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Stop Aiming at the Flag!!! - Page 10

post #163 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

back to the subject of the thread….

Anyone tried the advice in the OP? Please share results.

I'm looking out my window at a near white-out. Again. I'm visiting/lurking here to avoid shoveling snow. Again. Is it normal for a grown man to cry when it starts snowing? My five keys are bend my knees, don't take too much snow on the shovel, keep my back straight, throw snow down wind, avoid starting the job for as long as possible.

As much as I love a spitting match about keeping my head still and the real five keys, I'd really love to hear about people's experiences aiming at the center of green based on handicap and yardage.

I tried it this weekend. On the whole it is a great strategy. I have two areas that concern me. One is when there is a green that is extremely sloped from back to front and the pin is in the front. If I hit the ball past the pin I will leave myself and extremely dangerous downhill putt, where my typical strategy might be to hit the ball a little short in order to prevent having that severe putt. The second case is similar where there is a big green that has a tier and the pin is on a lower tier meaning a downhill putt that could be hard to stop. We have some very severe greens at my home club that could leave you with some treacherous downhillers.

Still I recognize as a single digit handicapper that this is the best strategy for me on 98% of the holes I play.
post #164 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchepp View Post


I tried it this weekend. On the whole it is a great strategy. I have two areas that concern me. One is when there is a green that is extremely sloped from back to front and the pin is in the front. If I hit the ball past the pin I will leave myself and extremely dangerous downhill putt, where my typical strategy might be to hit the ball a little short in order to prevent having that severe putt. The second case is similar where there is a big green that has a tier and the pin is on a lower tier meaning a downhill putt that could be hard to stop. We have some very severe greens at my home club that could leave you with some treacherous downhillers.

Still I recognize as a single digit handicapper that this is the best strategy for me on 98% of the holes I play.

 

I'm sure you can "massage" the strategy in those severe cases.  Maybe on the hole with the severe back to front slope, if center is 150 yards out but that's at the apex of the slope, you aim for the center left/right but try for a 140 yard shot that will still land close to center but trickle down to the front where the pin is.

 

However also though keep in mind, on that same green, if you go pin hunting at the front pin, you could bring the false front into play and end up with a very difficult, 40 yard chip back up to the green.  I would take the slippery downhill putt everyday instead of that chip.

post #165 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by impactswing View Post

The thread was about hacks aiming center green
I said good for hacks
Then someone starts saying pros are 40 feet from pins, so I showed inside 150 pros knock down pins.

Also someone said 00 TW was not aiming for pins.

The stats show my posts were right, someone said back it up I did.

Since you keep blocking me from threads, I see how you run this board.

If it goes against your opinion you block people

Your 5sk concept is seriously flawed.

Steady head WRONG

No pro has a steady head, it moves sideways and down.

Seems you thought Hogans 5 lessons were a good format to copy

Hogan dipped twice in his swing, so much for a steady head

You just cant stand opinions from knowledgeable golfers that differ from you

So you get the last word by blocking them

1. Apparently the stats on approaches from 200 and in is about 40 feet. On approaches from 125 and in -- it's about 25 feet. It may have changed recently, but not that much.

 

Yes, you can get pics of pros knocking down pins from the same distance -- we're talking averages.

 

 

2. You apparently have not looked up the 5SKeys definition of steady head.

 

3. I think being argumentative with facts is ok, being unreasonably argumentative and disrupting discussion is not. Everyone is given a lot of discretion... a lot...

post #166 of 377
Interesting thread (though I haven't read it all).

Re the distances for aiming at the middle of the green or aiming at the flag, got to confess I find this a tad simplistic. Maybe a good rule of thumb but is golf ever that simple? I rarely aim at the flag, but it's often the flag plus an offset in one direction or another.

I look at the worst case scenario and best case scenario ....... and it doesn't always fit this model. I'll give you an example.

I play one course where a certain par 3 is both long and difficult. It's a tough hole because if you miss it on the right the run off will take you maybe 60 to 80 yards down into a swale. Missing left by comparison is a relatively easy chip. I always shoot for the left side of this green, regardless of where the pin is, going for the middle is pointless. In contrast there are some holes where a miss left or right has about the same penalty and then its the middle I go for.

Another hole has very deep bunkering at the front, so I'll always aim from the middle to the back. If the pin is there great, if not..... meh.... still better than being in a bunker that's 12 feet deep. If I'm 200 yards out I aim middle back, 150- middle back, 100 middle back, 50 ....... past the pin a bit I guess - basically give myself as much chance as possible to avoid the trouble within my own ability.

