I was watching some golf clips yesterday and notice that most professionals have fantastic control on how they shape the ball. It seems that most focus on using a draw, but the real great players have control of how far and how much shape they put on the ball. Personally, I hit the ball straight most of the time and rarely try to shape the ball. It is a skill I have, but not something I rely on because it is not as effective as I need to score well. Having said that, can you shape your golf shot at will?
Being able to shape the ball opens many shot opportunities. Everyone knows that a strong fade or draw at the right time provides a player with the chance to save or gain strokes. At Osprey Links, having this ability is very important, especially on the back nine. There is a stretch of 3 – short par 4 – holes where all three shots are needed if I expect to have a chance at birdie.
The first tee shot is a straight 3 hybrid or 4 iron. The landing area looks bigger than it is because if your ball lands on the left center, it either goes into the woods on the left or your shot to the green is blocked. Land right of center and your ball will likely go in the rough or woods. This shot looks simple, but let me tell you that hitting the ball straight is very important. Additionally, you will be fights a wind (usually left to right) because it is the highest point on the course. The target area is the person in the red shirt in the picture.
Off the 13th tee, the aggressive shot is a baby draw around the corner. There is room to bail out to the right, but it will leave about 140 shot into an elevated green. A small fade will set this shot up perfectly by leaving about 100 yards in. A 3 wood is the smart play, but most players hit driver to be close to the green. One has to be careful because anything short left (125 yards from the green or more) and you will be blocked out by the trees. Hitting a driver straight and long will put you in the woods at the end of the fairway. the aim point with a draw is the left side of the cart path beside the rock.
Sorry, no picture. However, this is a challenging hole that requires a fade shot if you are going to hit driver. I generally use a 3 wood and hit to 140 yards out at the corner. However, I have it driver to be aggressive. Hitting the fade will allow your ball to go around the corner and finish on a flat lie about 75 yards from the green. For me, I can only hit my driver if the wind is blowing from left to right and that is rare. Overall, a fade is the best shot of you can hit the ball far enough with a strong fade.
As you can see, that in three holes at Osprey Links Golf Course, the best play is to work the ball. If you can, then scoring low on these holes is very possible. However, if you cannot work the ball, I suggest thinking about where you want to leave the ball using your course management strategy. Again, I am not able to work the ball at a high percentage, but I am willing to try.
Can you work the ball at will?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!