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Course Management - Shot Placement - Page 2

post #19 of 25

There really are no absolutes in golf.  It certainly depends on the hole, your position on the hole coming into the green, the position of the flag, etc., but I think I am with Harmonious on this one.  It's nice to at least develop a shot you are comfortable laying up to.

 

Although it may be preferable to be closer to the green , don't forget we're not just talking about the shot into the green, we're talking about the accuracy of the shot before it. A shot where you hit it 120  to lay up is going to be more likely in a better position than a shot of even 160.  Unless you are talking about getting something close enough to chip , I think it makes sense to at least have a distance you are comfortable with.  It doesn't have to be 90 yards, it can be 50.   My range has a 50 yard marker, so I have developed a comfort level with landing the ball close to that distance. If there is any elevation to the green or a bunker guarding it, I will try to get to 50 because I know I can hit a flop from that distance much easier than say 25 yards.  It's nice to at least have that in the bag.

 

More than anything, however, having a comfortable distance forces me to think about the hole. Its similar to the line on the ball for putting; its not so much that I need the line while hitting the putt, but it forces me to pay attention to the break and commit to a point for the putt.  Same thing with laying up; it forces me to think about the hole and the flag position rather than just "hit and hope."

post #20 of 25
I'm a high handicapper and generally in the "closer is better" camp, although, my thought process has changed as it relates to par 5's these days. Way back when, I used to always go with the closer is better approach to my second shot regardless of the situation. Since I've returned to the game, I am much more apt to pick a club for my second shot that will get me to within 100-150 yards for my 3rd (big range, I know, but such is the life of a high handicapper). For me it's not so much about wanting to avoid a partial swing for my 3rd, but more about having a more managable club in my hand for that 2nd shot. So instead of trying to rip a lower percentage 3W out of the rough and pray I'm within 50 or 60 yards, I'd rather take a nice 5i and leave myself an easy 8i to the green (my club combinations might not exactly add up, but you know what I mean). It is a little different, though, when I'm say playing out of trouble on a par 4. While I usually just try to get the ball back in play, I am still trying to get it as close to the green as I can without trying something completely stupid. Same thing with a long par 4 where let's say I was way short off the tee, I can't imagine I would try and lay-up just to leave myself a full swing on my next shot. I might do so if there was a hazard I wanted to avoid but, under most circumstances, would probably grab the 3H and hope for the best. Right or wrong, just the way I play it.
post #21 of 25

I had those three swing distances for all my wedges and liked knowing I had overlap and options for various yardages.  (fine tuning the gaps with the amount of face open/closed even).

 

For awhile, I was preferencing full swings whenever I could.  But I get to SW and LW, and those aren't as easy to hit full as the rest of the bag.  That made me want to experiment.

 

The 3/4 to half swings are usually very nice contact.....

 

short answer - I'd work on a 3/4 to 90% swing and see what's more consistent to hitting those stated yards.   I'm doing a lot better now -

 

if I'm 100 yards out, that's my full SW, so instead, I pull the GW and take a 'relaxed' swing.

if I'm 75 yards out, I'll swing a bit more than half SW rather than try to kill my LW (80 yards if struck perfectly - usually more like 60)

 

For that matter, when you have this kind of shot, you might be hitting over a hazard.  I'd rather be hitting a confident line instead of counting on a perfect 100%er....that I might catch thin and drop short

 

 

I'm hitting a lot more greens now and closer to the pin.  I think I have more control of roll out too.....FWIW

 

 

Just this Saturday I did test it on hole 4 at my local course - 60 yards to the pin, back placement (so plenty of green to work with).  I put down three balls.

 

GW - low runner half swing.  Landed on target, if it wasn't so wet, I think the roll out would have been very close

 

SW - 30 yard Pitch shot setup, but I squared the face and took a bit more swing (3/4?) still keeping the lower body still.  Also landed right on my chosen target, if it wasn't so wet, I think the roll out would have been very close

 

LW - Full swing, landed right next to the hole and stopped there.

 

the short of it is, all three shots were executed really well (I get lucky on rare occasions) but this time was fortunate to see the contrast.  ----->  Just because the LW was the best result (this time), it's also the hardest shot of the three for me to repeat.

 

 

It's nice to have multiple options for the same shot.  I'd likely choose the SW shot unless I was really feeling good, or the pin placement was short and I had no room to roll out the other shots......

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GangGreen View Post

I'm a high handicapper and generally in the "closer is better" camp, although, my thought process has changed as it relates to par 5's these days. Way back when, I used to always go with the closer is better approach to my second shot regardless of the situation. Since I've returned to the game, I am much more apt to pick a club for my second shot that will get me to within 100-150 yards for my 3rd (big range, I know, but such is the life of a high handicapper). For me it's not so much about wanting to avoid a partial swing for my 3rd, but more about having a more managable club in my hand for that 2nd shot. So instead of trying to rip a lower percentage 3W out of the rough and pray I'm within 50 or 60 yards, I'd rather take a nice 5i and leave myself an easy 8i to the green (my club combinations might not exactly add up, but you know what I mean). It is a little different, though, when I'm say playing out of trouble on a par 4. While I usually just try to get the ball back in play, I am still trying to get it as close to the green as I can without trying something completely stupid. Same thing with a long par 4 where let's say I was way short off the tee, I can't imagine I would try and lay-up just to leave myself a full swing on my next shot. I might do so if there was a hazard I wanted to avoid but, under most circumstances, would probably grab the 3H and hope for the best. Right or wrong, just the way I play it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guiseppe View Post
 

There really are no absolutes in golf.  It certainly depends on the hole, your position on the hole coming into the green, the position of the flag, etc., but I think I am with Harmonious on this one.  It's nice to at least develop a shot you are comfortable laying up to.

