Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shot shaping

Shot shaping is something I've stayed away from since I've been trying so hard just to hit the ball straight I didn't see how it would be possible to tell if I was doing it on purpose or not. It's just not sensible trying something like that until you can hit the ball consistently.

In my last round at Indian creek I was doing pretty well in some regards (long game), but the round was a failure from the point of view of breaking 100 due to my short game. In situations like that, I tend to let myself experiment a little more in the latter part of the round.

On one par five I found myself in the trees on the left, with little to do but chip out sideways. There was a tree bang in front of me and no gaps in the canopy. Depressing.

So, I decided that this might be a good opportunity to try playing a draw intentionally. I have tried before but always failed, because my swing involuntarily changes itself due to the different club face angle I create. It is as though your mind is determined that the club will hit the ball square on. This time I resolved to remain consistent.

I picked one of my hybrid clubs, and did a practice swing; noticing the weird effect on my swing again. So, I tried once more, this time taking care to ignore the clubface angle as best I could, and got a much more consistent swing out of it.

When I struck the ball for real, I was delighted to get a clean contact. I was even more delighted when I looked up to see the ball arcing beautifully to the left. It continued to do so until it caught one of the tree branches on the far side of the fairway.

So, not a 100% success, but a lot to be happy about. I've not done this before so I couldn't be expected to know how much the ball would curve. I'm sure that the combination of club and clubface angle can make for quite a combination of different types of ball flights, both in terms of height, curve and totall roll: I just got the combination wrong this time.

One thing's certain though: I was in a much better position than I'd have been in had I just chipped out sideways...



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