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235 Out on This Par Five - What's the Play? - Page 9

post #145 of 263
Agreed great thread!

If we apply this to intermediate players, then we would have to know the probability of executing each layup shot too. As MyrtleBeach says, hitting it as close as possible has a lower probability of success than punching something to 100yd out. Would I rather be 20-30yds out than 100? Yes. But not if I can only get there 50% of the time and I can get to 100yds out 80%. The actual percents are made up, of course, but the point is that your book will have analysis for scratch players (who can be considered close enough to PGA stats) and those of us above handicaps of 10 or so will still need to do our own risk/reward calculations.
post #146 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

BTW, the answer likely changes quite a bit if the hole is cut in the bowl. It takes long out of play, and makes BOTH bunker shots A TON easier. In the front of the green, the play is to cut a 3I or baby a hybrid cut in there.

Really?? So you'd rather pitch from well off the green than putt to the hole from the bowl? That surprises me. Most of us would much rather have a tricky putt for eagle than a touchy pitch to get up and down for birdie...

The bunker shot you could end up with should still be a more high percentage option than the pitch. If not, the golfer has identified a glaring weakness and should work on that. Also, In my experience, if they aren't good out of the bunkers, they won't be good pitching....

I don't think there's a single "correct" answer to this question. For me, just short of the green is the right choice. If we adjust for our distances and the shot is 20 yds shorter (I.e. you are 20 yds longer than me(I'm going for that bowl.
post #147 of 263
That is some great stuff. I was under the assumption that scrambling was a little higher at that level and the so was the percentage of hitting the green. I will admit I was wrong, as I was strongly for going for it. I guess I just did not see the risks for a good player to make a bogey in doing so.
post #148 of 263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyrtleBeachGolf View Post

Even with all the statistics, I'm still hitting 9iron to 105 and then a nice smooth wedge in. I could pull my 4 hybrid and try to hit up there about 200 yards, but there's a 30% chance I hook it or push it. Then I'm looking at bogey. Even if I hit it perfect down the left side, I'm not confident a 35 yard pitch shot is going to get inside 15'.

 

Then you're likely costing yourself strokes.

 

The #100 player in the world only hits the green from that distance 75% of the time. Look up the stats. You're looking at bogey there too, and if you are playing from the rough short of the bunkers but near the green.

 

People who have a 30% chance of hooking or pushing a 200-yard club are also not the kind of people who stick it to 20' on average from 100 yards, if you get my drift… a3_biggrin.gif I won't get into it here, but the analysis actually tends to scale pretty well.

 

I'm making these up but they'll demonstrate what I mean:

 

From 105 yards, the PGA Tour player averages whatever it is I said above. What, 1.83 strokes or so, roughly.

From 105 yards, a scratch golfer averages just over 2 strokes.

From 105 yards, a 9 index averages 2.2 strokes.

From 105 yards, an 18 index averages 2.9 strokes.

From 105 yards, a 27 index averages 4.3 strokes.

 

Getting closer to the green lowers your average score… so long as you can avoid BIG trouble (trees, bunkers, hazards). So basically, you'd want to figure out your own percentages - you'd have to find your own sweet spot of balancing a longer shot in with a longer layup (second shot).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyrtleBeachGolf View Post

But the statistics do make me think about it more. My regular playing partner ALWAYS tries to hit it as far up on par 5's as he can, leaving a shorter 3rd. I ALWAYS lay up to a good distance 115-105 for me. Most of the time I walk away with par. And although he has more birdies with his strategy, he also makes more doubles. I'll have to rethink my strategy (and work on my shot from 30yards and in).

 

He's seriously screwing up if he's making doubles, unless he routinely hits it into trouble when he gets near the greens.