Close in I may fancy putting uphill not down on some harder greens so I aim a little in that direction rather than the opposite. If I get it right I'm on the right side of the pin, a little off and I may be above the hole but I'll be closer than I would have been if I shot at the flag and got it wrong in this direction.

If the wind is from the left I'd err on the left side of the green as I rarely over estimate it, into me and I'd take more club than I think I need not less - aim for the back half.

Overall I go for the shot that'll put me in the least trouble if (or when :) ) I get it wrong...... but that's different on every hole and there's no real formula. I guess it's about knowing your game and playing to your strengths.
post #167 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post

Overall I go for the shot that'll put me in the least trouble if (or when :) ) I get it wrong

Yeah, this is what I try to do as well, and I basically think this is what they are getting at.  Remember that the actual title of the thread is "Stop aiming at the flag."  It doesn't sound like you're doing that ... it sounds like you're playing smart. :beer:

post #168 of 377
I guess so. I think I'm just not aiming at the centre of the green either I'm aiming away from trouble and if that coincides with the flag so be it, if not I get to practice my lag putting - I know my limitations :) It's kind of a sliding scale though. Some days if I'm striking the ball well I'll aim more towards the flag than on another day when I'm clinging on and have no idea where the ball is going. Sorry, not very scientific or specific but it's all about a mix of common sense and 'feel' for me I'm afraid.
post #169 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post

I guess so. I think I'm just not aiming at the centre of the green either I'm aiming away from trouble and if that coincides with the flag so be it, if not I get to practice my lag putting - I know my limitations :) It's kind of a sliding scale though. Some days if I'm striking the ball well I'll aim more towards the flag than on another day when I'm clinging on and have no idea where the ball is going. Sorry, not very scientific or specific but it's all about a mix of common sense and 'feel' for me I'm afraid.

 

Something along these lines is exactly what I think is being recommended.  The point I was trying to make with my analysis earlier in the thread is that I'd bet that for the vast majority of golfers, even those consciously playing smart golf as you describe, our "feel" about how far to aim away from trouble is pretty strongly biased detrimentally towards aiming closer to the pin than is optimal.  

 

I tried to show through some analysis a pretty simple point.  Basically your up and down fail percentage, even from very close, massively dwarfs the increase in birdie percentage you get when you do hit the green from aiming closer to the pin.  And even on tough greens, your lag putt 2-putt success rate is way way higher than your realistic U/D percentage.  So basically, even on tiered greens, the GIR % penalty you pay for aiming nearer the flag has to be very small for you not to be costing yourself strokes by aiming away from your optimal hit the green spot.

 

Obviously there are shades, but except on the most diabolical greens the cost for missing the green is much higher than the cost of being on a bad part of the green more often but also being on the green more often.

post #170 of 377

May have been clarified but wanted to point out that even though Dave and Erik are saying the final target should be the center of the green, it doesn't mean the start line is at the center of the green. Play to your pattern.

post #171 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post
 

...............The point I was trying to make with my analysis earlier in the thread is that I'd bet that for the vast majority of golfers, even those consciously playing smart golf as you describe, our "feel" about how far to aim away from trouble is pretty strongly biased detrimentally towards aiming closer to the pin than is optimal. 

 

...................

 

Obviously there are shades, but except on the most diabolical greens the cost for missing the green is much higher than the cost of being on a bad part of the green more often but also being on the green more often.

 

There are forums that allow open debate and there are forums that stifle it. I'm hoping and trusting this is the former.

 

I fully agree with one part of the above - it's all about "feel" and playing smart. I respectfully totally disagree with a formula for calculating when you should aim at the flag and when you should aim to leave your ball in the middle of the green based on handicap or yardage.

 

What about when the flag is on a 'friendly' side of the green but a miss to the other side is a hugely bad idea? I'm aiming at the flag. What about a day when you just feel like your game is 'there' or another when you're hanging on? I'm erring more towards the flag when my game is 'on'. What about times when the flag is in a spot that is a much harder spot to putt to from one side than the other - you may be better off with a very short chip into a slope than a monster 2 putt down a tier. What about times when you are playing a links course with huge greens and the flag is at the back of it? Forget the middle, it's a pitching wedge from the hole..... but avoid that bunker in the back left corner, it's a killer..... but I'm striking the ball pretty well today and the wind's not up like it was yesterday..... I'm firing right of the flag, bit short of it, but aiming closer than I aimed yesterday when I was having a nightmare.

