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bad course strategy.......it destroys so many rounds for high handicappers.... - Page 4

post #55 of 178

Since I'm the one who started the 5 iron, no driver bit, I would like to clarify that no single piece of advice works for everybody. I would not tee off  with a 5 iron where I know I should and CAN  hit a 3 wood.

 

I'm 60.  Not using a driver is bad advice for a young beginner.  

 

My take on course management: It's easier to figure out how far you hit your clubs when you don't have so many to choose from. If the 5 iron only goes as far as the 7 iron, except when it goes a lot farther, leave the 8 at home.

 

 

post #56 of 178

I think that it isn't managing the course but more managing yourself properly.  When I was a 20+ handicapper that one shot, that one solid birdie hole was enough to justify my round for me.  That meant driver off the tee  and then what ever club was likely to go the distance I needed to get to the whole.  I have only birdied the par 5 on the front nine of my course and both times i was pin high after two shots.  Now was I a 20+ capper because I played with this mentality or was I a 20+ capper because I was knew to the game, I think the latter.

 

Now that I am playing where I am at now that one birdie hole doesn't give me the same thrill.  I would rather string together pars and thus I play the best shots that will help me do that.  I like to think that I don't have mental lapses on the course that cost me shots, just times when I hit a poor shot.

 

Bottom line is after a few rounds golfers know what they are capable of.  The worst thing a golfer can do is play the odds.  For example say your 150 yard club is a 9 iron, but you are not confident with your irons so you decide to play an 8 iron instead thinking that even if you hit a bad shot you will get semi descent results.  This is lose lose for you 85 percent of the time.  Say you do hit a bad shot you are more than likely in no better a spot then with your nine iron, and if you hit a good shot you now have flown 10-15 yards past your target.  If 9 iron is your 150 club and you are 150 out hit your 9 iron.

 

I would also like to emphasize people saying that hitting your 3 wood instead of driver does not mean it is a smart play.  If the course is open, you have more confidence in your driver, or if the hole is just plain long then driver could be the better play.   Also on a par 5 if you hit a good drive don't think you always have to lay up, attack the green, know where the hazards are and try to nock it as close as you can.  A 30 yard chip from the rough is not bad for your 3rd shot.

post #57 of 178

Got it in one,......ive always hit the dodgy shots, took on 300 yard par 4 greens with lots of water hazards, risk v reward scenarios,.......i would often hit my hybrid 150-160yards, and as its the club ive always hit best, it worked.

 

then i went and worked on my swing, LOTS, played a round and that 150-160 yard hybrid was now sailing into the ponds and rough at closer to 180-190yards, which is great on long par 4's i just hit two hybrids and im on the green, but im still a high handicapper and distances still seem vague, as my swing and striking is not consistent, eg< i was hitting my sandwege into greens rather well i thought around the 70-80yard marker, then flush one onto the green at 90yards, but span it right back off again.....

 

one day ill learn, i hope....
 

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 #58 of 178

Tenet: It isn't called "course management" until you can hit each club relatively consistently.

 

If you frequently banana-spray your driver 75 yards right, or lay a foot of sod over your 5-iron, or skull your sand wedge into the catering tent, 'course management' isn't your concern.  Instead, you're simply 'hitting the clubs you can."  This is what people are referring to when they say, "just take an iron off the tee," or "just hit a PW from 180 and try to pitch on from there."  It's because it simply does you no good to send your ball all over creation or constantly replace divots the size of a small feline.  You are, essentially, using the course as your practice range, dialing down your swing and just moving your ball along.

 

That is entirely different from someone who stands on the tee of a 325-yard par 4, that narrows to the width of a straw at 275 and hooks around a pond to the green, and decides they're going to take driver.  Even if you hit that driver 295 consistently, that is a high, high risk play, and crushing the ball sweetly, high and far at that kind of target, could leave you in an absolute scoring-purgatory position.  'Good course management' is (virtually) guaranteeing the fairway with a 225-yard hybrid and trying to make your birdie from 100 yards.

