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MS256

Do you know your distances. Really?

37 posts in this topic

A couple of times this year a team member has asked me the distance to the pin and I gave it to them. Both times they hit the ball over the green and in trouble. One in the water and one in the woods.

Both times after they hit the shot they said "There is no way that distance is right."

Since I use a GPS I couldn't be completely sure so I borrowed a friend's range finder later and went back to those spots. According to the range finder I was 1 yard off on one and right on the number on the other. If my GPS had been off enough to cause those shots I would have pitched it in the lake.

Both of these guys are very good players (much better than I am).

In my own game I have an idea what my distances are, and use that information to pick a club, but the distance I hit any particular club can vary by quite a bit depending on what I am seeing and feeling. I'm basically picking a club and swinging as fast as I feel I need to swing it to reach the target.

I decided to make this thread after reading in another forum where somebody lost 5 yards using a certain ball.

I would have to hit many, many balls and probably have to hit different balls alternately to even come close to knowing that for sure. Even on what feel like equally well hit balls my driver distances can and do commonly vary by 15 yards or more even with the same golf ball.

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Yep,

My 6 iron goes about 195, then I take off about 12 yards for every club bellow it, and add 11 yards for every club above it.

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I'm more often wide of the target than I am significantly long or short (not that my distance is always perfect either :whistle: ).  I use a GPS too, but I don't rely on it exclusively - I also use the course markings when handy as a double check on the GPS, so I know my typical club distances are pretty close.  If those guys don't like the numbers you give them, tell them to get their own distances.

I've had a similar experience, only in my case our balls were only a couple of yards apart.  He hit long to the extreme back of a long green with a nasty downhill 60 foot putt while from the same distance I was pin high but 15 yards right.  He blamed my GPS for being off, yet I paced from our balls to the laser measured distance plaque at 150 yards in the fairway and got the same number.  He still didn't buy it (it was the first time he played there), so I just shrugged.

What can you do?  They ask - I give them what they ask for, and they don't like it.  So don't ask! :blink:

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I use a Garmin S1 which I love. It's helped tremendously with yardages, particularly under 100 yards where sprinkler heads at my course are scant. It makes a big difference if your off by 10 yards. That's an extra 30 feet on the putt. I know my distances pretty well. I try to swing only 80%. That gives me consistent distances which seem repeatable. If I need 10 more yards, I grab the next lower iron. If I need to get over a tree (which is often) or carry a front bunker, I may swing the higher lofted club harder. I never fly greens from a normal swing. I may go off the back when I have to swing differently, such as above.
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With certain tolerances I know my distances. These can all change by +/- 5 yards or so. These may not be accurate too much longer with the changes I've been making to my swing though.

lw 90

sw 115

aw 135

pw 145

9i 155

8i 165

7i 175

6i 185

5i 195

4i 205

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I know what my "carry" distance is with each club. The roll out is what it is depending on the turf conditions, and of course will change due to other factors beyond my control.

I do carry both a GPS, and a lazer meter. However, I don't use them that often when playing. What I do is look at my chosen  landing area, and then subtract 10 yards from what I think the yardage is. Then I pull the appropriate club. I started doing this because I had a bad habit of thinking I could hit the ball farther than I actually could with any given club.

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As a high HC guys I know approximate distance of my clubs ... but I think like a lot of guys that shot around 100 any club can vary front, back, and side to side a LOT ...

I like knowing the font edge ... my goal is to get on the green ... while I have a laser and I know my distance "to the pin" and given we are talking from the fairway and level'ish ground ... I subtract yards and try to carry to front of the green ...

On a good day ... my 8i will roll out to 150'ish

Again a lot variables ... but that is basic concept ... I know I can not stop the ball well at this stage of my game, so I need to consider the roll out ...

However, 80 yards in ... I can do a fairly good job of dropping a SW in close to the flag ... but that is all feel and practice those distances a bunch.

(I have access to a short practice area at a course ... its limited so I usually have it to myself and go at twice a week.)

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I know them pretty well. Can't account for every exceptionally good and bad strike of course, but I do know what to expect and what I usually hit. This is a result from playing with a rangefinder for some years now. I shoot flags, trees, bunkers etc., pick the club I think is right, and evaluate the shot after.