 

"Shades" is right, it isn't black and white, in golf it never is.

 

Know your game, play to your strengths, be aware of your weaknesses. And make your decisions on the course accordingly - and they'll be different every day and depend on a myriad different factors that are constantly changing.

 

Recently there have been numerous attempts to make golf almost solely a science, take the 'art' out of it. Books, papers, internet blogs have all been written to try to find the 'formulas' that somehow equate to good golf. My opinion - there aren't any, and that's what makes it such a fantastic game. You can have 'pointers' to reign in your exuberance, and I'd rate this 'formula' under those. But ignoring all of the other factors that influence a 'smart' golfer on the course is, in my opinion, a mistake.

post #172 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

 

There are forums that allow open debate and there are forums that stifle it. I'm hoping and trusting this is the former.

 

I fully agree with one part of the above - it's all about "feel" and playing smart. I respectfully totally disagree with a formula for calculating when you should aim at the flag and when you should aim to leave your ball in the middle of the green based on handicap or yardage.

 

What about when the flag is on a 'friendly' side of the green but a miss to the other side is a hugely bad idea? I'm aiming at the flag. What about a day when you just feel like your game is 'there' or another when you're hanging on? I'm erring more towards the flag when my game is 'on'. What about times when the flag is in a spot that is a much harder spot to putt to from one side than the other - you may be better off with a very short chip into a slope than a monster 2 putt down a tier. What about times when you are playing a links course with huge greens and the flag is at the back of it? Forget the middle, it's a pitching wedge from the hole..... but avoid that bunker in the back left corner, it's a killer..... but I'm striking the ball pretty well today and the wind's not up like it was yesterday..... I'm firing right of the flag, bit short of it, but aiming closer than I aimed yesterday when I was having a nightmare.

 

"Shades" is right, it isn't black and white, in golf it never is.

 

Know your game, play to your strengths, be aware of your weaknesses. And make your decisions on the course accordingly - and they'll be different every day and depend on a myriad different factors that are constantly changing.

 

Recently there have been numerous attempts to make golf almost solely a science, take the 'art' out of it. Books, papers, internet blogs have all been written to try to find the 'formulas' that somehow equate to good golf. My opinion - there aren't any, and that's what makes it such a fantastic game. You can have 'pointers' to reign in your exuberance, and I'd rate this 'formula' under those. But ignoring all of the other factors that influence a 'smart' golfer on the course is, in my opinion, a mistake.

 

 

If they don't agree with you then they are oppressors of opinions. Seems like the standing tactic for those who end up having their opinions proven wrong. Though being wrong doesn't mean you have to change them, it just means they are wrong. In this situation probably wrong a good majority of the time. 

 

Here is the thing, how often does those other factors come into play? If those examples are only 5% off all approach shots, then what is stated here works for 95% of the time. 

 

I can't count on my hand the number of times I have played on a green that was significant enough in size that I had to consider it two or more greens. It doesn't happen as often as you think. 

post #173 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

If they don't agree with you then they are oppressors of opinions. Seems like the standing tactic for those who end up having their opinions proven wrong. Though being wrong doesn't mean you have to change them, it just means they are wrong. In this situation probably wrong a good majority of the time.

 

Here is the thing, how often does those other factors come into play? If those examples are only 5% off all approach shots, then what is stated here works for 95% of the time.

 

I can't count on my hand the number of times I have played on a green that was significant enough in size that I had to consider it two or more greens. It doesn't happen as often as you think.

How often do other factors come into the shot decision making process? Pretty much every shot :)

 

Hi mate. I don't mind at all if they disagree, as long as people don't mind if I disagree.

 

Like I said, how often do other factors come into exactly where I shoot into a green? Practically ever time I shoot into a green, that is no exaggeration.

 

I'll just take one factor - topography - but there are many more, wind speed and direction is a biggy that may make you err one way or the other.

 

I'm a member of a big, fairly tough 18 hole course near me but practice on a tight 9 hole course 5 minutes from my house quite a bit, so looking at that course:

 

1st is a par 4, it has out of bounds just off the left side of the green. If the flag is left side I'm firing right of it, maybe middle of the green. my offset will depend on several factors, yardage is one of them. If it is right side I'm shooting at the pin.

