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bad course strategy.......it destroys so many rounds for high handicappers.... - Page 3

post #37 of 178

Playing at the local hillside Executive  9 - it's amazing how many drivers I see pulled on 250 yd par 4's and 3 woods on 150 yd par 3's. Whats funny is that these are not the players who overshoot the greens, that's usually done by guys bombing a PW on an 100 yd hole.

 

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post #38 of 178

One of the things that I've done and it really helped me learn course management is to try and go out and play bogey golf.  What I mean by that is when you start playing and feel you are hitting the ball decent, most players would be happy with any score in the high 80's.  So occasionally I'll go out and play every hole for bogey.  What I mean is, on par fives, I try to be on the green in four, on par fours, on in three.  Now for the par threes, that's where you can play for par.  All in all, if you play decent, you end up with a score in mid to upper 80's.  I'm happy with that and it taught me to manage the course and how important that can be for a novice!!

post #39 of 178

The best advice I ever received was from a club fitter  who told me that most players are better off not using a driver, and irons under a 5 iron. I took it, my game improved and I save money not being on the latest driver merry-go-round.

 

 

post #40 of 178

I totally agree in theory, but I don't have a 3W and I'm more consistent with my driver than I am with a 3i or 4i.  If I have a 370 yard par 4 and I have about the same chance of being in the rough with the driver or the 4i, would I rather hit my second shot 80 yards or 170?  I'm going with 80  yards every time.  Sure, if the fairway gets super thin and has hazards around it in the driver landing zone, but is wide open in the 3i-4i landing zone, then I'll go for the 3i-4i for sure, but that doesn't happen much at the courses I play.  Maybe that's just because I can't afford to play the super nice, very difficult courses where I live...  

 

I got a deal at one of those courses a while back, shot a 52 on the front nine playing my normal way (hitting my driver worse than average), then put away my driver and only teed off with my 2h (which I was hot with that day) and shot a 39 on the back.  Maybe there's more to course management when the slope's 145 instead of 125!

post #41 of 178

I completely agree.  In my usual foursome I still get picked on for pulling as low of a 5-iron off of the tee on a sever dogleg right where you can shoot the gap with a driver if you're feeling brave.  "Why you hittin' an iron?" they ask.

I hit my shot, ends up in the fairway with a straight shot at the green.  They step up to the tee with their driver, slice it to the right into the brush.  

"That's why," I say.

It seems like it's routine for people to yank the driver on anything other than a par 3.  Similar things happen when someone is behind a tree and their best option would be to chip out into the fairway.  Instead, they whack away, hoping that their ball will get high or low enough to escape the situation unscathed.  People don't play their odds very often, but want to be Phil Mickelson and pull off miraculous shots.  Not sure if this is a fixable thing, but glad you posted something about it.

 

Garrett

post #42 of 178

I think the issue with this is, are you playing back/laying up because it's smarter, or because you flat-out can't hit the longer club?  I think people learning the game don't want to play back because, well, they just can't keep their driver on the planet, you want to hit it in order to improve yourself at it, or battle-test it.  Never pulling your driver can be akin to acknowledging your incompetence, or your fear of it.  On the other hand, if you know you can hit it when you need to, and know that leaving it in the bag is simply the smarter play, irrespective of your ability to hit it, then course management gets easier.  THAT is the reason I think higher handicappers attempt the harder/wrong shots, because they feel like the alternative is 'bailing out' because of their lesser ability.

 

Of course, this is a chicken-or-egg situation.  In some cases, taking a smart play, staying out of trouble, will build confidence, which can then lead to a better swing, that eventually does help you hit long irons, driver, etc...  On the other hand, at some point, to break through scoring plateaus, you do need to start setting slightly higher expectations for yourself and attempt harder shots.  For example, when I was breaking into the 'always under 90' club, I realized, I needed to stop going after par 5's in two as my 'default' goal.  I'm not super-long off the tee in most cases, but say I do catch one and end up 200 yards away, I would be on all cylinders, I have to go at it.  In truth, I really don't have that shot with any consistency, and one day just said, "hit a solid 7-iron in those cases, get to 60 yards (at which distance I am pretty good), and make a birdie."  Sound approach, smart approach, but certainly, there needs to come a time when I DO need to get confident hitting a 200-yard approach from the middle of the fairway.  As a result, lately, I've started trying those shots, and though missing them is still my norm, I've got to try to battle-test myself with those kinds of shots.  The balance of doing that vs. maintaining scoring is the challenge.

post #43 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

LOL..it may be something as easy as a par 5 layup....I'll give them a target yardage........and they blow it past into a hazard!!!! 

