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Stop Aiming at the Flag!!! - Page 12

post #199 of 376
+/- 10-15 yards made me smile. I play at this one course in near Osaka that has this one 'green' on a 125 yard par 3 with a crowned, sloping green whose size is pretty much about 10x15 yards in size. Hate that hole.
post #200 of 376

I thought I would share the fact that I have for several years employed the Approach Shot Strategy of Center of the Green.  I have made several adjustments to this approach strategy:

1.  For multiple tier greens, I adjust the carry distance to the center of the tier that hole is on, always error longer than shorter.

2. For sever sloping greens, I adjust the carry distance so that I am below the hole, usually meaning I am taking the carry distance to the front of the green plus a few yards.

3.  For extremely deep greens, I adjust the carry distance by one club up or down based on flag location.

 

My swing is fairly consistent but I am a short knocker (lost a lot yardage as age climbs) and I don't have that many opportunities to have a pitching wedge or even a short iron in hand on par 4s for Approach Shots, so I play to the center of the green.  Where I aim will depend upon the shot, the club, the lie and elements but it is either the middle of the green for a finish or a miss to the good side, the easy side.

 

Here are my stats, not exactly a ringing endorsement of my game and golfing skills:

Mar - Oct 2013

119 rounds

79.5 average score

1052 of 2097 GIRs 50.2%

Total Putts 3883 / 1.86 avg per hole / 32.36 avg per round

1 putts = 517

2 putts = 1341

3+ putts = 228

Scrambled on 1045 par or better 34% (includes bunker play)

59 penalty strokes avg per round 0.48%

Current index = 6.4

 

Yes I am averaging about 2 three putts a round.  Most of these can be attributed to what I define as a BAD GIR, one which you have a high percentage of 3 putting.  It could be the distance, it could be the relative position of the ball to the hole (sever slope, wrong tier, etc) or combination of these.

 

I firmly believe golfers who have a handicap greater that 1 should employ the Approach Shot Strategy of Center of the Green with realistic refinements to match their game.  IMO this strategy opens many scoring opportunities including improving the probability of your misses being easier.

post #201 of 376
Shot a 90 on the nose today. 8 days ago, I hadn't played since September. Today I shot a 90 on the nose during a tournament (one or two under my course handicap, I think). I hit 6 GIRs (birdied one of them -- my first of 2014) and two aprons in regulation (not counted in the six). The 90 was largely the result of two... well, my approach shots weren't the problem.

My only two strategy thoughts were aim for the center of the green whenever outside of 60 yards and try to advance the ball as much as possible when I'm not going for the green (I had a darn good chance at birdie on another par-5 thanks to having a 50 yard pitch for my third shot). I also had a great chance at making a par on a par-4 that I've never parred before, thanks to this strategy (driver, 5W left me just short of the green; my lie didn't really feel like it permitted a 3W, and I'm not all that good at 3W off the deck anymore. It's something I intend to practice).

Unless something absurdly amazing happens (10+ GIR), I won't keep reporting each round here. I'm just posting this to say I'm convinced.
post #202 of 376

I am new to The Sand Trap, but really enjoyed reading this. Good luck writing your book. I hope that you will post some more about it when you have a chance.

post #203 of 376

From 100 yards and in, if the green allows I mostly always try to attack the pin.  My short game isn't what kills my score the most.  It's my offline drives and everything else haha.

post #204 of 376
With the greens I play on being absurbly small, center is the best idea. But generally the most crucial factor is to allow for either being short or long. In most cases being short is far better than going long.
post #205 of 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post
 

From 100 yards and in, if the green allows I mostly always try to attack the pin.  My short game isn't what kills my score the most.  It's my offline drives and everything else haha.

 

That's okay. Our research indicates that from 110 and 130 yards you're costing yourself about a quarter shot per hole.

 

Also, your short game is not as good as your putting.

post #206 of 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

That's okay. Our research indicates that from 110 and 130 yards you're costing yourself about a quarter shot per hole.