3rd is a par 3, out of bounds left of the green, bunker sticking into the left hand side of the green and 10 foot high bunker guarding the front, green slopes steeply away from you at the front. I'm going long and right of the pin - if the pin is left this may be the middle (depends on how brave I'm feeling) if the pin in right I may fire straight at it.

6th is a 2 tier par 3, 48 yards exactly front to back, change in elevation front to back is probable about 40 feet (not measured but both halves of the green slope and the tier itself is a good 15 feet high. Wind into me and flag on the top tier I'm not shooting at the middle, I'm aiming long.

9th is a short par 4 but with out of bounds right and long of the green and they often put the pin in the back right corner. If they do I'm playing short. If the pin is front left I'm shooting at it - the miss isn't a 'show stopper' here.

 

So, quickly off the top of my head, on an 18 hole round there's 8 times (obviously you go round twice) when you would be nuts to 'blindly' chose your shot without thinking about topography and the penalty for a miss in one place vs another.

 

It's a windy day and it's blowing hard right to left on the 3rd and my irons are a little shaky and I'm aiming to land the ball further right than a calm day, on the same hole with a gentle breeze left to right ie away from trouble. I might be a little 'braver' then.

 

It's "shades"..... but it's "shades" on every shot.

 

Personal opinion? You can't read a book that'll tell you how to play or where to shoot.

 

I can count cards. It's mathematical, there are formulas and it will never change. There is the right thing to do in any given situation given the relative 'strength' of the remaining deck, a simple computer program can do it. Golf isn't like that. You have to think about it and your decision making is based on topography, met conditions, your game generally, your form that day, maybe even your place in the tournament. Give me the same yardage out from every pin on a course and my aiming point will vary depending on a whole host of factors.

post #174 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

 

There are forums that allow open debate and there are forums that stifle it. I'm hoping and trusting this is the former.

If you spend any amount of time here and have an open mind, you'll quickly learn that it is very much the former.  Not only that, the owners/moderators here ENCOURAGE debate.  They, along with several members here, want to learn and acquire as much knowledge as possible.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

What about when the flag is on a 'friendly' side of the green but a miss to the other side is a hugely bad idea? I'm aiming at the flag.

I played a hole like this the other day.  The pin was left.  Water was right.  Well, common sense tells you that you don't really want to aim to the middle of the green because you are bringing the water into play unnecessarily.  (Missing left was not dead).

 

But the point still stands:  The pin itself shouldn't really play into the decision.  I look at that hole and make the determination that the safe portion of the green is not actually the center but its only a coincidence that the pin happens to be centered in my aiming zone.  If the pin was in the center of the green, or even all the way right ... I still should have been aiming for the left side of that green.  That is why the title of the thread is "Stop aiming at the FLAG."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

 

What about times when the flag is in a spot that is a much harder spot to putt to from one side than the other - you may be better off with a very short chip into a slope than a monster 2 putt down a tier. What about times when you are playing a links course with huge greens and the flag is at the back of it? Forget the middle, it's a pitching wedge from the hole..... but avoid that bunker in the back left corner, it's a killer..... but I'm striking the ball pretty well today and the wind's not up like it was yesterday..... I'm firing right of the flag, bit short of it, but aiming closer than I aimed yesterday when I was having a nightmare.

 

"Shades" is right, it isn't black and white, in golf it never is.

 

Know your game, play to your strengths, be aware of your weaknesses. And make your decisions on the course accordingly - and they'll be different every day and depend on a myriad different factors that are constantly changing.

I think that all of these "grey area" factors were taken into account when they did their study.

post #175 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

How often do other factors come into the shot decision making process? Pretty much every shot :)

 

Hi mate. I don't mind at all if they disagree, as long as people don't mind if I disagree.

 

Like I said, how often do other factors come into exactly where I shoot into a green? Practically ever time I shoot into a green, that is no exaggeration.

 

I'll just take one factor - topography - but there are many more, wind speed and direction is a biggy that may make you err one way or the other.

 

I'm a member of a big, fairly tough 18 hole course near me but practice on a tight 9 hole course 5 minutes from my house quite a bit, so looking at that course:

 

1st is a par 4, it has out of bounds just off the left side of the green. If the flag is left side I'm firing right of it, maybe middle of the green. my offset will depend on several factors, yardage is one of them. If it is right side I'm shooting at the pin.