 

Although it may be preferable to be closer to the green , don't forget we're not just talking about the shot into the green, we're talking about the accuracy of the shot before it. A shot where you hit it 120  to lay up is going to be more likely in a better position than a shot of even 160.  Unless you are talking about getting something close enough to chip , I think it makes sense to at least have a distance you are comfortable with.  It doesn't have to be 90 yards, it can be 50.   My range has a 50 yard marker, so I have developed a comfort level with landing the ball close to that distance. If there is any elevation to the green or a bunker guarding it, I will try to get to 50 because I know I can hit a flop from that distance much easier than say 25 yards.  It's nice to at least have that in the bag.

 

More than anything, however, having a comfortable distance forces me to think about the hole. Its similar to the line on the ball for putting; its not so much that I need the line while hitting the putt, but it forces me to pay attention to the break and commit to a point for the putt.  Same thing with laying up; it forces me to think about the hole and the flag position rather than just "hit and hope."

Totally agree with you both in regards to the lines I bolded.  I do the exact same thing all of the time.  In fact, my very first sentence in my very first post on this thread was ... "In general, you want to get as close as possible to the green as you can without too much risk."  If I'm 240 yards out and there is heavy rough off the fairway, then I'm not going to pull out my hybrid just so I can be 20 yards away from the green and likely in that rough, when I can pull a 6 or 7 iron and be 70 yards out but likely in the fairway.  On the other hand, if I'm in a similar situation on a course with very little rough, then I'm not going to pull a 6 or 7 iron just so I can be 70 yards out, when the hybrid is going to get me closer to the green with no extra risk.

 

It would be fun to do a test.  Have everybody hit 10 balls to their "comfortable" distance - I guess for me that would be about 100 - then hit 10 balls to 40 yards.  I cannot imagine very many people (low and high handicaps alike) that would average closer to the target from 100 than they would from 40.  Again though, this is only a rebuttal to people who lay back not to avoid risk, but just to have a longer shot.  That, for me, does not compute.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post
 

short answer - I'd work on a 3/4 to 90% swing and see what's more consistent to hitting those stated yards.   I'm doing a lot better now -

We sound pretty similar when it comes to the wedges, although I have yet to be comfortable messing around with partial swings on any clubs above sand wedge.  I'm starting to practice it more though, because I'm trying to get to a point where my "full" swing with my sand and lob wedge IS my 3/4 to 90% swing.

 

Right now, though, if I'm 110 or so out I have to try and crush a SW because I don't quite have the finesse of a 3/4 GW down yet.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

I agree. I think Harmonious forgot what it's like to be a high capper. Less about the risk than minimizing the damage because it's a given we're going to miss some shots.

 

Exactly, I think many of you single digit guys forgot what it's like to be a high capper.

 

If I'm 240 out, I can try to hit my 3W/2H 200 yards (depending on lie) and hope that I end up on the fairway (which doesn't always happen with a high handicapper) and then hope I don't blade / shank / chunk an awkward distance pitch/chip shot.  If I put the 3W into the rough or woods who know how many shots it will take to get close to the hole assuming no penalty shots are involved.

 

In those situations I'd prefer to hit a 7i 150 yards onto the fairway and be in great position for a 90 yard GW from a good lie that I can stick near the hole.

post #24 of 25

I love reading threads like this!  A lot of well thought out responses discussing different people's perspectives and perceptions of how some of the toughest shots in the game should be undertaken just can't help but be good for anyone that reads it.  At least so long as we all recognize there is no one answer that is right for everybody concerned!

 

What I'm taking away from the discussion is primarily the risk reduction aspect.  I particularly enjoyed hearing others talking about manning up and hitting a shorter iron for the second shot on par 5s!  The course I play doesn't have real long par 5s, but the greens all have a lot of trouble nearby, much of it reachable even with a shot that wouldn't make it all the way onto the green anyway.  Knocking the ball in the water 20 yards from the green with my 4 wood just isn't as attractive as leaving myself a wedge shot from farther out with my 6 iron.  The reward for a great 4 wood shot just doesn't offset the risk of drowning off to the side of the green.  If I was a better ball striker that quotient would change.

 

That said, I am generally aligned with the "closer is better" camp for most approach shots, with at least one notable exception.  Approaching a green I really am trying to learn to think over the risks associated with pin placement.  For me this is huge.  I really don't want to put myself in a spot where I have a pitch that I absolutely must stop quickly if I can avoid it in any way.  Just shooting at the middle of the green solves this sometimes.  I'd rather have a pretty long lag putt, and because my lag putts aren't so great, I'd often rather have an even somewhat longer greenside pitch where there's some room for roll-out.  That's a matter of my personal confidence in those two shots.  And that seems to be what this discussion really is all about; making personal decisions about which shot you feel best about undertaking to set up your NEXT shot.

post #25 of 25
Played a par 5 which was 485 yards. Both times I end up blocking it into the adjacent fairway. Roughly same distance 210-220. Took a 6 iron just to get back in play. That left me with 110 missed the green. Didn't get up and down took a 6.

Second time similar position I pull out my hybrid smoke it and left with 60 yards hit the green and get a 5.

The green is wide but not deep so getting closer is a great play. A bigger green and 110 would be a good play. Its a hole by hole strategy. I find there is no absolute lay up yardage everytime.
Add in some inconsistent yardages and you are changing club decisions on the fly.

This part of the game has become a lot of fun for me. Can I adjust and get myself back in the hole? It actually takes off pressure to hit the shot perfect.
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