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235 Out on This Par Five - What's the Play? - Page 10

post #163 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strandly View Post

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.

That's not what he did. He told you using Tour stats what the most realistic chance for scoring was, moving from a scratch-type player's risk-reward to a more general discussion. I also think that's why he invited others to add their analyses. Even the almighty forum moderators can't predict what everyone's game will do!

post #164 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...

 

Yes, this was what my original point tried to be. Love the analysis for scratch or near-scratch folks- my goal is to get there, and I think your argument is compelling.  

 

I was just curious if the %'s for executing each shot are different (including the layup from the fairway), would the answer be different? It could be numerically that the better you are, the more aggressive you should play it. Maybe 10 handicappers should get to a 100yd range, because they would blow the long-iron shot and be stuck behind the tree or pulled into the left rough, but they can nail the pitch to 100yd on the fairway significantly more often to make that the numerically superior play. If I have time, maybe I'll assume some numbers and crunch them, because you've provided a good methodology to analyze it all.

post #165 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallT View Post

Yes, this was what my original point tried to be. Love the analysis for scratch or near-scratch folks- my goal is to get there, and I think your argument is compelling.  

I was just curious if the %'s for executing each shot are different (including the layup from the fairway), would the answer be different? It could be numerically that the better you are, the more aggressive you should play it. Maybe 10 handicappers should get to a 100yd range, because they would blow the long-iron shot and be stuck behind the tree or pulled into the left rough, but they can nail the pitch to 100yd on the fairway significantly more often to make that the numerically superior play. If I have time, maybe I'll assume some numbers and crunch them, because you've provided a good methodology to analyze it all.
Good reasoning for instance I am about a 10 hdcp, I personally would go for the go for it with the hybrid to middle of green because I am so good with that shot, on the other hand if I layed up that's where I might get into trouble,if I lay up to 100 yards there is a decent chance I can wedge it close and a miss for me there is a pull so I would still be on the green, the problem is say i don't actually put it to 100 yards but 105, now I'm in trouble because I can't get my 60 there and my 55 is way too long, chances of me getting that close are slim, I admit half shots are a weakness of my game through, I can never seem to take enough off and always go too long
post #166 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

Start the hybrid at the left bunker with a fade taking most of the trouble out of play. If you are not confident with the fade take 5 iron to inside of left bunker and pitch it to 5 feet.

 

Not fully appreciating the severity of the putting complex and the dramatic fall-off, then my second choice is the play. Given a flatter green without the severity, then the hybrid is the play for the fact that an u/d from in front would be the same percentage as an u/d from the back or side. When this is the case going for it makes sense because then you could be putting for eagle versus playing front, which will never give you an eagle putt. 

 

I have to agree that most players have a distance where laying up to the pet yardage no longer makes sense. I happen to have a few yardages that work for me and they are from 90-105 and then 25 yards and in. If I am 275 out then I am hitting a 5 or 6 iron to the full wedge distance, but at 235, I am at least trying to get close to the green. 

post #167 of 263

A couple of years ago, in conjunction with the British Open, The Golf Channel did a little show with the caddies at St Andrews.  One caddie was asked what the most common comment was that he heard from visiting amateurs.  His response was "Don't worry, I've got this shot".......  He said, inevitably, they didn't!   a1_smile.gif

post #168 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).

 

 

And there's the catch. I can honestly state that I have never liked the idea of laying up shorter to get a fuller shot. As close to the green as possible, but short of trouble is my goal. The catch is what you need to do to avoid the "BIG" trouble on a hole. I meet situations where a miss left or right is penal - and I'll be happy to hit a couple of "can't miss" short or medium irons rather than a wood or a hybrid and a wedge. That maybe doesn't figure here the way you set up your question - but as a general principle, it's obviously a factor.

 

Iacas - I like the way you used the tour numbers to support your argument. Would your strategy be any different if you found yourself in a similar "Danger Zone" yardage, but you're playing a long par 4? In other words, in the situation here, you're in range of the green but have a stroke in hand to still make GIR and putt for birdie. Does that make it easier in practice for you to lay up?

