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Good shot penalty

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Played golf yesterday (Sunday) at a golf course that occasionally play. I was playing a dogleg right par 5. Hit a great drive long and through a shoot of trees on both sides of the fairway. Got to my ball (hit it about 280), was in the middle of the fairway but had a huge live oak tree growing out into the fairway that blocked me from going for the green in two. As a matter of fact, the lay up shot was tough because you had to hit it to the right side of the fairway which was working it's way back to the left. I didn't think much of it until a couple holes later when I hit another good drive in the fairway and again was blocked out by a tree from going at the green. I hit a big cut that just missed the tree and ended up on the front of the green.

 

 

My question is: Is it fair to hit a good shot in the fairway and be penalized for it? I think if you put the ball where you are supposed to, you should get rewarded instead of penalized. I guess I need to hit it 300 yards instead of 280? Both the drives were pretty tight also.

post #2 of 14

It's not fair, it's golf. You can hit right in the middle of a fairway, and be in an old divot. It's not fair, but you have to deal with it. On the other hand, you can hit a lousy shot, hit a tree, and end up in the fairway. It sure can be a crazy game.

post #3 of 14

I'm learning the hard way that course management is bringing my scores down just as quickly as improving my ball striking. You've played to a position that doesn't give you the shot you were looking to leave yourself so maybe it wasn't a good shot but a good strike/connection.

Obviously if you can hit the ball that well the risk/reward may be right for you, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way.

post #4 of 14
Sounds like a hole that was designed to be difficult to reach in 2......with a good amount of risk associated with going for it. In other words, a good, challenging par 5.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

I guess my point is this....I could not have hit a better shot. If I didn't hit it as far as I did, I would literally have had no shot except to hit a sand wedge to the right turn in the dog leg. Then I would have a 220-230 yard shot into the green. The only thing that would have made the shot good would have been to hit it another 20 yards longer. The hole measures about 500 yards so I understand you have to do something to prevent (or discourage) getting home in two. I guess I will move up a tee next time. The ball was not rolling much so maybe when it gets dryer I'll get that extra yardage. I think they should just trim that tree back a little. Plenty of bunkers up by the green to protect the hole. I just don't like holes that don't reward a good shot. I guess it's a layout issue. But like the previous poster said....it ain't fair...it's golf.

post #6 of 14

I've heard trees called bunkers in the air. If over hanging trees drive you crazy, you better not play Harbor Town.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucki1968 View Post

Played golf yesterday (Sunday) at a golf course that occasionally play. I was playing a dogleg right par 5. Hit a great drive long and through a shoot of trees on both sides of the fairway. Got to my ball (hit it about 280), was in the middle of the fairway but had a huge live oak tree growing out into the fairway that blocked me from going for the green in two. As a matter of fact, the lay up shot was tough because you had to hit it to the right side of the fairway which was working it's way back to the left. I didn't think much of it until a couple holes later when I hit another good drive in the fairway and again was blocked out by a tree from going at the green. I hit a big cut that just missed the tree and ended up on the front of the green.

 

 

My question is: Is it fair to hit a good shot in the fairway and be penalized for it? I think if you put the ball where you are supposed to, you should get rewarded instead of penalized. I guess I need to hit it 300 yards instead of 280? Both the drives were pretty tight also.

 

Watch the PGA Tour stop at Harbor Town.  That course requires hitting the correct part of the fairway on at least a half dozen holes.  Some have suggested that the trees have encroached too far, but they are the course's primary line of defense.  Look at the 18th at Pebble Beach - 3 trees in the landing area in the middle of the fairway.  The Eisenhower Tree on #17 at Augusta.  It isn't always enough to just hit the fairway, but you also need to be in the right place in the fairway.   I see it the same as cutting the hole in a part of the green which is directly accessible from the left side of the fairway, but nearly impossible to get near from the right.  Hit the wrong side and you are in just as bad a position as if a tree was in your way.  I call it good strategic design.

post #8 of 14
Think about it this way: forget about how high the grass is cut, a "good shot" is one that leaves you the best chance at the green. If you hit a shot in the middle of the fairway but your path is blocked it's not a good shot. If you hit a shot in the rough with a clear path it's not a good shot. But if you hit one in the fairway and you have a clear path, that's a good shot.

The only way I would be mad is if there is no where in the fairway from which you are out of the way of trees.
post #9 of 14

Some course designers do this intentionally to force golfers like yourself to make a choice.  You either have to hit the 300 yards to get on in two or lay up.  It's not a matter of being fair it's to force you to manage the course in accordance with your skill level.  

post #10 of 14
The ideal shot is not necessarily in the middle of the fairway. Much like an ideal approach shot is not always to the middle of the green.
You play the course as it's laid out to be played. Everyone else get the same misfortune should they hit it right behind that tree.

18th at Pebble Beach is a good example.
post #11 of 14

I would argue this: you didn't hit a good drive.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucki1968 View Post

I guess my point is this....I could not have hit a better shot.

 

The better drive would have been to the left, avoiding the tree. So you could have hit a better shot.

 

Goodness I think you would hate the Old Course...

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

I would argue this: you didn't hit a good drive.

 

 

 

The better drive would have been to the left, avoiding the tree. So you could have hit a better shot.

 

Goodness I think you would hate the Old Course...

 

That is what I was thinking also.  The good shot would have left him with an easy, rather than difficult second shot.  Just like when one of my friends says, "You hit that one good" when I airmail a green.  I always reply, "No, I hit it too far.  A good shot would have been on the green." 

post #13 of 14

On the course I play often, EVERY tree has been in the way at one time or another! z2_scared.gif

post #14 of 14

To me it's just like when you stick one right in the middle of the green, but when you get up there you find out you're on the top shelf two feet above the cup. You might have put it right where you wanted, but that doesn't mean it was a great shot. My yardage book for my home course is full of notes that say things like "stay right," "false front," and "if you end up behind this tree one more time, no carts for a month." Course management is about more than just distances.

 

Not that I'm not livid when I'm walking the next round because there's a freaking pine tree in the middle of the 14th fairway.

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