It is of course possible without gadgets, but a GPS or rangefinder does make this task quite a bit easier.

One should ideally hit a number of balls with the same club and record the results (ref. mapping your shot zone from Lowest Score Wins), but I haven't done this yet.

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To be honest, no I don't. It's only six months since I started playing again, and only two since I bought a new set of irons. And as I continue to practise, and take lessons, my ball-striking is improving somewhat. So on Tuesday, for example, I was through the green on several holes because I was hitting the ball further than I'm used to. As things settle down and my ball-striking gets more consistent, I'll re-evaluate the distances on the practice ground.
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Distance is something I typically try to verify each time I play.  Some days I am hitting the ball better, some days the ball is carrying farther, etc...

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With certain tolerances I know my distances. These can all change by +/- 5 yards or so. These may not be accurate too much longer with the changes I've been making to my swing though. lw 90 sw 115 aw 135 pw 145 9i 155 8i 165  7i 175 6i 185 5i 195 4i 205

You do swing hard. :) The nice thing about the GPS is that I know where I am hitting and when I walk a straight line to where my ball landed, I subtract that yardage. You have get a feel for the ball release. Love my GPS.

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I know what good contact should get me for any given iron. I also use GPS and because the quality of my shots varies so much I usually take into consideration how the hole sets up, where the flag is etc, wind and where I should allow room for error. I rarely choose to play a max distance shot, more often than not come up short trying to hit it hard if I do that. On flat holes may even take one more club and swing easy, uphill maybe two if I haven't been hitting it well. Basically I plan for the mishit because more often than not that is the result. I can live with the long miss that comes from rare excellent contact. Longer irons are where it becomes a crap shoot. I can hit a 5i 210 or 100 feet.

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Assuming I hit the ball properly, I know roughly within 5-10 yards how far I hit my SW to 5 iron. Then I'll just choke up on the longer club if I'm in between clubs.

My woods and driver are too inconsistent to say I "really" know those distances.

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What can you do?  They ask - I give them what they ask for, and they don't like it.  So don't ask!

Yeah next time somebody asks I think I'll just tell them my battery went dead. ;-)

Distance is something I typically try to verify each time I play.  Some days I am hitting the ball better, some days the ball is carrying farther, etc...

I tried coming up with a "standard swing speed" a while back so I could count on a certain club to go a certain distance but that turned out to be a disaster and I was air-mailing about every other green.

Works much better for me to just go by the feel of the club and hit it hard enough to get there.

I always want to know how far the target is even if I am playing a shot that's much less than full like maybe a 7 iron from 80 yards that I have to keep under some branches. It seems that I am using the knowledge of the distance to know how hard I need to swing the club but it doesn't seem as important for me to use the knowledge of the distance to choose a particular club.

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What is weird is guys playing better than 5.1 golf are still winging it. I look at the GPS every time, there are holes at a few courses I play that are 10-15 yards off on the sprinklers. I am thankful most around here went to GPS carts.

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What is weird is guys playing better than 5.1 golf are still winging it. I look at the GPS every time, there are holes at a few courses I play that are 10-15 yards off on the sprinklers. I am thankful most around here went to GPS carts.

You use it all the time? Over here the use of rangefinders and GPS is banned in competition, and I thought the USPGA rules were that rounds played with the assistance of a rangefinder or other distance-measuring device were invalid for handicapping purposes. Am I wrong about that?

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You use it all the time? Over here the use of rangefinders and GPS is banned in competition, and I thought the USPGA rules were that rounds played with the assistance of a rangefinder or other distance-measuring device were invalid for handicapping purposes. Am I wrong about that?


Yep it's attached to the cart. Kind of tough not to. Also handy for refilling my beer order on the 8th hole when it displays the number for the bar/restaurant.

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Yep it's attached to the cart. Kind of tough not to. Also handy for refilling my beer order on the 8th hole when it displays the number for the bar/restaurant.

Yes, I get that it's attached to the cart, though as I carry my bag that wouldn't affect me. But my question remains - is it within the rules to use it in competition?

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