 

"Course management" - in my opinion - is the concept of, responsibly accounting for your "likely or common misses," and also realizing that very well-struck shots, aimed at the wrong place or hit the wrong distance, can get you in just as much trouble as a bladed banana ball, when it comes to scoring opportunities.  That's different than, if I played with a 36-handicapper who's capable of god-knows-what, my advice would be, "every hole, simply take whatever club you think you can comfortably hit to keep the ball in play."

 

Caveat: I'm quite sure, somewhere out there, are people who actually can hit nearly every club in their bag, in the air, more or less straight, and simply pay no attention to where they are, how the hole plays, and just bang balls around until it finds the cup.  Clearly, that person needs the "dude, you have to plan your path to the hole" talk, and maybe that's to whom the OP is referring, but my reaction to this thread was more the person who is simply struggling to hit the ball, in most cases.

post #59 of 178

Let's start by saying that, for high-handicappers, rounds are destroyed exponentially more often by awful ball-striking and putrid short games.

 

Further...it's easy to sit up here as a single digit and forget when you really didn't know how far you hit each club. Or, when you weren't as sure of your misses and faults as you are now.

 

 

....

 

Much of this thread is self-congratulatory masturbation. A convenient excuse for people who claim (online) to be good players to bag on players they perceive to be poorer.

 

In my emphatic opinion, the reality is this...

 

Better players (mid handicaps and better) have INFINITELY more problems with course management than poor players. Better players go at pins they shouldn't, they make poor layup decisions or layup to the wrong yardages, they don't play the hole in reverse, they pick the wrong tee-shot shapes or clubs or both, they don't manage the wind properly, they can't adjust when they don't have their game to make a 82 day into a 76 or, better yet, a 72. Etc. Etc. They struggle with a laundry-list of management problems. A lot of better players have so much invested in their ego as a player that they can't recognize their limitations (absolute or dynamic) and respond to them appropriately. Plus, golf is f*****g hard. You have to adjust your strategy on the fly based on conditions and the game you brought to the course that day which, for everyone in the world, varies greatly from round-to-round.

 

Guys, a high handicapper is trying to figure out a way to play the game...not a way to play each hole. What's the difference between a duffed 5 iron on a par 4 with a "tight fairway" that goes 75 yards and a bannana slice that's on the next fairway? They're 200+ to the green anyway with little realistic chance to put it on the green. What's the difference? I don't see it.

 

If you want to help a friend, the way to do it isn't to make them feel like an idiot, or to think of them as an idiot, because they don't play a hole in the way that you suggest or advise. The better way to do it is to encourage them, point out whatever they're doing right, and (with restraint and empathy) address the fundamentals of the swing (grip, stance, posture, alignment, club path basics) and little else. Once your buddy can play bogey golf, then you might talk to them about when to dial back. Only, by that time, they'll already be figuring out on their own when to do it.

post #60 of 178

This is one of the better posts in this thread and speaks much better (and more emphatically) to what I was trying to say. Thanks...and it makes it better that it's from a fellow southpaw, LOL.

 

I suck at golf, and I know I suck. I just started, and I'm trying to learn how to play the game and don't need someone to condescend to me and make me feel like an idiot if/when I choose the wrong club just because he knows the game MUCH better than I do and has MUCH more experience than I do.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiolefty View Post

Let's start by saying that, for high-handicappers, rounds are destroyed exponentially more often by awful ball-striking and putrid short games.

 

Further...it's easy to sit up here as a single digit and forget when you really didn't know how far you hit each club. Or, when you weren't as sure of your misses and faults as you are now.

 

 

....

 

Much of this thread is self-congratulatory masturbation. A convenient excuse for people who claim (online) to be good players to bag on players they perceive to be poorer.

 

In my emphatic opinion, the reality is this...

 

Better players (mid handicaps and better) have INFINITELY more problems with course management than poor players. Better players go at pins they shouldn't, they make poor layup decisions or layup to the wrong yardages, they don't play the hole in reverse, they pick the wrong tee-shot shapes or clubs or both, they don't manage the wind properly, they can't adjust when they don't have their game to make a 82 day into a 76 or, better yet, a 72. Etc. Etc. They struggle with a laundry-list of management problems. A lot of better players have so much invested in their ego as a player that they can't recognize their limitations (absolute or dynamic) and respond to them appropriately. Plus, golf is f*****g hard. You have to adjust your strategy on the fly based on conditions and the game you brought to the course that day which, for everyone in the world, varies greatly from round-to-round.

