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Conservative play versus Aggressive

Poll Results: Do you play mostly conservatively, mostly aggressive, or a little bit of both depending on situation?

 
  • 29% (20)
    Mostly conservative
  • 20% (14)
    Mostly aggressive
  • 49% (33)
    A bit of both
67 Total Votes  
post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

I just wanted to see how people view their play in terms of whether they play more aggressively by attacking every pin, keeping it conservative and going for the middle of the green, or playing both ways based on the situation that arises for each hole.  I understand it really depends on skill level, but even people who have higher handicaps play mostly aggressive.

post #2 of 52
The only thing in my game that I'd label as "aggressive" is that I tend to go for pins that aren't heavily guarded. Since I almost always do I had to vote for "a little of both", but I don't think anyone would label me as "aggressive" in my game.
I don't try to carry hazards that I can't reasonably expect to (I lay up if in doubt), I don't hit more club than I can control, I aim away from trouble, I don't muscle any putts, and I don't go for greens or pins that are well protected if I'm too far away.
post #3 of 52

I would consider myself overly conservative. I will always be short on par putts knowing that if I am long its a guaranteed double at best.

 

The only time I will be aggressive is with long layups before hazards since if I hit it long it only costs me a stroke and not distance.

 

This strategy has helped me get closer to being a bogey golfer, but will probably stunt my growth if I dont get a bit more aggressive.

post #4 of 52

RIght now my goal is bogey or double bogey golf, so guess that makes me conservative.  Aggressive = not thinking for me, and almost always backfires. 

post #5 of 52

Learning your limitations on a golf course will greatly lower your scores. It's called course management. When you get on the tee, look at the hole in front of you. Where is the trouble? Where is the best place to miss? What is the best angle into the green? Most of the decisions to be made on the course evolve with conditions and how you're playing, but a proper mindset should be the goal of everyone.

 

If you come to a short par 4 with a heavily guarded green, don't just pull driver because there isn't too much trouble off the tee. Try to leave yourself a full shot that you can bring in high and soft. On a par 5 that you know you cannot reach in two, hit something off the tee that will leave you in the fairway. It doesn't matter if you're far back, you'll be laying up anyways. I play smart off the tee, but I'm very aggressive going at pins. Rarely do I go for the middle of the green, but I also know when a pin is tucked away in a tough spot. Unless you pull off the absolute perfect shot, the chances of short-siding yourself and then having an extremely hard shot to get up and down are very good. I think a lot of this comes with experience playing and knowing your game, but we can all approach the course the same way. The pros look like they are always being aggressive, but that's because they are putting themselves in the right position to do so. When they get on the tee, they look to which side of the fairway they want to be on to give them the best angle at the pin. Now, chances are good that many of us are simply worried about putting the ball on the short stuff first, but it doesn't hurt to have these kinds of thoughts in mind. Keeping your focus on what you need to improve is how you get better; don't think about the end result of being a bogey golfer, rather think of the process it takes to get from point A to point B on a course. You'll find yourself in better positions in no time. Trust me.

post #6 of 52

I'm stupid.  I'll just fire at the pin.  I'll try to shape it from the center of the green out to it, but I gotta work on thinking these things over haha

post #7 of 52

I said a bit of both, because I am rather aggressive off the tee, but rather conservative with my approach shots.  My game might be a little better if I played the other way around, but I feel like I am finally learning how to play this game.  So I have been getting better with my course management...just have to get better at it.

post #8 of 52

I also said a bit of both. I take the entire hole into account, some holes just don't work well for me playing them too aggressive but other holes I can be completely aggressive on. Just as mentioned earlier, course management, knowing when and where to be aggressive or when to play more conservative. 

post #9 of 52

I am conservative off the tee and really get into trouble with being aggressive with my irons or hybrids trying to do something my skill level just doesn't warrant.

post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastid View Post

Learning your limitations on a golf course will greatly lower your scores. It's called course management. When you get on the tee, look at the hole in front of you. Where is the trouble? Where is the best place to miss? What is the best angle into the green? Most of the decisions to be made on the course evolve with conditions and how you're playing, but a proper mindset should be the goal of everyone.