 

 

Keep thinking. That's all the thread was designed to help anyone do - evaluate, re-evaluate, think. There's no "right" answers, and everyone's game is a little bit different.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallT View Post

If we apply this to intermediate players, then we would have to know the probability of executing each layup shot too. As MyrtleBeach says, hitting it as close as possible has a lower probability of success than punching something to 100yd out. Would I rather be 20-30yds out than 100? Yes. But not if I can only get there 50% of the time and I can get to 100yds out 80%. The actual percents are made up, of course, but the point is that your book will have analysis for scratch players (who can be considered close enough to PGA stats) and those of us above handicaps of 10 or so will still need to do our own risk/reward calculations.

 

50% versus 80% is only part of the equation. What if you can only get to 100 yards 80% of the time and then only hit the green within 50 feet of the cup 50% of the time. Now you're looking at 40% to get within 50 feet on the green.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

Really?? So you'd rather pitch from well off the green than putt to the hole from the bowl? That surprises me. Most of us would much rather have a tricky putt for eagle than a touchy pitch to get up and down for birdie...

 

I feel like you failed to read the part where hitting the green is only going to happen 43.8% of the time… and three-putting from the bowl will be fairly frequent. a1_smile.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

The bunker shot you could end up with should still be a more high percentage option than the pitch. If not, the golfer has identified a glaring weakness and should work on that. Also, In my experience, if they aren't good out of the bunkers, they won't be good pitching....

 

I disagree that a 40+ yard bunker shot is easier shot than a pitch straight up the slope of the green from the fairway.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

I don't think there's a single "correct" answer to this question. For me, just short of the green is the right choice. If we adjust for our distances and the shot is 20 yds shorter (I.e. you are 20 yds longer than me(I'm going for that bowl.

 

And if you're freakishly good at hitting a 215-yard cut, it'll pay off. If you're not, it probably won't given the severity of the "punishment" around the green. But you're right that there's no one "correct" answer.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post

That is some great stuff. I was under the assumption that scrambling was a little higher at that level and the so was the percentage of hitting the green. I will admit I was wrong, as I was strongly for going for it. I guess I just did not see the risks for a good player to make a bogey in doing so.

 

Most of the time, as I hoped to illustrate with the other three examples, there really isn't a penalty. That's why "go for it" is a big deal on the PGA Tour.

 

But this green is unique. It punishes misses harshly.

 

That's also why I said that if the green was in the bowl, you go for it (and not just because it becomes a 220-yard shot).

post #149 of 263
Great analysis.

I agree, if most people learn some semblance of a short game, laying back to a yardage becomes just situational at best. Can't wait for the book.
post #150 of 263
When is your book coming out? I'm going to buy it.

Your answer is very logical, and something I would strive to be able to do. Look forward to the book, and the lessons with Mike. a1_smile.gif
post #151 of 263
I appreciate the analysis. I am leaving on a 4 day golf trip to Michigan this week, and hope to get in 72 holes over the long weekend. I will try a different strategy on any par 5's without massive trouble near the greens, and see if a different strategy pays off. I do hit my 22* hybrid rather straight, so going from 250 out to 50 out shouldn't be the huge issue. I'm just not that comfortable with my 20-50 yard shot. But its a good time to practice it.
post #152 of 263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyrtleBeachGolf View Post

I'm just not that comfortable with my 20-50 yard shot. But its a good time to practice it.

 

You may be unique, but for a lot of people I think it's more like this:

  • From 100 yards, they're pretty happy to give themselves a 20-footer (as they should be). For a 9 index, a 30-footer is pretty good.
  • From 20 yards, people have unrealistically high expectations. They're often expecting to be stone dead or even chipping in, when in reality 5-10 feet is way, way better than they'd do from 100 yards.

 

This attitude changes their perceptions. From 100 yards if they hit to 30 feet they're pleased, but from 25 yards if they chip to 10 feet they're ticked. Yet they don't look at whether they'd rather putt from 30 feet or 10 feet! a3_biggrin.gif

post #153 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Then you're likely costing yourself strokes.

The #100 player in the world only hits the green from that distance 75% of the time. Look up the stats. You're looking at bogey there too, and if you are playing from the rough short of the bunkers but near the green.