Also, your short game is not as good as your putting.
So what is the distance where you should start going at the flag? Obviously at 20 yards your not playing to the middle of the green. Last year (before this thread) I was playing at the flag with 8 and down.
post #207 of 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post


So what is the distance where you should start going at the flag? Obviously at 20 yards your not playing to the middle of the green. Last year (before this thread) I was playing at the flag with 8 and down

 

The OP explains.....

post #208 of 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

So what is the distance where you should start going at the flag? Obviously at 20 yards your not playing to the middle of the green. Last year (before this thread) I was playing at the flag with 8 and down.

 

Yeah. Plus, we saw lower average scores playing towards the "smart" side in every case. But I'm saving a bit for the book, so…

post #209 of 376
Well hurry up with the book a2_wink.gif. Its a high of 2 degrees today so I need something to do besides work.
post #210 of 376

Golf is a funny game.....

 

  I was thinking about this yesterday, if your one absolute goal was to shoot the lowest score you could then most of us "average" golfers should be playing the game entirely differently then a lot of us do.

  Lets say shorter par 5 (because your teeing forward).  You hit a nice drive into the fairway.  You have somewhere around 220-230 to the flag.  there is no trouble really to speak of, at least no big trouble on the approach.  The play most of us want to make is sending a fairway wood, hybrid, 3i..whatever zooming down towards the flag, hoping we get on the green in 2, if not(which is likely) we'll get up and down for par at worst..(maybe).  But the smartest play is probably something along the lines of 9i, wedge or wedge, wedge statistically speaking....

  On one of my local courses that I play(which is a short track).  one hole is a 460yd par 5.  Fairway is pretty wide, fairway bunker on the right at around 210.  If I hit a good drive I am left with something around 200-215 to the middle of the green.  that has 3i written all over it to me....But thinking about it, wedge, wedge would probably give me the best chance of hitting the green in regulation......But trying ton convince myself that in the moment is not easy.  I remember last summer on this hole hitting a "monster" drive, one where the planets aligned and it was just a beautiful 5yd draw working off that bunker that seemed to go forever, then it hit the ground rolling....I was in legit 4i range to reach in two....Of course I pushed the 4i out to the right just a bit.  left a bit of a awkward 15yd shot to the flag, smart play would have been to ease it to the middle of the green, two putt uphill for par(flag in the back, severe back to front slope on green).  But all I was thinking about was hitting the ball high, landing it right at the pin and bringing home the birdie(birdies don't come often for me).  I actually made a great shot, hit the ball cleanly and basically did what I wanted to do..Problem was I carried it just a bit too far, and coming out of the rough it had no spin.  it bounced once hard and went just off the back of the green.  Now I had to chip uphill to get back onto the green, no way at my skill level I can stop the ball anywhere near the flag.  I hit a ok chip, but it rolled to the front of the green.  Now I had a long putt that was severly uphill and I am a little flustered....3 putts later I am carding a 7 when I was sitting 2 in the fairway about 185-190 yards from the green....

  I could have played wedge, wedge from the fairway and statistically would have scored better I'm sure....  

post #211 of 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregongolfguy View Post
 

Golf is a funny game.....

 

  I was thinking about this yesterday, if your one absolute goal was to shoot the lowest score you could then most of us "average" golfers should be playing the game entirely differently then a lot of us do.

I agree with this.  For example, one tip I've seen in the Golf Mags several times, that I believe makes a lot of sense for a lot of people, is to take your scorecard and set your own par for each hole and play it like that.

 

If it's a par 4, 400 yards, with trouble all around, and you're an older guy who hits his good drives 210-220, then the chances of you reaching the green in 2 are minimal even with two good shots.  Why not play it like a par 5?  Go 3 wood, 7 iron, wedge, or 5 iron, 5 iron, wedge.  Sure, 3 is now out of the question (but, be honest, have you ever birdied that hole? ;)), and 4 is going to be difficult, but 5 should be the most likely score, whereas just blindly grabbing the driver and mashing it into the water, brings 7's and 8's into the mix.

 

But that's not quite as fun to a lot of people, because they (we) want to try and make pars and birdies ... so out comes the driver!

post #212 of 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregongolfguy View Post
 

  Lets say shorter par 5 (because your teeing forward).  You hit a nice drive into the fairway.  You have somewhere around 220-230 to the flag.  there is no trouble really to speak of, at least no big trouble on the approach.  The play most of us want to make is sending a fairway wood, hybrid, 3i..whatever zooming down towards the flag, hoping we get on the green in 2, if not(which is likely) we'll get up and down for par at worst..(maybe).  But the smartest play is probably something along the lines of 9i, wedge or wedge, wedge statistically speaking....