 

Guys, a high handicapper is trying to figure out a way to play the game...not a way to play each hole. What's the difference between a duffed 5 iron on a par 4 with a "tight fairway" that goes 75 yards and a bannana slice that's on the next fairway? They're 200+ to the green anyway with little realistic chance to put it on the green. What's the difference? I don't see it.

 

If you want to help a friend, the way to do it isn't to make them feel like an idiot, or to think of them as an idiot, because they don't play a hole in the way that you suggest or advise. The better way to do it is to encourage them, point out whatever they're doing right, and (with restraint and empathy) address the fundamentals of the swing (grip, stance, posture, alignment, club path basics) and little else. Once your buddy can play bogey golf, then you might talk to them about when to dial back. Only, by that time, they'll already be figuring out on their own when to do it.



 

post #61 of 178

Somehow beginners got drawn into this which isn't fair. I remember scoring 180 my first game and the joy of breaking 100 after my first lesson (and better clubs)  when I learned how to get the ball in the air.

 

However, ragging on those who can play - they are fair game. Especially those that claim to be scratch golfers ( not counting gimmies and mulligans).

 

Guys who can bomb a PW and don't have a short  game - fair game.

 

 


Edited by The Tin Man - 8/3/11 at 12:12pm
post #62 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterxaz View Post

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.


Not weird at all.  If that's what you feel comfortable with, go for it.  Just make sure to keep working on your driver "behind the scenes" I guess, meaning at the range.  When I was playing in high school, we'd have practices where all we were able to carry was our favorite iron and our putter, just to see how versatile each club was and what we could do with it.  I tee off with irons all the time, usually only pulling the driver or 3 wood out on a longer par 4 or a par 5.  Keep at it.

 

Garrett

 

post #63 of 178

This thread got me a par today! I'm being dead serious when I say this...I was on the 11th tee today. A 301 yard dead straight Par 4. Usually I go for it and can get it up somewhere in the rough by the green and have a pretty good look at getting up and down for birdie. The hole is pretty heavily bunkered. Front right is sand, front right is sand, and their's a little maybe three yard wide opening where you can run a drive up to the green.

 

So I'm on the tee trying to decide between going for it or hitting a 7 iron and then having like a 9i or PW in. I've been having trouble hitting my driver the last couple days so I thought about it for a couple seconds and thought about this thread and decided on the 7 iron. I hit the fairway, hit a PW on, and just missed a birdie putt and tapped in for par. I'm gonna be honest, I probably would have went for it...and failed, had it not been for this thread.

post #64 of 178


Good points, and I agree, it's easy to overlook that as a lower handicapper.  However, in the story I use from my post above, the people I speak of have been playing for as long as I have, and actually showed me how to play the game.  They just are stubborn and ignorant, which is their own problem and shouldn't affect my views on "higher handicappers" as a whole.  I think the reason why they play for the "ballsy" shot is because of their ego.  Who knows, really?

 

Garrett Dennert

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiolefty View Post

Let's start by saying that, for high-handicappers, rounds are destroyed exponentially more often by awful ball-striking and putrid short games.

 

Further...it's easy to sit up here as a single digit and forget when you really didn't know how far you hit each club. Or, when you weren't as sure of your misses and faults as you are now.

 

 

....

 

Much of this thread is self-congratulatory masturbation. A convenient excuse for people who claim (online) to be good players to bag on players they perceive to be poorer.

 

In my emphatic opinion, the reality is this...

 

Better players (mid handicaps and better) have INFINITELY more problems with course management than poor players. Better players go at pins they shouldn't, they make poor layup decisions or layup to the wrong yardages, they don't play the hole in reverse, they pick the wrong tee-shot shapes or clubs or both, they don't manage the wind properly, they can't adjust when they don't have their game to make a 82 day into a 76 or, better yet, a 72. Etc. Etc. They struggle with a laundry-list of management problems. A lot of better players have so much invested in their ego as a player that they can't recognize their limitations (absolute or dynamic) and respond to them appropriately. Plus, golf is f*****g hard. You have to adjust your strategy on the fly based on conditions and the game you brought to the course that day which, for everyone in the world, varies greatly from round-to-round.

