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Golfingdad

How Would You Play It? (Golfingdad)

0   19 votes

  1. 1. How Would You Play It?

    • A - Hit fairway wood at the green.
      3
    • B - Lay up between fairway bunker and the front green side bunker.
      11
    • C - Lay up short of fairway bunker.
      5

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29 posts in this topic

Inspired by the "you should always go for it" talk in the "Breaking into the 80's" thread, I figured I'd throw another one of these up.  This is the 18th hole at my brothers club.  It's a Par 5, 526 yards from the middle tees, sweeping dogleg left, and it usually plays with a left to right slightly helping wind on the tee shot, and slightly hurting on the 2nd shot.  Assuming a good drive, 260 yards or so into the middle of the fairway, here is what you are faced with:

The last time I played it, I hit a good drive, chose to follow the "get it as close as you can" theory and pulled a 3-wood, then hit it beautifully into the front bunker.  But when I got up to it, I realized that perhaps that was not the best course of action.  The pin was all the way back left (where the "+" is on the pic) and it left me with an awkwardly long bunker shot over the edge of another bunker and a lot of rough/fringe to a green running a bit away from me.  I chose to play it safe, stay right, ran it to the back fringe, and managed my par.

With any other pin position, I would have had a reasonable chance at giving myself a good birdie opportunity so I think that is still usually the right play.  However, with that pin position (and we have a big tournament coming up next month where that will be used, I'm sure) I'm wondering if laying up would be better.

My thought is that a hybrid or 4-iron aimed just right of the first bunker would be the best option.  I feel it would be safest because it would leave me short of the water if I push it a little, and it would still clear that bunker if I pulled it a little.  Ideally, it would leave me a 55-60 yard pitch shot and the further right I could get it, the more green I'd have to work with.

Option "C" would be to lay up short and right of the bunker, leaving a 100-110 yard third shot.

What say you, TST??

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Yep, option B.  I'm hitting a 200 yd hybrid right down the throat, favoring the left side just a bit just in case I catch it a little heavy.

The benefit of getting 20 yards closer in this case is far out-weighed by the risk of dumping it in the water right or bunker front.  I'll take that little 60 yd pitch all day long.

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hmm tricky one....if you can reach the front bunker you can also reach the water with a big block/push or wind "assisted" shot.

Front bunker and fairway bunker with that pin position scream "sucker" to me! Not many could fly that front bunker let alone stop it on green if they did lash on on the wind...... lay it up,wedge in with good look at bird,worst case par and move on.Plenty of guys will go for it and make 6 out of that/those bunkers in comp so focus on other opportunities...good luck!

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Keep in mind I live in CO. No way I hit 3w in fear of a high push because it's my miss and could definitely get it there and then some, the space between the green and water looks to be sloped towards it. A 5h gets me over the bunker at 189 and whatever the pitch ends up being seems it ordinary. Not really sure it falls into layup territory not going for a par 5 in 2 for most amateurs, birdie is still on the table if you pitch it close. For me it's just course management.

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Yep, option B.  I'm hitting a 200 yd hybrid right down the throat, favoring the left side just a bit just in case I catch it a little heavy.

The benefit of getting 20 yards closer in this case is far out-weighed by the risk of dumping it in the water right or bunker front.  I'll take that little 60 yd pitch all day long.

QFT

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If I could reach the green with a 3W a good percentage of the time I would probably assume that risk.

If I couldn't reach the green I would lay up short of the bunkers.

Even though in most cases a bunker shot would be OK I wouldn't take the chance of the ball plugging in the lip or something just for a few yards advantage.

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Either A or B, probably more often B. If I hit a longer drive and thought I could get a hybrid there rather than a fairway wood, A would be more likely. The one thing that gives me pause about B is that you really have to get close to that water to have much of an angle. If you're not going to have a good shot into the green, it makes more sense just to go for it. (Also, I added a poll.)
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Either A or B, probably more often B. If I hit a longer drive and thought I could get a hybrid there rather than a fairway wood, A would be more likely.

The one thing that gives me pause about B is that you really have to get close to that water to have much of an angle. If you're not going to have a good shot into the green, it makes more sense just to go for it.

(Also, I added a poll.)

Even from the left side, there's quite a bit of room right of that pin.  Left of center and I'm aiming my pitch 15-20 feet right of the pin.  60 yards allows for a nice hard, spinny pitch that's gonna stop pretty much where it lands.  About the only way to screw up the pitch is to short side yourself or dump it in the bunker.  The former would be stupid (though I can certainly do that) and the latter would take a really terrible shot for a decent player.  I'm happy with as many 20 foot birdie putts as the golf gods will allow in any given round.....if only I could make a few more of them.

