I agree that it feels worse to setup for 145 an hit only 125, but on the course hitting too far might mean adding 2 strokes for a badly placed ball or even a potential OB. I tend to layup more at this point in my game, maybe more than I need. Just not that confident with hitting yet.
Off the tee, I can see how I might get 10 yards on each club.
Also, I am just learning to avoid coming over the top. Takes some getting used to.
I find myself saying this all the time when playing "I'd rather be short than long here" because, as you say, a lot of times there are severe penalties if you go passed the green.