 

 

I'm thinkin to myself'....I told you to hit it only 150yds to lay short of that creek.....and you hit a wood?????

 

 

 

 

 


The problem is, you are in a very small percentage of the golfers out there... Most golfers don't understand risk/reward shots. If it's a low percentage shot, then why take it in my opinion.

 

post #44 of 178

So... after posting in this thread... I decided on Sunday to play smart when the opportunity presented itself.  After a really poor first hole (no relation to poor course management, just poor shots)... I settled down a little bit until the 4th hole.  It was a shorter Par 4 playing at 361 yards with the breeze at our backs.  I decided to play my 3 wood, which would leave me about 140 yards, give or take.  I have NOT been able to hit my 3 wood on the course since the beginning of the year.  I can hit it from the fairway once in awhile (but I rarely use it there)... but off the tee, I feel funny with it in my hands and I tend to lose it right.  This thought was in my head, and I had hit my driver on the previous few holes really solidly... so I had second thoughts.  I stuck with the 3 wood, and forgot to finish my swing.  I blew the ball way right... into some fescue, and we never found it.  I TRIED to play smart and it backfired.  That's golf!

 

Unfortunately, I ended up posting a quadruple bogey on the hole.  Combined, after the 4th hole, I was +6 net.  I tacked on another net bogey on the 5th, putting me at +7 net.  The rest of the way, I played -2 net.  It wouldn't have won me the tournament, but I would have at least picked up some points for finishing inside the top 10.  Instead, I posted a net score of 77 and all but assured myself of not making the Ryder Cup team.  Also, my partner and I halved our doubles match, dropping us into a tie for 3rd place with a pair of other teams.  Top 4 get into the playoffs... and if there is a tie for the 4th spot, it goes to a play-in week.

 

There are only 2 weeks left to the regular season... and my hiccups may cost us a shot at the playoffs if I don't start playing golf.

 

CY

post #45 of 178


So let me ask this...why does it amaze you? They're weak golfers, correct? So if they're weak golfers, then chances are they don't know as much about the game as someone like you with a 2 handicap. What may be common sense to you isn't to someone who isn't as well-versed or as experienced in the game. I just started playing and have played a whole 27 holes of golf. Would you be amazed and stupified by some of my club selections? I would say most likely you would...because YOU know better whereas a weaker golfer does not. I'm amazed that you expect weak golfers to be on par (no pun intended) with your level of understanding of the game and your level of common sense regarding the game.

 

And btw, it is a GREAT game, lol. I love it. Can't believe it took me almost 36yrs to discover that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

I've seen it a million times...It amazes me how many weak golfers have no concept of proper club selection.   IE...it may be a short par4.....the easiest damn par 4 on the course!!!.......IE..if they lay short of 100yds the fairway is wide as hell...then wedge on......definite birdie chance.

 

but no......they try to drive into a narrow neck.....the result is always in trouble.  I just don't get it...........it's like self mutilation on the golf course....

 

Some people are meant to shoot big numbers.................

 

Lets say you?...

 

Penny for your thoughts.....

 

 



 

post #46 of 178

It's a lot more than bad course management that hurt a high handicappers round. Most of you are acting like a 150 yard lay up is no big deal but to a high handicapper it can be a difficult shot. Think about it like this first hole they are 150 yards out pull a 6 iron hit it a little chunky comes up short, next time from 150 they think 6 iron was short so I'll hit hybrid they hit it a little chunky it gets on the green. Finally they reach a 150 yard lay up so they break out the hybrid because they greened it from 150 last time so this time they flush it right into the hazard. Course management is very helpful but if your ball striking is not good it will greatly effect your course management ability.

post #47 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by clubchamp View Post

It's a lot more than bad course management that hurt a high handicappers round. Most of you are acting like a 150 yard lay up is no big deal but to a high handicapper it can be a difficult shot. Think about it like this first hole they are 150 yards out pull a 6 iron hit it a little chunky comes up short, next time from 150 they think 6 iron was short so I'll hit hybrid they hit it a little chunky it gets on the green. Finally they reach a 150 yard lay up so they break out the hybrid because they greened it from 150 last time so this time they flush it right into the hazard. Course management is very helpful but if your ball striking is not good it will greatly effect your course management ability.


This.

