both draws and fades?

 

At what point should a player focus on developing that part of their game further, rather than focusing on other things (putting, chipping, pitching etc)?

 

Do we ever become fully confident in our non-preferred shot shape?

 

Playing better golf is about incrementally understanding and getting better at controlling club face in relation to club path. The sooner this is learnt the sooner the result becomes less of a lottery.

 

​Lots of ways to learn but sticking an old shaft or an alignment stick in the ground about 15 metres in front and bending a gentle low 4 iron 150m or so around it both ways works pretty well.

 

Even if a player wants to have a stock shot, they should still understand what creates that stock shot rather that it just being there with any understanding of what creates it.

 

Fully confident, ha ha yeah no B)  Not even the Pros get it right all the time but it sure helps if you've got the whole fairway to hit rather than only half of it regardless of how the hole bends.


Edited by 2Putts, 12 October 2017 - 06:58 PM.

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