FROM THE LINKS | Getting to Know Your Shape

05/29/14 | By | More

Recently, after playing the back nine at Cobble Creek, I realized that I had hit every club in my bag that round.  I’m not sure I have ever played an 18-hole round of golf where I hit every club in my bag, let alone a 9-hole round. While playing, I discovered it to be a great practice round. It allowed me to work on one type “shape” of shot – a draw.  Working on one “shape” of shot will make your game much easier to manage.

Most golfers should develop a consistent shot pattern. Whether it be left to right (fade) or right to left (draw). This does two very important things. Knowing your “shot shape” eliminates one half of the golf course. This is because if you know that your normal shot plays left to right consistently, any trouble on the left side of the fairway is taken out of play. Conversely, a right to left draw will eliminate any fairway trouble on the right. This then simplifies your decision making process for course management.

Think about some of the courses you have played in the past and how many holes require a certain shot. Some may favor a particular shape of shot, but seldom is it a must.  There are many tour players who are very comfortable working the ball both ways.  (Bubba Watson comes to mind). Most players however favor one “shape” or the other, especially when there is any added pressure.

If you are a right to left player, tee your ball up on the left side of the tee box and aim down the right side of the fairway or green.  Do the opposite if you are a left to right player. This creates a better angle which allows you to only play half of the hole being played.

You must remember that when using a more lofted club (8-iron through sand wedge), the ball will not move sideways as much – especially left to right Therefore, these shots can be played closer to the target. Take Dead Aim!  As the clubs get longer (7-iron through driver) and the loft decreases, it becomes much easier to curve the ball.  Shots with these clubs must be given more room to curve the ball to its target. A helpful hint:  Avoid starting (aiming) your intended line of flight outside of the fairway or off the green. If it does not curve, you will still be near the intended target.

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Category: Sports, Tips from the Pros

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