 

Rationally, I don't suppose it makes any difference whether you're looking to make birdie, or trying to secure a par, or even a bogey (say you've driven out of bounds) - but emotionally???

post #169 of 263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post

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!

 

Yes, the fact that I made the putt simply made up for goofing up my chip. I'd expect to birdie about 30-40% of the time from just short of the green. And I'm 95% likely to get it into that spot from the fairway, maybe higher.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post

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.

 

It doesn't really, and golfers would probably do themselves a favor by not thinking of this so much. So many good rounds are ruined by someone playing too aggressively OR conservatively right from the start. Good strategy is good strategy - a birdie or par is a birdie or par, and if you increase your odds of doing it, you lower your score. This is about scoring, and scoring is universal. A birdie is a birdie is a birdie. Yes, if it's the 18th hole and you NEED an eagle to tie, that can change things.

 

Look at the trouble Kyle Stanley got into by laying up at Torrey Pines when the play was to hit it long and right with his second shot.

 

Too many golfers, IMO, see only "aggressive" and "safe" as their options. There's plenty of room in the middle.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallT View Post

I was just curious if the %'s for executing each shot are different (including the layup from the fairway), would the answer be different? It could be numerically that the better you are, the more aggressive you should play it. Maybe 10 handicappers should get to a 100yd range, because they would blow the long-iron shot and be stuck behind the tree or pulled into the left rough, but they can nail the pitch to 100yd on the fairway significantly more often to make that the numerically superior play. If I have time, maybe I'll assume some numbers and crunch them, because you've provided a good methodology to analyze it all.

 

I feel I've answered this already, but I'll try again: if you have a 25% chance of screwing up a 5-iron layup (maybe you're really bad with your 4hybrid, so you nix that from the outset), then you're also not likely to hit the green from 100 yards at a 75% clip, either. So those numbers change too.

 

I'm making these up a bit but let's look at a 12 handicapper who screws up his 5I 25% of the time:

 

Lay up with 5I: 30% chance birdie, 60% par, 10% bogey when he hits it well 75% (4.8 * 0.75 = 3.6)

Lay up with 5I: 0% chance birdie, 40% chance par, 60% chance bogey when he screws it up 25%(1.4)

 

Total: 5

 

Lay up with 9I: 20% chance birdie, 50% par, 30% bogey (and that's being VERY generous - 30% GIR is just a little bit worse than PGA Tour #100, and with a 12 handicapper's scrambling… nor are they making birdie from 100 yards 20% of the time). I don't have to run those numbers for you to see the number is going to be above par.

 

We have actual numbers for these things, and they'll be in the book, but I don't want to talk about that now. I hope, for this one example, this makes sense.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

Given a flatter green without the severity, then the hybrid is the play for the fact that an u/d from in front would be the same percentage as an u/d from the back or side. When this is the case going for it makes sense because then you could be putting for eagle versus playing front, which will never give you an eagle putt.

 

I agree, which is why I employed that strategy on every other par five that round. a1_smile.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

I meet situations where a miss left or right is penal - and I'll be happy to hit a couple of "can't miss" short or medium irons rather than a wood or a hybrid and a wedge. That maybe doesn't figure here the way you set up your question - but as a general principle, it's obviously a factor.

 

It doesn't fit this example, you're right, but it fits others.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

Iacas - I like the way you used the tour numbers to support your argument. Would your strategy be any different if you found yourself in a similar "Danger Zone" yardage, but you're playing a long par 4? In other words, in the situation here, you're in range of the green but have a stroke in hand to still make GIR and putt for birdie. Does that make it easier in practice for you to lay up?

 

Rationally, I don't suppose it makes any difference whether you're looking to make birdie, or trying to secure a par, or even a bogey (say you've driven out of bounds) - but emotionally???

