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Lay up or go for it (Par 5) - Page 2

post #19 of 43

To go for a green in 2,  ya need a chance for success!!!  

 

 

 

This is mostly what I see........ I see a lot of mid/high handicappers playing 3-wood/long club second shots into par5s.........More often than not, they don't have a prayer to reach.(except in their wildest dreams)  Reality is....all they are doing is laying up aggressively.  What they need to ask themselves is........"do I want to lay-up and lose the ball or lay-up and find the ball".  IMO....it may be more prudent to lay back a tad bit so maybe they can find their ball. 

 

 

Dirty Harry summed it up best...........

  From what I have seen....most weekend golfers don't know their limitations.  LOL

 

My 2 centsa2_wink.gif


Edited by BuckeyeNut - 12/20/12 at 8:16pm
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

  From what I have seen....most weekend golfers don't know their limitations.  LOL

My 2 cents;-)

What's that quote from Tin Cup?

In a defining moment, you either define the moment.....or the moment defines you.
post #21 of 43
Great thread, and a worthy topic for every golfer to take out and examine from time to time, IMHO. I think each of us has to make these decisions based not only on our perceptions of our skills and chances of success, but also on our own personalities and what makes us feel good about ourselves both long and short term.

Personally, I think that golf is a very strategic game and that playing it safe and sure will probably work out in most golfers favor over time. (Naturally, what constitutes safe and sure varies along with skill level.) But, if you lie awake nights wishing you'd gone for the green, then maybe you should have. It is still a game and you have to do it the way that seems fun to you.
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

To go for a green in 2,  ya need a chance for success!!!  



This is mostly what I see........ I see a lot of mid/high handicappers playing 3-wood/long club second shots into par5s.........More often than not, they don't have a prayer to reach.(except in their wildest dreams)  Reality is....all they are doing is laying up aggressively.  What they need to ask themselves is........"do I want to lay-up and lose the ball or lay-up and find the ball".  IMO....it may be more prudent to lay back a tad bit so maybe they can find their ball. 


Dirty Harry summed it up best...........

  From what I have seen....most weekend golfers don't know their limitations.  LOL

My 2 cents;-)

Yup.

Unless it's downhill, downwind, and they catch a sprinkler head, most can't string two shots together that total 500 yds......

.....well, except on the Internet. Then it's just a driver and a little cut 5 iron..... a2_wink.gif
post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Yup.
Unless it's downhill, downwind, and they catch a sprinkler head, most can't string two shots together that total 500 yds......
.....well, except on the Internet. Then it's just a driver and a little cut 5 iron..... a2_wink.gif

I fall into this category. A GOOD drive for me is 260. That means I don't have a club I can hit from the fairway that goes 240. I have never reached a 500+ yard par 5 in 2. If its a shortish par 5, or a severe dogleg where I can somehow cut 40 yards off the hole by cutting an aggressive corner, maybe I can get there in 2.

Most of the time I intentionally lay up to 100 yards, then try to throw a GW at the flag from there. If there is no trouble short right of the green, I'll hit my 3 wood up and hope to have a manageable pitch/chip from where it ends up.
post #24 of 43
If I can miss the shot and still save par, I'll go for it (and usually make bogey). If the hole is particularly penal, I won't even hit driver. I'm starting to understand that this game isn't about how many birdies I can make but rather how low I shot at the end of the round (why didn't somebody tell me this earlier?). Gotta keep those doubles or worse off the scorecard.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

To go for a green in 2,  ya need a chance for success!!!  

 

 

 

This is mostly what I see........ I see a lot of mid/high handicappers playing 3-wood/long club second shots into par5s.........More often than not, they don't have a prayer to reach.(except in their wildest dreams)  Reality is....all they are doing is laying up aggressively. 

 

The old "hit and hope" approach.......... I am not trying to take Buckeye's quote and opinion (of which I agree with) out of context. I just want to point out that most of us high handicappers are trying to get as close as possible to the hole on a "birdie opportunity" par 5. Hmmm, sounds like the strategy for all holes we play. I have learned to play for the one-putt. This means laying up to my favorite chipping wedge situation and distance. Chip-in birdies are rare but they do happen. Seems that when I "tried" for birdie or eagle, I ended up with double bogey. When my game improves to a single handicap, I will try to make it to the green in two.

post #26 of 43

Im just sweating bullets!!   thinking about my new home course.

 

 

just Imagine....600yd par5...it plays like a sliver thin hare....