 

I sometimes hit driver on holes where it is perhaps not the best play because I can't rely on my swing. I often see people on here saying that you should tee off with a safe club  eg 5i. Unfortunately for me and many other high handicappers we are just as capable of hitting a 5i into a bad position as driver. On a lot of holes I am better off to be chipping out sideways 180-200 yards down the hole from a poor driver shot than 100-120 yards from a similar poorly struck 5i. I usually have a reasonable chance to save bogey from that position where an extra 60-100 yards has me looking at double.

 

Trying to carry hazards or doglegs all the time or taking so much club that a well struck shot will run through the fairway is a management issue but I rarely see high handicappers trying to make these plays...or hit the ball that well :p

 

Course management is an area where you can make up shots but most high handicappers can't execute consistently enough to play to their gameplan even if they have one. This is one of my biggest frustrations..when I take the "smart" option and then flub the next shot anyway.

post #48 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by clubchamp View Post

It's a lot more than bad course management that hurt a high handicappers round. Most of you are acting like a 150 yard lay up is no big deal but to a high handicapper it can be a difficult shot. Think about it like this first hole they are 150 yards out pull a 6 iron hit it a little chunky comes up short, next time from 150 they think 6 iron was short so I'll hit hybrid they hit it a little chunky it gets on the green. Finally they reach a 150 yard lay up so they break out the hybrid because they greened it from 150 last time so this time they flush it right into the hazard. Course management is very helpful but if your ball striking is not good it will greatly effect your course management ability.



my thoughts exactly. course managenment barely applies to people around 18 handicapp and above.. the reason your an 18 handicap is because ur incosistent. doesn't matter how well you 'manage' the course, you can't account for your inconsitentcies when nearly every shot is incosistent.

 

post #49 of 178

+1  There was a time a wood (4H) was my 150 yard club, and there was no guarantee that I'd hit it where I wanted to.   It's one thing to know how to manage a course and another to hit the shots that allow you to play it as you planned.  When you hit your layup shot thin right into the water or shank your 5i off the tee into the woods there's not much course management can help you with.

 

I'm finally at the point where I can hit my irons consistently and feel confident in the distances I'll hit all my clubs which makes it much easier to implement smart course management.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clubchamp View Post

It's a lot more than bad course management that hurt a high handicappers round. Most of you are acting like a 150 yard lay up is no big deal but to a high handicapper it can be a difficult shot. Think about it like this first hole they are 150 yards out pull a 6 iron hit it a little chunky comes up short, next time from 150 they think 6 iron was short so I'll hit hybrid they hit it a little chunky it gets on the green. Finally they reach a 150 yard lay up so they break out the hybrid because they greened it from 150 last time so this time they flush it right into the hazard. Course management is very helpful but if your ball striking is not good it will greatly effect your course management ability.



 

post #50 of 178

I very rarely drive with a driver. I prefer irons... I like to hit my 5 iron off the tee. Is that weird? It seems to work for me... The driver is too hard to hit for me right now, I'm at 2 months playing so far.

post #51 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairway_CY View Post

So... after posting in this thread... I decided on Sunday to play smart when the opportunity presented itself.  After a really poor first hole (no relation to poor course management, just poor shots)... I settled down a little bit until the 4th hole.  It was a shorter Par 4 playing at 361 yards with the breeze at our backs.  I decided to play my 3 wood, which would leave me about 140 yards, give or take.  I have NOT been able to hit my 3 wood on the course since the beginning of the year.  I can hit it from the fairway once in awhile (but I rarely use it there)... but off the tee, I feel funny with it in my hands and I tend to lose it right.  This thought was in my head, and I had hit my driver on the previous few holes really solidly... so I had second thoughts.  I stuck with the 3 wood, and forgot to finish my swing.  I blew the ball way right... into some fescue, and we never found it.  I TRIED to play smart and it backfired.  That's golf!

 

Unfortunately, I ended up posting a quadruple bogey on the hole.  Combined, after the 4th hole, I was +6 net.  I tacked on another net bogey on the 5th, putting me at +7 net.  The rest of the way, I played -2 net.  It wouldn't have won me the tournament, but I would have at least picked up some points for finishing inside the top 10.  Instead, I posted a net score of 77 and all but assured myself of not making the Ryder Cup team.  Also, my partner and I halved our doubles match, dropping us into a tie for 3rd place with a pair of other teams.  Top 4 get into the playoffs... and if there is a tie for the 4th spot, it goes to a play-in week.