 

If I'm 235 yards out on a par four because my drive hit a tree or something, I've already screwed up. It's in the past. My drive cost me half a shot or whatever, and so I've simply gotta make the best score from where my ball is now. If I can choose a route that gets me in the hole in 3.5 strokes, that's preferable to the option that averages 3.6 strokes.

 

Right?

post #170 of 263

Thanks Erik and Dave.  I will definitely consider using this approach more.  I have, on some holes, done the 100 yard lay-up with some success.  I usually only do it if there is danger left and right approaching the hole where a wayward shot would result in a high score.  I have used your approach successfully on a bunch of par 5 holes.

 

One question I have is on the Tour Stat for 100-125 yard shots?  Could this %GIR be a result of pin placement and Tour players going for the pin? If they were only aiming at the center of the green, like we 11 HC players are supposed to be doing, wouldn't their %GIR be much higher?

post #171 of 263

What if you feel more comfortable with a 235 yard shot than a 200 yard shot?

post #172 of 263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

One question I have is on the Tour Stat for 100-125 yard shots?  Could this %GIR be a result of pin placement and Tour players going for the pin? If they were only aiming at the center of the green, like we 11 HC players are supposed to be doing, wouldn't their %GIR be much higher?

 

It could be, yes. But it's also a PGA Tour player trying to make a good score from 110 yards, so…

 

As it relates to the average golfers, this gets into other areas of the book I'd rather not discuss just yet. Hope you understand. :)

post #173 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

If I'm 235 yards out on a par four because my drive hit a tree or something, I've already screwed up. It's in the past. My drive cost me half a shot or whatever, and so I've simply gotta make the best score from where my ball is now. If I can choose a route that gets me in the hole in 3.5 strokes, that's preferable to the option that averages 3.6 strokes.

 

Right?

 

 

Agree with this mentality. I think a lot of golfers don't know when to take the foot off the gas. They try to force the issue, and wonder why they end up with double or worse. Bogey is basically par, cause you still have to play the hole, but with a penalty. I usually play the hole with the mentality of getting the best score possible throwing out the penalties. If I hit a ball OB, just tee it up and try to get birdie or par. I can't get the stroke and distance back, but i sure can add to the bad hole.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

What if you feel more comfortable with a 235 yard shot than a 200 yard shot?

 

Play to your strengths, and how you feel. Some shots i am just not comfortable with. Your statistics are your statistics. If you can hit a 235 club more accurate than a 200 club, then go for it when you think its most advantageous. If you know a driver will leave you with a long iron you don't like. Why not hit 3-wood off the tee on a par 5. Maybe set back to that 235 area. Or, if that 235 is a hybrid, go get another hybrid to fill that 200 shot area so you have a more confident club.

post #174 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

What if you feel more comfortable with a 235 yard shot than a 200 yard shot?

 

To elaborate...

 

If I go with your option, I'm hitting my hybrid about 205. Assuming I hit a good shot, I'm left with (most likely) a pitch or chip up followed by a two putt for a par. If I pull it, I'm probably in the rough on the left, pitch up and two putt for par. If I slice it, I'm in the trees, and probably end up with a bogey or worse.

 

If I go with my option, I hit my 3 wood, and assuming I hit a good shot, I'm on the fat of the green, and (most likely) two putt for birdie. If I hit it straight (would be trying to cut it), I'm in the bunker, or just left of the green, and (most likely) pitch up and two putt for par. If I slice instead of cut, I'm (most likely) in the right bunker, pitch up and two putt for par. 

 

So my miss going for it, is (most likely) in better shape than my miss laying up. 

 

Granted, that's not the norm...and if I was a better player, your option would probably be the better one, as I'd more than likely have no issues hitting a 200 yard shot in the fairway. But me? I'm going for it...

post #175 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

If I'm 235 yards out on a par four because my drive hit a tree or something, I've already screwed up. It's in the past. My drive cost me half a shot or whatever, and so I've simply gotta make the best score from where my ball is now. If I can choose a route that gets me in the hole in 3.5 strokes, that's preferable to the option that averages 3.6 strokes.