People who have a 30% chance of hooking or pushing a 200-yard club are also not the kind of people who stick it to 20' on average from 100 yards, if you get my drift… a3_biggrin.gif
 I won't get into it here, but the analysis actually tends to scale pretty well.

I'm making these up but they'll demonstrate what I mean:

From 105 yards, the PGA Tour player averages whatever it is I said above. What, 1.83 strokes or so, roughly.
From 105 yards, a scratch golfer averages just over 2 strokes.
From 105 yards, a 9 index averages 2.2 strokes.
From 105 yards, an 18 index averages 2.9 strokes.
From 105 yards, a 27 index averages 4.3 strokes.

Getting closer to the green lowers your average score… so long as you can avoid BIG trouble (trees, bunkers, hazards). So basically, you'd want to figure out your own percentages - you'd have to find your own sweet spot of balancing a longer shot in with a longer layup (second shot).



He's seriously screwing up if he's making doubles, unless he routinely hits it into trouble when he gets near the greens.


Keep thinking. That's all the thread was designed to help anyone do - evaluate, re-evaluate, think. There's no "right" answers, and everyone's game is a little bit different.


50% versus 80% is only part of the equation. What if you can only get to 100 yards 80% of the time and then only hit the green within 50 feet of the cup 50% of the time. Now you're looking at 40% to get within 50 feet on the green.


I feel like you failed to read the part where hitting the green is only going to happen 43.8% of the time… and three-putting from the bowl will be fairly frequent. a1_smile.gif



I disagree that a 40+ yard bunker shot is easier shot than a pitch straight up the slope of the green from the fairway.


And if you're freakishly good at hitting a 215-yard cut, it'll pay off. If you're not, it probably won't given the severity of the "punishment" around the green. But you're right that there's no one "correct" answer.


Most of the time, as I hoped to illustrate with the other three examples, there really isn't a penalty. That's why "go for it" is a big deal on the PGA Tour.

But this green is unique. It punishes misses harshly.

That's also why I said that if the green was in the bowl, you go for it (and not just because it becomes a 220-yard shot).

You posted this as a precursor to your thoughts on a book. Based on the masses of golfers that your book may appeal to, I think you need to think in terms of the "average" golfer. Could the average golfer hit a high percentage shot that would put them 40 yards perfectly in-between the bunkers for a pitch shot? I don't think that's a very high percentage shot for them (based on the hole you show). Most would hit the trees right, pull it left, or simply end up with a pitch shot that requires them to carry a bunker (which most high handicappers struggle at. They may be better off leaving it 100 yds out...

I like the idea of your book, but I think it needs to differentiate between 20 cappers an scratch players. It needs to stress that players play to their strengths....

Also, I'm curious... Would YOU rather hit a 40 yd pitch or a 20 yd sand shot? It doesn't sound like you did so hot with your 40 yd pitch....
post #154 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Okay, time for the "answer." As I said above, "answer" isn't the right word. And though I feel pretty strongly about what is the "best" play, as with anything like this, two things are true:

  • I could be wrong, and I'm happy to discuss it.
  • Your individual situation may be unique. Maybe you are absolutely terrible at hitting a 4I, or you can't chip a ball to within 20' to save your life, or whatever. This discussion deals with generalities, not individual situations.

 

The second is more likely than the first. a2_wink.gif (To those who don't know me very well, that's a jab at myself. a1_smile.gif)

 

That's exactly what I was going to say! e1_poo.gif Anyway, I am interested in reading your book. I agree that management and mental approach are stressed too little, and the forum moderators here always have interesting points to back up their conclusions. Thanks for this post. It was very informative. It could actually turn into a weekly column, or maybe kinda like the "My Swing" forum, you could have us laymen talk about how we played certain holes and you and the rest of us commentators could weigh in on it.

post #155 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

You posted this as a precursor to your thoughts on a book. Based on the masses of golfers that your book may appeal to, I think you need to think in terms of the "average" golfer. Could the average golfer hit a high percentage shot that would put them 40 yards perfectly in-between the bunkers for a pitch shot? I don't think that's a very high percentage shot for them (based on the hole you show). Most would hit the trees right, pull it left, or simply end up with a pitch shot that requires them to carry a bunker (which most high handicappers struggle at. They may be better off leaving it 100 yds out...