3rd is a par 3, out of bounds left of the green, bunker sticking into the left hand side of the green and 10 foot high bunker guarding the front, green slopes steeply away from you at the front. I'm going long and right of the pin - if the pin is left this may be the middle (depends on how brave I'm feeling) if the pin in right I may fire straight at it.

6th is a 2 tier par 3, 48 yards exactly front to back, change in elevation front to back is probable about 40 feet (not measured but both halves of the green slope and the tier itself is a good 15 feet high. Wind into me and flag on the top tier I'm not shooting at the middle, I'm aiming long.

9th is a short par 4 but with out of bounds right and long of the green and they often put the pin in the back right corner. If they do I'm playing short. If the pin is front left I'm shooting at it - the miss isn't a 'show stopper' here.

 

So, quickly off the top of my head, on an 18 hole round there's 8 times (obviously you go round twice) when you would be nuts to 'blindly' chose your shot without thinking about topography and the penalty for a miss in one place vs another.

 

It's a windy day and it's blowing hard right to left on the 3rd and my irons are a little shaky and I'm aiming to land the ball further right than a calm day, on the same hole with a gentle breeze left to right ie away from trouble. I might be a little 'braver' then.

 

It's "shades"..... but it's "shades" on every shot.

 

Personal opinion? You can't read a book that'll tell you how to play or where to shoot.

 

I can count cards. It's mathematical, there are formulas and it will never change. There is the right thing to do in any given situation given the relative 'strength' of the remaining deck, a simple computer program can do it. Golf isn't like that. You have to think about it and your decision making is based on topography, met conditions, your game generally, your form that day, maybe even your place in the tournament. Give me the same yardage out from every pin on a course and my aiming point will vary depending on a whole host of factors.

 

But do those factors out weight just going for the middle of the green. The stats and odds say otherwise. 

 

Still all those factors go into your shot shape. It has been said before we want the ball to go to the center of the green, that does not mean you AIM for the center of the green. If you hit a draw and wind is telling you its another 5 yards. Then aim another 5 yards right. The goal is center of the green. You aim accordingly. 

 

Of course we want people to play away from trouble. If short siding on the left side is better than a penalty on the right, then that is a choice. Overall middle of the green is the best place to be. 

 

Heck, most amateurs would be ecstatic to just be able to hit more greens. Why tell them to go shoot at pins. 

post #176 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

 

There are forums that allow open debate and there are forums that stifle it. I'm hoping and trusting this is the former.

 

I think you're confusing debate with stifling of opinion.  I'm debating against what I understand as your view.

 

I'm not arguing for some strict aim at the geometric center of the green 100% of the time philosophy.  I'm arguing for a philosophy that says bias very strongly towards choosing your final target point to maximize GIR, rather than towards minimizing distance to the pin regardless of whether you're on the green or not.  Bias it almost surely more than your feel tells you to.

 

Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post

 

I fully agree with one part of the above - it's all about "feel" and playing smart. I respectfully totally disagree with a formula for calculating when you should aim at the flag and when you should aim to leave your ball in the middle of the green based on handicap or yardage.

 

I'm not arguing for some strict aim at the geometric center of the green 100% of the time you're holding anything longer than a SW philosophy.  I'm arguing for a philosophy that says bias very strongly towards choosing your final target point to maximize GIR, rather than towards minimizing distance to the pin regardless of whether you're on the green or not.  Bias it almost surely more than your feel tells you to.  The feel argument is mostly what I'm disagreeing with you about.  For myself and most of the golfers I know, the feel tells us to bias too much towards going for the pin rather than getting on the green and avoiding trouble.

 

Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post

 

What about when the flag is on a 'friendly' side of the green but a miss to the other side is a hugely bad idea? I'm aiming at the flag.

 

This gets exactly to my point.  It's all about expected score.  If you've got water or some huge ridiculous swale with a 30 foot drop right of the green, where if you miss a tad right you're expecting a 5 or a 6 (rather than a 4 or 5 when you miss just a bit to a less bad spot), then obviously that strongly influences your target point.  No one's arguing against that.  If you've got water tight against the green short and right, the spirit of this advice is to aim towards the left of the green.  If the flag is left then that's a bonus.  The point of ignoring the flag is that getting on the green and avoiding big trouble is how you maximize your score, not that you should ignore the dangers of missing to either side when choosing where you aim.