 

Right?

Right. The numbers speak for themselves. If you're trying to get down in the lowest number of strokes, then the situation doesn't matter.

 

But I think it's EASIER emotionally to make the smart play on a par 5 when you're looking at birdie or maybe par. I see good players lay up regularly on par 5s when in the 200 - 220 "makeable" range. I don't know if I've ever seen a good player lay up on a long par 3. But you're right - that doesn't change what the smart play is.

post #176 of 263

I agree with the fundamental conclusion that closer is better, although as a less skilled golfer the numbers for me would be completely different.  Sadly, though, I am usually trying to get as close to the green as I can on BOTH par 5s AND par 4s.

post #177 of 263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

If I go with my option, I hit my 3 wood, and assuming I hit a good shot, I'm on the fat of the green, and (most likely) two putt for birdie. If I hit it straight (would be trying to cut it), I'm in the bunker, or just left of the green, and (most likely) pitch up and two putt for par. If I slice instead of cut, I'm (most likely) in the right bunker, pitch up and two putt for par. 

 

Those aren't necessarily "most likely." You'll bogey from those bunkers far more often than you're considering (even if you get it on the putting surface, you'll three-putt fairly often given the severity), and you left out "I hit it over the back or left of the green, and from there I'm fortunate to make par." I bet if I could watch you hit balls for a bit (with your improved motion, I mean) before we played, and I coached you around the golf course, you could save 5-10 strokes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

But I think it's EASIER emotionally to make the smart play on a par 5 when you're looking at birdie or maybe par. I see good players lay up regularly on par 5s when in the 200 - 220 "makeable" range. I don't know if I've ever seen a good player lay up on a long par 3. But you're right - that doesn't change what the smart play is.

 

Okay, so as I said, detach yourself from that sort of thinking and your scoring will improve. a3_biggrin.gif

 

P.S. That one golfer laid up on a par three every day in a U.S. Open or something and won, having made four pars or something. Often said to be Ben Hogan but I'm pretty sure it was someone else. And there are plenty of par threes - the eighth at Oakmont - where just short is a far, far better place to be than anywhere else but on the green. You're playing that hole for a 3.25 average score, and if you can, you'll pick up strokes all the time.

post #178 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Those aren't necessarily "most likely." You'll bogey from those bunkers far more often than you're considering (even if you get it on the putting surface, you'll three-putt fairly often given the severity), and you left out "I hit it over the back or left of the green, and from there I'm fortunate to make par." I bet if I could watch you hit balls for a bit (with your improved motion, I mean) before we played, and I coached you around the golf course, you could save 5-10 strokes.

 

Possibly. That would be interesting...I have no question that sometimes I make decisions that cost me a stroke or 7. 

 

And you might be right, it's hard to judge without actually seeing the pin from the bunkers. A picture can only tell so much sometimes.

post #179 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

Right. The numbers speak for themselves. If you're trying to get down in the lowest number of strokes, then the situation doesn't matter.

 

But I think it's EASIER emotionally to make the smart play on a par 5 when you're looking at birdie or maybe par. I see good players lay up regularly on par 5s when in the 200 - 220 "makeable" range. I don't know if I've ever seen a good player lay up on a long par 3. But you're right - that doesn't change what the smart play is.

 

Well laying up on a par 3 is different. If you were hitting your third from 200-220 on a par 5, you'd probably wont lay up. Most people are going for GIR's, and they believe the best shot is to not go for it. They want to stay out of trouble, this projects to holes were there is no trouble.

post #180 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

Well laying up on a par 3 is different.

 

Is it though? 

 

I mean, if the picture shown is a 235 yard par 3, are you laying up because the odds of getting par will be higher than if you go for the green? The situation is different, but the stats aren't. According the Erik's stats, you'd be better off laying up and trying to scramble for par or at worst a bogey, instead of going for it and ending up bogey or worse if you miss.

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