I like the idea of your book, but I think it needs to differentiate between 20 cappers an scratch players. It needs to stress that players play to their strengths....

Also, I'm curious... Would YOU rather hit a 40 yd pitch or a 20 yd sand shot? It doesn't sound like you did so hot with your 40 yd pitch....
So your saying a guy who can't hit a hybrid can stick a wedge to 10 feet more than getting a wood in play... I don't think so
post #156 of 263

I'd play my 9i to the left side of the fairway, leaving a short wedge into the green with a possibility at a birdie.  I play a draw and the flight with my 3h is not very high, so no way I'd test out the trees on the right.

post #157 of 263

One of the challenges I see with this case is trying to explain how severe the green that was being played is. Because the golfer has played this hole so many times the correct answer was to play it as suggest. But what if it was the first time playing there? What is the correct "percentages" play if the golfer was unaware of how severe the green was?

 

There could also be be some cool information in terms of a book on course scouting and what to look for, what pins are good to go after, which should be avoided, etc.

post #158 of 263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post

It could actually turn into a weekly column, or maybe kinda like the "My Swing" forum, you could have us laymen talk about how we played certain holes and you and the rest of us commentators could weigh in on it.

 

We'll consider something like that, but honestly it may be too much since we'll be, you know, writing the actual book itself. :-) Plus since I had pictures, this particular hole was easier to do - to see the elevation, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

You posted this as a precursor to your thoughts on a book. Based on the masses of golfers that your book may appeal to, I think you need to think in terms of the "average" golfer.

 

I assure you this book is for all levels of golfer, or at least, all levels of golfer (18 and under?) who would buy a book about golf. I really don't want this to be a discussion about something that doesn't even exist (at this point anyway), though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

Could the average golfer hit a high percentage shot that would put them 40 yards perfectly in-between the bunkers for a pitch shot? I don't think that's a very high percentage shot for them (based on the hole you show).

 

Again, you'd be surprised - a 100-yard wedge shot isn't a "high percentage" shot - and the numbers actually scale pretty well. Plus I didn't lay up between the bunkers. I laid up to a fairway 30 yards wide that was short of any sand by 10 yards or so.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

They may be better off leaving it 100 yds out...

 

Statistically speaking, they're better off getting as close as they can without risking too much trouble. That's almost never a 100-yard shot (unless the last 90 yards is sand or water). :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

I like the idea of your book, but I think it needs to differentiate between 20 cappers an scratch players. It needs to stress that players play to their strengths....

 

One of the points we'll likely make is that "strengths" are often not perceived properly. But yes, the book will differentiate, except again, you'd be surprised at how seldom you actually have to differentiate. A bogey golfer doesn't do very well from 100 yards.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

Also, I'm curious... Would YOU rather hit a 40 yd pitch or a 20 yd sand shot? It doesn't sound like you did so hot with your 40 yd pitch....

 

My chip was fine. It carried a yard too far. If it had hit where I intended, it would have been a kick-in birdie. As it was, I had a 15-footer for birdie and was never in danger of making bogey. I chose the right shot and muffed the execution by about a yard. A yard short of my mark and I have a 10-footer up the hill.

 

Almost everyone would rather hit a 40-yard shot from the fairway than a 20-yard bunker shot.

 

And there were no 20-yard bunker shots, except from the very far-right corner of the front right bunker, and even then the green is 10 feet above your head or so.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mchepp View Post

One of the challenges I see with this case is trying to explain how severe the green that was being played is. Because the golfer has played this hole so many times the correct answer was to play it as suggest. But what if it was the first time playing there? What is the correct "percentages" play if the golfer was unaware of how severe the green was?