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The one thing that gives me pause about B is that you really have to get close to that water to have much of an angle. If you're not going to have a good shot into the green, it makes more sense just to go for it.

This is the crux of why I brought this up.  My thought was that if I could lay up far enough right, I'd give myself a shot right up the neck of the green.  But you're right, you have to get really, really close to the water, and also that big tree, to take the bunkers out of play, so it's really not feasible.

So, now I'm comparing a 25-30 yard awkward bunker shot, to a 50-60 pitch over those same bunkers.  I don't lose as much as I thought I did by hitting into those bunkers, but by laying up, I, at least, gain the comfort of knowing I'm not going in the water.

(Also, I added a poll.)

Thanks!!  (I forgot :8) )

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A. My miss with a 3-wood is a pull. I rarely ever push or fade my 3-wood. The worst that could happen is hitting it left of the traps and having to get up and down from there. If the water was on the left, I would choose option B.

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This is the crux of why I brought this up.  My thought was that if I could lay up far enough right, I'd give myself a shot right up the neck of the green.  But you're right, you have to get really, really close to the water, and also that big tree, to take the bunkers out of play, so it's really not feasible.

So, now I'm comparing a 25-30 yard awkward bunker shot, to a 50-60 pitch over those same bunkers.  I don't lose as much as I thought I did by hitting into those bunkers, but by laying up, I, at least, gain the comfort of knowing I'm not going in the water.

Thanks!!  (I forgot )

That's probably the biggest thing for me.  Then a big number on a relatively benign par-5 could rear it's ugly head.  Then I'm back home kicking the cat again....

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A. My miss with a 3-wood is a pull. I rarely ever push or fade my 3-wood. The worst that could happen is hitting it left of the traps and having to get up and down from there. If the water was on the left, I would choose option B.

LOL ... it's funny that you should say that because the 12th hole of that course is the other par 5 on the back nine.  And it's the one just to the right edge of the picture.  Everything about it is quite similar.  521 yards, slight dogleg left (although a tree off the right side of the tee area forces you to hit a cut with your drive to avoid the left trees).  But hit a good drive, and you are in a similar position, however, with the pond on the left side of the green.  It even has a little bunker in the same landing area, 75 or so yards short of the green.  (That hole also has OB right, but you have to miss waaaay right to get to it)

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I said A but the way I have been driving lately, I would play the fairway of the hole on the left up to the green...
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Since the poll was put up I had to go with "B" and that's probably what I would do most of the time.

On days where I really feel confident I would go with "A" if we are assuming we can reach the green?

One thing I probably will never do, even though many people do, is hit a shot that the best case scenario is into a bunker. I'm not a terrible bunker player but I don't like the risk of getting plugged.

BTW. I wouldn't consider the water a factor in my decision and would be very unlikely to miss over there. The other hole mentioned where the water is on the left would be a big factor for me unless I hit a fade which would put me in the bunker at best.

So on that other hole I would be more likely to lay up than on this hole.

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@Golfingdad , what is left of the green? You cut off some potentially valuable real estate in the photo.
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@Golfingdad, what is left of the green? You cut off some potentially valuable real estate in the photo.

Whoops, my bad.  Here is the hole zoomed out a bit:

There is a roughly 15 yard wide strip of grass (cut to rough height I believe, but the rough here is not very penal) between the bunkers and the cart path.  If you go over there, though, and hit the cart path, then you're probably in the parking lot OB.  Left of the cart path and short is the tenth tee and a small putting green.  Left of the path and long is a beautiful lawn that they use for outdoor weddings.  Pretty sure they will frown upon shots being attempted off of that lawn, so I'm going to make the assumption that it is OB as well, but I don't know that for sure.

Also, for more perspective, here is the entire hole:

The clouded areas are the tee and the approximate landing area for a good drive.  I probably should mention that you pretty much have to hit a draw if you want to hit it long AND be out of the trees on the right.

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I will try to play but I can't get there so easy for me. If the numbers are right I can probably get to that spot or a tad further off the box a high percentage of time but no way I can reach the green or even that bunker with a 3 wood off the fairway. Maybe I need to work on that. I am a very aggressive golfer but as is, if I know the pin is in the back either from the card or the color of the flag, I take 7 iron(150-155) and hit a nice fluid lay up, not worrying about location of the bunkers and just play over them next shot, and try my best to leave me a full PW or 9 Iron to at least center of the green if not the back side versus running a 3 wood up and giving me a half to 3/4 sand wedge over bunkers. Now if that was 210-215 to the front with the same information I go for it 100% of the time and don't give a crap about the water or the bunker. We gamble and my group will tell you if this was 18 and I was 1 stroke up on the back and the card and this was a 5 hole carry over they would have no doubt whatsoever that if I think I can reach that green I sure the heck am going to try.

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