 

There are only 2 weeks left to the regular season... and my hiccups may cost us a shot at the playoffs if I don't start playing golf.

 

CY


That was not playing it smart... just because you hit a 3w instead of driver doesn't make it the "smart" play.  Hitting a club you have no confidence in and know that you'll hit right over a club that you hit solid off the tee for the previous three holes is not playing smart.

 

post #52 of 178

Today I had to take on the guy who held the course record at my home course in match play. He's a 3 hc, and I'm at 10, so I got 4 shots on the front, and 3 on the back. I ran into my old HS golf coach (and instructor from when I was like 10) when I was warming up on the range before hand. I told him what I was doing there, who I had to play and what not, he just looks at me and tells me straight that Jeff is one of the best players out here, and especially one of the best drivers of the ball in the area. So he told me not to even bother worrying about outdriving him, or being out driven, He hits the ball a mile off the tee and is pretty accurate, but that the rest of his game is average.

 

So I resolved to only pull driver on holes that I feel absolutely no risk at putting myself in any trouble, meaning I only hit driver 5 times, so the other 9 tee shots were 3W or a 5i just to keep it in play/put it in decent position. What do you know, I shoot my lowest ever score of 74 (he shot 69 but due to my strokes i won the match 1Up thru 18) At one point in time i had a 2 hole lead because he was doing what I normally do, try to drive short par 4's, leaving himself awkward pitch distances and whatnot. I tried to leave myself anywhere between 75 and 115 on my approach shots and just 2 putt every green in regulation if I wasn't close enough for birdie. Just play for the center of the green and hey...what do you know....it works haha! No birdies, but 14 pars and 4 bogies all day. Played another 9 later in the day and shot +1 when I was just going for everything for the heck of it. Birdie Bogie Bogie Par Par Par Par Bogie Birdie. The bad holes were just bad course management simply put.

post #53 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald View Post

...snip...

Further ..... high cappers might just not be so accurate at ball striking that they can go for a gameplan and follow that plan, bc most shots will be worse than planned.


Good point.  I was going to say -- I hit driver on a lot of holes where the safer play would be a wood or a long iron, but until recently, this wasn't a bad strategy for me.  I'd slice 4/5 drives into a bad spot, and if I hit anything higher than a 6-iron, I'd probably slice 4/5 shots into a bad spot too.

 

Strategy only matters if you have enough skill to make the strategy pay off.  ...I'm getting there, but you can't play safe if you don't have a safe club, and I sure wasn't going to play entire rounds with a pitching wedge and a putter! (Might be fun to try once, but...) 

 

I got to play a fun course in CA where club selection really got switched up for me.  I hit driver on a few par-3s (roughly 190 and 200yds respectively -- I'm as wild with my woods and 3-iron as I am with driver, so I just made easy swings and did okay), and irons on several of the par 4's (the fairway narrowed at the 200-230 yd range).  I really enjoyed playing a course that seemed to encourage using different clubs. 

 

post #54 of 178

There seems to be something of a misconception about this topic.  Course management involves a lot more than not hitting a driver on every hole.  There are cases where you hit driver and the ball ends up in a bad place. - maybe just slightly bad, but a situation which makes going for the green a risky proposition, and highly improbable of success.  This is a place where you can help your score no matter if you are a 5 handicap or a 25.  Play a shot which has the best chance of getting back in play.  I don't know how many times I've watched bogey golfers trying to play from our native rough when they could have just taken an unplayable and the 2 clublengths would have gotten them free of the deep stuff.  Instead they hack away with an 8I in grass 18 inches high and take 5 or 6 strokes to finally get out and they've only advanced the ball 20 yards.  Or trying to hit a 6I from a fairway bunker with a 4 foot lip.  Or trying to hit a flop shot over a greenside bunker and dumping the ball in the bunker or skulling the ball 30 yards over the green.  Trying to pull off shots which are either impossible or at least beyond their skill level.

 

Course management is fine, but I prefer to call it game management.  That implies that the player is aware of his limitations and accommodates his playing strategy to play to his strengths and away from his weaknesses.  It doesn't mean never taking a chance, but it does mean weighing the risk against the need and against his chances of making the shot, and then planning accordingly.  Maybe this time the risk makes sense, while the next time he faces a similar situation, discretion will be the better choice.  That's what game management is all about, evaluating each situation as it comes up and making an honest assessment of your ability versus your need to take the shot.

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