 

You can ask Jamieson or Mike - the green is pretty obviously steep since you can see it all from the same level in the fairway. And you can't see any grass behind it, implying a big drop-off there. If there's a cart next to it, too, or a group playing in front of you, I feel it's really obvious as well (as that picture of the dude by the left bunker illustrates).

post #159 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick1998bunker View Post

So your saying a guy who can't hit a hybrid can stick a wedge to 10 feet more than getting a wood in play... I don't think so

I'm saying that if that guy tried to get it that close to the green for a "safe" layup, they'll screw up a lot. Those golfers may be better off hitting a 6 iron and then have a wedge to the green.

I don't know if you've witnessed it, but the average golfer is much better with short irons...

By your reasoning, Erik should have said to go for the green. If he's not good enough to get a hybrid there, what makes you think he'd be any better with his wedge?
post #160 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchepp View Post

One of the challenges I see with this case is trying to explain how severe the green that was being played is. Because the golfer has played this hole so many times the correct answer was to play it as suggest. But what if it was the first time playing there? What is the correct "percentages" play if the golfer was unaware of how severe the green was?

There could also be be some cool information in terms of a book on course scouting and what to look for, what pins are good to go after, which should be avoided, etc.

I've played the course twice now, both times with the pin in the bowl (I remember it was there last year because I hit a nice shot from that front-right bunker after being short-sided, and this year because Erik made that funhouse greens video). All I can say is that you can definitely tell how sloped it is, especially if you're using a laser rangefinder. The slope is steep enough that it casts a shadow. The pictures don't really do it justice, but you definitely notice it with your eyes.

As for how steep it is behind; I suppose you can't really tell, but there is a big gap in the trees behind the green, and you can see Lake Erie. You can't see the drop-off per se, but your brain sure realizes that there's a drop-off. It's kind of like an optical illusion that is actually true.
post #161 of 263

Thinking about the answer for  a bit actually, here's my conclusion:

 

If I'm you: With the benefit of your analysis of course, I take your advice and play it safe by laying up close to the green with a 4 or 5 iron. Should leave a fairly straightforward chip, which will probably be between 5 and 10 feet from the hole, making birdie a 50% proposition or better. A go-for-it shot has to be very good here, and the reward of an eagle chance seems less likely than the chance of needing a solid up-and-down. Anything left looks like bad news. Why risk it? If someone gave you the opportunity to have a birdie at 40% or greater, you should take it!

 

If I'm me (and I am, last time I checked a2_wink.gif): Much more to think about, honestly. I'm obsessed with breaking 80 right now (still stuck on 81 with about 30 rounds under my belt), so I'm probably not getting too aggressive here. I also think you left that key component out of your scenario - if you're playing in a tournament or trying to achieve a certain score, it affects how you play the shot. I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass, and I know you were trying to present a simple scenario to say "what's the highest percentage shot," but I don't have your game so I need to think about my big miss being a lot worse than yours. Even if I "lay up" with a 5 iron at 200 yards (which happens to be my 5-iron distance), I may pull it well left into the trees and be stuck scrambling to save par. I'm probably more consistent with my 3 hybrid, which is about 225-235 for me and gets lots of air, than my 4-iron, so the "safer" shot is probably to just aim left of the tree and let the wind drop the ball softly on to the back of the green ideally. At worst, I pull it left like I'm prone to do and need a 50-60 yard pitch from a horrible location. I'm very comfortable with that distance from all lies, however, so I have no problem with that. I'm confident I get par. Even in the trees I feel like I can hit a bump-n-run on the green somewhere.

 

Final answer, for those already asleep... If I'm at 74 and this is the final hole, I lay up with a 7-iron, take par at worst then go get drinks. If this is the first hole, I go for it with an aggressive hybrid cut shot and either 1) have a nice eagle putt, or 2) get lucky to save par. Maybe I need to stop using the Bubba Watson mental approach!

post #162 of 263

Kind of a weak answer to the scenario imo.  Why list your distances, your score, and how you were playing if you were just going to quote a bunch of tour stats?  To give us a 9 page reminder of why we're not tour players?  It's cool though, I was simply expecting something a bit more intuitive.

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