 

Guys, a high handicapper is trying to figure out a way to play the game...not a way to play each hole. What's the difference between a duffed 5 iron on a par 4 with a "tight fairway" that goes 75 yards and a bannana slice that's on the next fairway? They're 200+ to the green anyway with little realistic chance to put it on the green. What's the difference? I don't see it.

 

If you want to help a friend, the way to do it isn't to make them feel like an idiot, or to think of them as an idiot, because they don't play a hole in the way that you suggest or advise. The better way to do it is to encourage them, point out whatever they're doing right, and (with restraint and empathy) address the fundamentals of the swing (grip, stance, posture, alignment, club path basics) and little else. Once your buddy can play bogey golf, then you might talk to them about when to dial back. Only, by that time, they'll already be figuring out on their own when to do it.



 

post #65 of 178

Some great posts here.  I totally agree that course management is really a solid or better player's problem.  One point I want to make in that regard.  Take the very short par 4 example.  I've always been a long hitter for an amateur.  Say I'm standing at the tee box on a flat 315 yard par 4 with hard fairways so if you hit mid or low trajectory drives you'll get lots of roll.  Assume a pretty standard green and say the front edge is 15 yards short of the middle pin.  

 

On that kind of hole, if I hit my best drive of the day I can run it up onto the front of the green.  But the majority of my solid drives are going to stop 15-30 yards short of the green.  Now play the hole backwards.  With my (strongly lofted) irons, say I have 3 choices to get on the green:

 

1) Driver, 25 yard pitch (I play that with my 60˚)

 

2) 7i, 9i

 

3) 5i, smooth 46˚ PW

 

What are my outcomes?

 

1) I'm pretty good with my driver, and let's say the hole isn't particularly tight, so I've got a 50% chance of hitting it in the fairway.  Then I've got a 90% chance of putting my 25 yard pitch on the green, plus a 25% chance of hitting inside 8 feet with a great look at birdie.  

 

2) My irons are inconsistent, but say on an average day I've got an 80% chance of hitting the fairway with my 7i, and a 66% chance of hitting the green with my 9i.  Only once in while will I put it inside 8 feet.

 

3) With not too tight fairways, maybe I have a 70% of hitting the fairway with my 5i, and maybe a 75% chance of hitting the green with my PW.  Again, only once in a while will I put that shot within 8 feet.

 

These aren't necessarily the most accurate numbers.  My point is just this.  Check out the outcomes:

 

1) I have a 45% chance of being on the green, and a 12.5% chance of having a really good chance at birdie.

2) I have a 53% chance of being on the green, with a minimal chance of an easy birdie putt.

3) I have a 53% chance of being on the green, with a minimal chance of an easy birdie putt.

 

It's entirely plausible that I have a very similar chance of being GIR teeing off with driver as I do teeing off with iron, even on a whole when lots of people would strongly argue that good course management means hitting two irons here.  And even with a slightly lower chance of being GIR with the driver, it's probably more than made up for in long term scoring average on that hole by the fact that I'm going to make many more birdies teeing off with driver than 5i or 7i.  

 

And this ignores the poor shots off the tee.  Say I hit a poor shot but not an awful one off the tee.  Depending on the hole of course, there are a lot of situations where I'd rather have the 30-40 yard rescue shot off the bad drive than the 140-160 yard rescue shot off the bad iron shot.  Add that in and my scoring average is way better going with driver than with iron off the tee.

 

This isn't the end all of arguments, given the somewhat random percentages I made up, and the fact that there are many courses where it's really tight and I'm going to lose a lot more strokes for the mediocre drive than the mediocre 5i or 7i.  I'm just saying that course management isn't just hitting shorter clubs off the tee.  It's knowing what game you have, what game you brought to the course that day, knowing how punitive a miss with different clubs will be on a given hole, and using all this information to play backwards from the hole and figure out what gives you, personally, the lowest average score on that hole.

post #66 of 178

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiolefty View Post

Let's start by saying that, for high-handicappers, rounds are destroyed exponentially more often by awful ball-striking and putrid short games.