 

If you come to a short par 4 with a heavily guarded green, don't just pull driver because there isn't too much trouble off the tee. Try to leave yourself a full shot that you can bring in high and soft. On a par 5 that you know you cannot reach in two, hit something off the tee that will leave you in the fairway. It doesn't matter if you're far back, you'll be laying up anyways. I play smart off the tee, but I'm very aggressive going at pins. Rarely do I go for the middle of the green, but I also know when a pin is tucked away in a tough spot. Unless you pull off the absolute perfect shot, the chances of short-siding yourself and then having an extremely hard shot to get up and down are very good. I think a lot of this comes with experience playing and knowing your game, but we can all approach the course the same way. The pros look like they are always being aggressive, but that's because they are putting themselves in the right position to do so. When they get on the tee, they look to which side of the fairway they want to be on to give them the best angle at the pin. Now, chances are good that many of us are simply worried about putting the ball on the short stuff first, but it doesn't hurt to have these kinds of thoughts in mind. Keeping your focus on what you need to improve is how you get better; don't think about the end result of being a bogey golfer, rather think of the process it takes to get from point A to point B on a course. You'll find yourself in better positions in no time. Trust me.



Well said.

 

 

post #11 of 52

I play agressive with anything less than a 7-iron. I also swing hard off the tee but use less club. Is that agressively conservative or conservatively agressive? Every time I aim for the centre of the green, lands exactly on the centre of the green, it makes me a little angry - shoulda fired at the pin and taken my chances!

post #12 of 52

I tend to be a conservative putter and chipper, but I play pretty aggressive the rest of the time. A lot of it is because I don't hit my 3 wood or hybrid any straighter than my driver. 

post #13 of 52

Personally for me its a bit of both, and depends on the situation and circumstances.  I also feel that conservative and aggressive have different meanings to different players and different abilities. Swinging hard with a driver to me is not aggressive, but fitting that tee shot into an area that could be of great advantage but with risk is. Going dead at every pin isn't aggressive, only when there is high risk of making a large number if you miss your target.

 

I see a few example so I'll try and explain one here. A course I play at has a 309 yard par 4, dogleg right with water between the tee and green, sand on corner. Traps both left of the green and right of the green. A lay up is usually with a 3 iron, leaving about 85 yards. To go for the green, a carry of 265. In the last 8 rounds, I have layed up 4 times, and went of the green 4 times. I'm 2 under in those 8 tries with both birdies coming from the green side trap off the tee. The 4 lay up attempts have averaged 12 feet from the pin on the approach, all good looks. But from the sand, I was within 5 feet 3 of the 4 and 10 feet on the other. Statistically I can see that I need to work on 12-15 foot putts, and 85 yard wedge shots, but the risk of the water and sand is not as great as consistently making birdies. However, I'll add, it only takes one bad swing to change all that, next time I play that hole the outcome might be completely different.

post #14 of 52

I used to be aggressive.  But after losing literally hands full of strokes by doing so, I've managed my game into 'miss it where it doesn't hurt'.

 

Golf is a punitive game - more so than almost any other that I can think of.  You can yank a bowling strike shot a full 4" and still hit the 'Brooklyn' pocket and get a strike.  Pull a tee shot the same amount, and you could be: in the woods; in the water; in the bunker; OB; behind the lone tree in the fairway; etc.

 

Golf really is a game of 'good misses'.  You almost HAVE to shape your shot away from the trouble spots to be any good.  JMHO

post #15 of 52

Great topic.

 

This is Raymond Floyd's list of most common mistakes by amateurs:

 

1) Underclubbing

2) Swinging too hard

3) Automatically shooting at every flag

4) Not playing away from trouble

5) Missing the green on the wrong side of the flag

6) Trying for too much out of trouble

7) Trying shots you have never practiced

8) Panicking in the sand

9) Misreading turf and lie situations

10) Consistently under-reading the break on greens

 

The first 6 would all fall into the over-aggressive category, I think.  As a bogey golfer I have to try hard to stay away from the big numbers.I figure that in any given round about half my holes will result in bogey and how the other half go will determine what kind of round I have.  So I am trying to be more conservative and smart about how I play.  Another thing that Ray says is to "play comfortable", by which he means don't swing at more than 85% full power.  That one is easier in theory than practice, for me.

post #16 of 52

I love playing aggressively, But i had to put a little of both  If im feeling it that day or have been executing good shots I get very aggressive, but if it is one of those days where it seems I cant pay for a good shot I play very conservative and try to grind it out.

post #17 of 52
Thread Starter 

Normally, I'm an aggressive player.  When I start to get conservative is when I get into trouble because I get into a mindset that I don't need to work to get my shot.  When I'm aggressive, I work hard on getting the shot where I want it, and so I have done on average, better when I'm more aggressive than not.  A good example is par 5's, because I hate laying up.  Whenever I lay up, I hit a horrible shot that ends up in trouble, so I might as well hit the ball as close to the green as I possibly can if I'm going to get into trouble anyway.  However, if the hole is ridiculous near the green, I won't be so stupid.  I also like to work the ball, so I usually attack the pin.

post #18 of 52

mostly conservative but with some aggressive shots as well. my aggressive shots are my 2nd shots on a par 5 to try and make the green.

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