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One great thing about playing with persimmon, blades, and balata is the ability to shape your shots around the course. Pros used to spend time practicing all the shots: high draw, medium draw, low draw, high fade, medium fade low fade, etc. The modern ball has diminished, although not totally eliminated, the ability to work the ball and I suspect that even the technique of the few remaining masters has deteriorated from lack of necessity and lack of use. That’s why I love when shotmaking strategies and techniques are captured in written word, images, or film. Here’s a great series of videos from Ken Venturi delving into some of these topics in great detail. It’s not as simple as “aim right, keep face at target, swing on body line”. It takes a mastery of clubface awareness and control.

Quite scary to think that when the Nick Price / Tom Watson / Peter Senior generation passes out of the competitive ranks the knowledge and mastery of shotmaking technique may go with them and never return.

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