If you can hit the fairway from the tee..............where do you lay up?  If you go left, you need to hit a tiny thimble piece of fairway.........or do you attack and cross the ravine from WAY back?  Nevermind the sloping green when you finally get there!!!!!  Sheesh....decisions...decisions....this hole is the most difficult par5 I have ever played.

post #27 of 43
I'd say you aim for the left fariway. That way when you hit that big slice you can yell out "Cut! Cuuuuuuuuuuuut! Yeah!" and land safely over the ravine.
post #28 of 43

I've played that hole many times.......laying up is OK because it's a 600yd freaking hole!!!!!  If you are perfectly straight...you can lay up left....but the landing area is the size of a Jimmy Carter quarter.      Then you have 150-140yds over the ravine for  3rd shot...........

 

To score...lay-up across the ravine short of the green.   The only problem is it's far away.  A challenge... I should add that I reached the front edge of the green in 2 before......

post #29 of 43

Playing golf for 3 years, I managed to reach the green in 2 exactly 3 times. All of them I only made PAR. I hit 60% FIR and a good drive brings me 245-260 y.

 

So I should not play the driver on short PAR 5 holes, but I do it most of the time. The only reasonable reason is I want to make an Eagle at least once in my life.

 

When my first shot is perfect and there is less than 210y to the green, I consider going for it. If there are sandtraps, no problem I can make an up and down birdie. If there is water, I only go for it at 190y or less.

 

At my home course there is one 460y par5. Drive hooked to the left, second shot shanked to the right and behind a tree. Third shot had to go to the left instead of going to the green. I7 aproach within 3 yards and a one putt for par.

 

Conclusion: better play save for a better score, but if you feel lucky go for ita1_smile.gif

post #30 of 43

Also, ask yourself this, are you a good short game person, because if you miss the green, whats the use going for it if your spending 2-3 extra shots around the green. If your a better wedge player than lay up. Zach Johnson won the master's never going for a par 5 in two, because he's a really really good short iron player. 

post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Shanks View Post

A few months ago me and my buddy ended up in bunkers on the right side of a par 5 dogleg left. There's about 320 left and my buddy can't even get a straight shot to the fairway unless he hits an 8 iron or so. The lip lowers drastically on the left side, to the point where its almost level with the grass. He grabs a driver, aims about 80 yards left of the 150 stick and cuts it onto the fairway with 110 left in. I'm in the forward bunker and there's a 50/50 chance I can't clear the lip with a 3 wood. I go for it and put it around 105 and we both make par.

Could we have played it safe and still made par? Yes. Could our shot selection made us both end up with 8's on the hole. Of course.......but I'll remember those pars for the rest of my life.

 

But you could have hit a couple of 6 irons and been in the same position, without the risk.  7 times out of 10 you'll make the big number thinking like you did, especially when there was no possibility of reaching the green, but a very good possibility of leaving the ball in the bunker for your next shot.  It may seem good to you but you have to admit that it was actually a pretty silly decision when it comes right down to it.  It would be different if the distance was 220 instead of 320.  A guy who can't hit a mid iron reliably and he plays driver from the bunker???  I'm one of the very few people I know who can even play a driver from the fairway, and I wouldn't consider it from a bunker unless it was hardpan with no sand - even then I'm not likely to try a driver unless it's a shot that I need in a close match.

 

The longest par 4 on my home course is 450 yards, with 3 fairway bunkers on the right side starting at about 230 yards from the hole.  I've seen a lot of guys go for the green from that farthest bunker in the last 20 years, but I've never seen one make it.  Like the one you describe, it's virtually a zero percentage shot for anyone who isn't a low single digit handicap.  When I'm in that bunker, I play a 5I or 6I and go for the nearly sure bogey with the same chance at par as the guys who play a 3W or 5W.  I almost never make worse than a double.  

 

I guess you do what's fun for you, but for me, shooting the lowest score I can as often as I can is more important than making a memorable shot that will more often result in disaster than success.  I've made a lot of eagles in my life, but only when the potential risk was less than the reward, and certainly only when the shot was actually possible to pull off.  Lacking that condition, I lay back and wait for the next opportunity.  I didn't start shooting low 80's and occasional 70's until I learned how to temper my aggression with patience.

post #32 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

Also, ask yourself this, are you a good short game person, because if you miss the green, whats the use going for it if your spending 2-3 extra shots around the green. If your a better wedge player than lay up. Zach Johnson won the master's never going for a par 5 in two, because he's a really really good short iron player. 