 

Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

What about a day when you just feel like your game is 'there' or another when you're hanging on? I'm erring more towards the flag when my game is 'on'. 

 

This was one of the main points of my analysis.  I put very pro like numbers for U/D %age and increase in birdie %age when aiming closer to the pin to prove my point.  The result was that even if you claim pro level skills around and on the green, your change in target point can only decrease your expected GIR %age by a very small amount (< 10%) before you're costing yourself strokes erring towards the flag.  My whole argument is that given we don't have pro style shot distributions, it takes a quite small shift away from the target that gives you the max GIR %age before you cross that point.  And if you don't claim pro level short game and putting, you can't shift your target anywhere where it will decrease your GIR %age more than 5%, probably less.  Even when we're on, as amateurs almost all of us can err towards the flag much less than we think when we feel we're playing well before we cost ourselves strokes.

 

Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

What about times when the flag is in a spot that is a much harder spot to putt to from one side than the other - you may be better off with a very short chip into a slope than a monster 2 putt down a tier. 

 

This gets to my point about us overestimating our short game skills in pursuit of feeling smart about shooting for the flag.  The median pro has a 60% U/D from 10-20 yards.  I don't care how hard the green is, you're expecting to two putt more than 60% of the time.  Every time you shift your target to trade one shot on the wrong tier for one shot off the green away from the tier, you're almost guaranteed to be costing yourself strokes. 

 

Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

What about times when you are playing a links course with huge greens and the flag is at the back of it? Forget the middle, it's a pitching wedge from the hole..... but avoid that bunker in the back left corner, it's a killer..... but I'm striking the ball pretty well today and the wind's not up like it was yesterday..... I'm firing right of the flag, bit short of it, but aiming closer than I aimed yesterday when I was having a nightmare.

 

This is a bit of a straw man.  If you've got a 60 yard long green with a flag 5 paces off the back, no one's arguing for aiming for a 100 foot putt.  We obviously miss left or right of where we intended much more than we miss longer than we intended.  The point of this advice is more like, if in that situation aim for 20-30 feet short (or more of course depending on whether we're expecting 30% roll out even on the green!) instead of pin high.

 

Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post

 

But ignoring all of the other factors that influence a 'smart' golfer on the course is, in my opinion, a mistake.

 

No one's arguing for ignoring them.  We're just trying to point out that you have to think you have better than pro level skills to try to stiff most pins, and you have to think you have pro level skills to err your target as much towards the pin as you (we!) almost definitely are. 

post #177 of 377
Quote:

But do those factors out weight just going for the middle of the green. The stats and odds say otherwise.

 

Still all those factors go into your shot shape. It has been said before we want the ball to go to the center of the green, that does not mean you AIM for the center of the green. If you hit a draw and wind is telling you its another 5 yards. Then aim another 5 yards right. The goal is center of the green. You aim accordingly.

 

Of course we want people to play away from trouble. If short siding on the left side is better than a penalty on the right, then that is a choice. Overall middle of the green is the best place to be.

 

Heck, most amateurs would be ecstatic to just be able to hit more greens. Why tell them to go shoot at pins.

 

I'm glad people don't mind an open debate :)

 

Don't worry, I'm not trying to get high handicappers to shoot at pins, I'm trying to suggest they use their own intelligence on the course. Here's the long par 3 I spoke about earlier, the 6th - 200 odd yards from the back tee to the middle over the tees running diagonally across the middle of the pic, into a large 2 tier green. middle of the green is right between 2 pretty deep bunkers. Short of the green brings the trees into play but is a pretty easy chip, long of the green is a pretty easy chip and keeps the trees out of the picture. The one place you don't want to aim is the middle of the green.

 

If the pin is at the front and the wind is behind, you don't want to aim too short or the trees are in play so maybe look to aim just past the pin. But into wind you're up higher, coming in steeper the front is the way to go. If the pin is at the back you want to aim at it or beyond. Into wind especially, a bit of backspin and fall short near the tier and you will be all the way off the front of the green. Wind behind and it's not quite such a bad shot (hopefully!)

 

So however you look at it, pretty much wherever the pin is on this hole, the middle of the green is a bad aiming point.

 

post #178 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

 

 

So however you look at it, pretty much wherever the pin is on this hole, the middle of the green is a bad aiming point.