Great post btw...just wanted to comment on something I saw for the first time today. I played with a kid in tryouts today who moved in from New York. Let's just say he shot a "108". He shaved a stroke here and there but he was so far from making the team I was just like whatever. But the thing I was impressed with was how good his ball striking was and how poorly he scored. He was probably the best ball striker in my foursome but managed to score the worst haha. It seemed like he hit every ball clean but just didn't manage his game very well and he couldn't putt worth a crap. I'll just throw out the fact that he 5-putt two greens. NO JOKE. I couldn't help but laugh as he was hackin his ball all over the green trying to find the bottom of  the cup. And he'd hit a shot straight into a tree like his ball would just go right through it or I guess he didn't didn't see the tree towering right in front of him haha. I couldn't believe how poorly he managed his game and manuevered around the course.

post #67 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tin Man View Post
 

Since I'm the one who started the 5 iron, no driver bit, I would like to clarify that no single piece of advice works for everybody. I would not tee off  with a 5 iron where I know I should and CAN  hit a 3 wood.

 

I'm 60.  Not using a driver is bad advice for a young beginner.  

 

My take on course management: It's easier to figure out how far you hit your clubs when you don't have so many to choose from. If the 5 iron only goes as far as the 7 iron, except when it goes a lot farther, leave the 8 at home.

 

 


My dad is late fifties and he bombs with the driver, on most long holes anyway. He's a mid capper.

 

He always just attacks the greens head-on, so... I guess it can be done. It's ultimately just a question of accuracy and distance, anyway... (barring extreme weather conditions)

post #68 of 178

I will usually take my my driver unless there is a good reason to leave it in the bag. It's pretty reliable unless I try to swing really hard with it like yesterday. My other clubs can get me in just as much trouble but further from the hole.

post #69 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctorfro View Post
 

I have a rule of thumb:  If a par four is less than 400 yards, I hit three wood.  I hit my three wood around 235-260 (or farther) depending on conditions.  At worst, I'm hitting a 7 iron into the green.  I played a shorter course last week with many short par fours and hit my driver only once and shot 76.  Only way I would hit driver on a short par four is if there were no trouble and I had a chance to get there.

 

How does this relate to high hcp's, most of which can't hit their drivers as long as your 3 wood ?    If I crush a 3 wood, I'm lucky to get 225 out of it.      I see what you're saying, but it totally doesn't apply to the discussion.

 

edit:  I just saw this old thread was resurrected ... disregard my comments

post #70 of 178

I'm trying not to be too preachy or too pushy or whatnot, but we have a pretty good way to build an ideal course strategy every time you play, with the game you've got now, in Lowest Score Wins.

 

I will also add that "bad course strategy" is not the same as hitting bad shots. If you aim 50 yards left of a pond and hit a horrible 60-yard slice into it, that's more a bad shot — the strategy itself was probably perfectly good.

post #71 of 178

I only hit driver 5-6 times a round in my home course.

It's not the longest course enough difficult that the course record is only -3.

 

http://www.golfclubdekoepel.nl/Baan/Plattegrondperhole.aspx

post #72 of 178

I think course management is applicable to players of all levels, because every player is making decisions all the time in a round -- what club to use, what target to aim for, and bad decisions can be costlier for weaker players because they can't scramble out of trouble as well.  It's more complex for better players because they have more options of things they can do and more decisions to make.  A really good player should give some thought to what side of the green he wants to be on to set up his putt because there is a good chance he'll hit that target.  Me?  I'm just trying to get anywhere on the green. For me, course management comes down to issues like:

 

Should I bit the bullet and take a penalty for an unplayable lie, or try to get the clubhead on the ball enough to punch the ball 30 or 40 feet back into play?

Should I try a shot through that (fairly wide) gap between two trees when I'm in the woods or take the shortest, safest path back to the short grass even if it means going backwards a little?

Do I need the extra 20 yards I'd get if I hit a fairway wood properly as opposed to a hybrid, knowing that I don't hit the fairway wood as well?

 

Just being a high handicapper doesn't mean you don't make risk/reward assessments all the time.  It's baked into the game, and the weaker your game the more risks there are and fewer rewards.

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