I was going to reference this earlier but my post had gotten too long. Reading about this is what turned me back to laying up because I am a lot more like Zach than Phil, Tiger or Ernie (not that I am anything like Zach either but you get it). I have a really good short game but I have finally played enough golf to understand that 1 good hole (some unlikely eagle for example) will not make up for a lofty score at the end. It might take some of the sting out but in the end I want to shoot low scores. That is why I have started to play smart.

 

One example: 473 yd par 5. Tight dogleg left with water all down the inside of the dogleg. Its so narrow that cutting the corner makes it hard to keep it in the fairway and there are pine trees lining the water that you have to clear. I hit 3 wood and since I play a draw I thread it around the corner as good as I can do. Leaves me ~220 to center with flag up. I'm thinking 5W gets me there right (wind at back also). Then I think, I am 4 over after 8, feeling good and just hit a perfect tee shot. A 5W could be disastrous and for what? So then I think, to get around 100 I hit... PW?? I was like PW??? Come on man. That's weak. So then I consider 6I or 7I. But then I think, what does that do for me? Leaves me 50 yards? When was the last time I practiced a 50 yard shot? Uh never. So then with conviction I say, its either 5W or PW. Take your pick. I decide on PW and commit. Stripe the PW down the middle and I'm let with ~88 yards. Now this is a shot a wear out at the range. I pull out SW, take the shot, one hop stop about 6 inches from the cup. Tap in birdie and a 39 front 9. From there I was hooked.

 

Ok, now this post is too long so that is all.

post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Henley View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

Also, ask yourself this, are you a good short game person, because if you miss the green, whats the use going for it if your spending 2-3 extra shots around the green. If your a better wedge player than lay up. Zach Johnson won the master's never going for a par 5 in two, because he's a really really good short iron player. 


I was going to reference this earlier but my post had gotten too long. Reading about this is what turned me back to laying up because I am a lot more like Zach than Phil, Tiger or Ernie (not that I am anything like Zach either but you get it). I have a really good short game but I have finally played enough golf to understand that 1 good hole (some unlikely eagle for example) will not make up for a lofty score at the end. It might take some of the sting out but in the end I want to shoot low scores. That is why I have started to play smart.

 

 

I always felt like it was totally wasted if I made an eagle or a couple of birdies along the way to an otherwise dreadful round.  That was rare, as when I made such scores it was usually on a day when everything was working.  I've had things go both ways though.  I was once 3 under through 11, yet I ended up carding a 4 over par 76.  But I also started one round at 6 over through 3 with a snowman on a par 4 and 2 bogies, yet for the next 15 holes I was just 2 over par for an 80.  I look at the first one as my worst ever round under 80, and the second one as my best ever round over 80.  It's all a matter of perspective.  a2_wink.gif

post #34 of 43

It's obvious there isn't a right answer for this. I am all for playing conservative, the goal being score preservation. But I've duffed as many layups this year as I have any other mishit. If there isn't trouble surrounding the green and it's within a distance it seems like it's less of a risk to execute one shot rather than taking the chance you'll hit two good shots in succession. If the worst that can happen is chipping from the rough or a bunker is it really that much of risk?

post #35 of 43
Smart play for me is usually not driver and do my best to get a full 9 or less in, even on the short ones. The smart play is usually not the most exciting, so it's not always my first choice.
post #36 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

It's obvious there isn't a right answer for this. I am all for playing conservative, the goal being score preservation. But I've duffed as many layups this year as I have any other mishit. If there isn't trouble surrounding the green and it's within a distance it seems like it's less of a risk to execute one shot rather than taking the chance you'll hit two good shots in succession. If the worst that can happen is chipping from the rough or a bunker is it really that much of risk?

 



Total agree that there is no "right" way but its great to understand others' perspectives. I think a person's handicap and overall skill set is a big differentiator. When I was 12-15, I went for it a lot more than now precisely for the reason you stated. One shot versus two. As I have gotten better, my ability to hit those two shots, usually two fairly simply shots, has greatly increased so lay ups have become a much better route for me. Especially when that second shot is a wedge that I have total confidence in. Of course the fact that I am not particularly strong with my fairway woods from the deck is also a factor. 1 fairway wood vs 2 short irons is a no brainer for me.

 

Finally the courses make a huge difference. Many of the par 5s I play have woods and water lurking. When I have played more open courses I have been more aggressive because I know that it will take a horrendous shot to find trouble.

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