 

 

 

Apparently you didn't read what was posted. It isn't were you aim, it is were the ball ends up. What is being advocated is the ball ending up in the center. Most people play a fade or a draw, that means they will not be aiming at the center, yet the ball will get there. 

post #179 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

Apparently you didn't read what was posted. It isn't were you aim, it is were the ball ends up. What is being advocated is the ball ending up in the center. Most people play a fade or a draw, that means they will not be aiming at the center, yet the ball will get there. 

 

I think that you're both in agreement on this. I don't read what he's saying as any different than what you're saying. So let's agree on that, and move on, okay?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

I fully agree with one part of the above - it's all about "feel" and playing smart. I respectfully totally disagree with a formula for calculating when you should aim at the flag and when you should aim to leave your ball in the middle of the green based on handicap or yardage.

 

@mdl can speak to it more accurately than I can, but I think he simply used the formulas to show how often it was a bad idea to flirt with leaving a short game shot over a putt. I agree that people over-estimate their short game abilities.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

What about when the flag is on a 'friendly' side of the green but a miss to the other side is a hugely bad idea? I'm aiming at the flag.

 

Not necessarily. You're aiming away from the trouble. If the pin happens to be there, so be it. But you would aim at the same point even if the flag wasn't in the green OR if the flag was near the "hugely bad" side of the green.

 

That last point is salient, I think: imagine a green with a big pond left. We'd tell you to aim right-center of the green (not "middle of the green") regardless of where the flag is. If the flag is left, right, or center you'd still aim right-center away from trouble as a single digit handicapper. The high handicapper may aim as far right as right edge or so. The title of the thread is "stop aiming at the flag." It doesn't say "unless the flag is where the smart play is." That's assumed. :-)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

What about a day when you just feel like your game is 'there' or another when you're hanging on? I'm erring more towards the flag when my game is 'on'.

 

Good luck. Even PGA Tour players aren't as accurate as most amateurs seem to think they are.

 

And again, even if you aim for the safe play that maximizes chances of GIR and minimizes penalties, you can hit a LOT of shots close either because you push or pull the shots, or because the flag also happens to be in that area.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

What about times when the flag is in a spot that is a much harder spot to putt to from one side than the other - you may be better off with a very short chip into a slope than a monster 2 putt down a tier. What about times when you are playing a links course with huge greens and the flag is at the back of it?

 

Use common sense… with a dash of the adjustment that this thread helps to provide. Because we easily see that common sense ain't as common as we'd like to believe…

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

Recently there have been numerous attempts to make golf almost solely a science, take the 'art' out of it. Books, papers, internet blogs have all been written to try to find the 'formulas' that somehow equate to good golf. My opinion - there aren't any, and that's what makes it such a fantastic game. You can have 'pointers' to reign in your exuberance, and I'd rate this 'formula' under those. But ignoring all of the other factors that influence a 'smart' golfer on the course is, in my opinion, a mistake.

 

I disagree (and it's off topic so I'll be brief): statistics that show us how and where to save strokes educate. They don't take any "art" away from the game - you've still gotta hit the shots.

 

We're not ignoring all of the other factors. Nor are we saying "aim at the geometric middle of the green." You seem to keep saying that, but I don't believe we've ever said it. We certainly don't mean it for DISTANCE. It's far more of a left/right thing. It applies a little to distance (you tend to want to be short of a deep pin, and long of a very short pin), but mostly to lateral targets.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

I played a hole like this the other day.  The pin was left.  Water was right.  Well, common sense tells you that you don't really want to aim to the middle of the green because you are bringing the water into play unnecessarily.  (Missing left was not dead).

 

But the point still stands: The pin itself shouldn't really play into the decision. I look at that hole and make the determination that the safe portion of the green is not actually the center but its only a coincidence that the pin happens to be centered in my aiming zone.  If the pin was in the center of the green, or even all the way right ... I still should have been aiming for the left side of that green.  That is why the title of the thread is "Stop aiming at the FLAG."

I think that all of these "grey area" factors were taken into account when they did their study.

 

Bingo.

post #180 of 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosevi View Post
 

 

So however you look at it, pretty much wherever the pin is on this hole, the middle of the green is a bad aiming point.

 

The post advocates stop aiming at the flag.  No one is arguing you should aim for the geometric center of every green.  Your analysis of this hole seems exactly in line with what's being advocated.  The only caveat I'd say is that the flag is only a touch right of center in this pic.  All I'm arguing is that if the wind makes the smart play aiming for the front half of the green and the flag is a couple paces further right, that should shift your target not at all to the right.

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