 

This isn't the thread for discussing laying up versus hitting it far, so I'm putting my response in a spoiler. I encourage you to read it @oregongolfguy.
 

Laying Up vs. Hitting Far (Click to show)

Nope. Unless there's a huge bunker or a water hazard or OB or something HORRIBLE very close to the green, you're better off getting as close to the hole as possible. True at every level of the game.

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/69652/235-out-on-this-par-five-whats-the-play

 

Put it this way: the odds of you hitting your 3W or hybrid 100 yards are about the same as you fatting your 9I and sending it 40 yards. So you're always - on average - going to be quite a bit closer hitting the longer club than "laying up to your comfortable yardage."

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/71214/lowest-score-wins-a-first-of-its-kind-golf-book-for-anyone-who-wants-to-lower-their-score

 

Here's the video. We use this example almost exactly:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oregongolfguy View Post
 

On one of my local courses that I play(which is a short track).  one hole is a 460yd par 5.  Fairway is pretty wide, fairway bunker on the right at around 210.  If I hit a good drive I am left with something around 200-215 to the middle of the green.  that has 3i written all over it to me....But thinking about it, wedge, wedge would probably give me the best chance of hitting the green in regulation......But trying ton convince myself that in the moment is not easy.  I remember last summer on this hole hitting a "monster" drive, one where the planets aligned and it was just a beautiful 5yd draw working off that bunker that seemed to go forever, then it hit the ground rolling....I was in legit 4i range to reach in two....Of course I pushed the 4i out to the right just a bit.  left a bit of a awkward 15yd shot to the flag, smart play would have been to ease it to the middle of the green, two putt uphill for par(flag in the back, severe back to front slope on green). But all I was thinking about was hitting the ball high, landing it right at the pin and bringing home the birdie (birdies don't come often for me).  I actually made a great shot, hit the ball cleanly and basically did what I wanted to do..Problem was I carried it just a bit too far, and coming out of the rough it had no spin.  it bounced once hard and went just off the back of the green. Now I had to chip uphill to get back onto the green, no way at my skill level I can stop the ball anywhere near the flag.  I hit a ok chip, but it rolled to the front of the green.  Now I had a long putt that was severly uphill and I am a little flustered....3 putts later I am carding a 7 when I was sitting 2 in the fairway about 185-190 yards from the green....

  I could have played wedge, wedge from the fairway and statistically would have scored better I'm sure....  

 

And again…

 

OT stuff again (Click to show)
You're more likely to hit the green from 15 yards than you are from 100. Your proximity will be closer from 15 yards than 100 too. Thus your scoring will be lower, on average, from 15 yards versus 100.

You're making the mistake of taking one or a very few number of rounds and assuming that's the average. Re-read my first paragraph in this spoiler: it should be pretty obvious when someone puts it the way I have.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

I agree with this.  For example, one tip I've seen in the Golf Mags several times, that I believe makes a lot of sense for a lot of people, is to take your scorecard and set your own par for each hole and play it like that.

 

To be clear, I don't think @Golfingdad is agreeing with your two examples above at all. Just the part he quoted. If he does agree, he hasn't been paying attention (and I'm pretty darn sure he has… :-D).

 

Now then, back to the topic please. :)

post #213 of 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

To be clear, I don't think @Golfingdad is agreeing with your two examples above at all. Just the part he quoted. If he does agree, he hasn't been paying attention (and I'm pretty darn sure he has… :-D).

 

Now then, back to the topic please. :)

Don't worry, I have been paying attention.  :smartass:  That is precisely why I truncated the post I was agreeing with.  He jumped to the conclusion that "wedge, wedge would probably give me the best chance of hitting the green in regulation" without qualifying it by mentioning a water hazard he had to carry or anything like that.  I suck at hitting 3 woods and hybrids off the deck, and even I know that if there's no trouble around, I'm whacking one of those bad boys up there as far as I can.  A 30 yard pitch from the rough is always going to be easier than a 110 yard shot from the fairway!!

post #214 of 376

I agree with this from a certain point of view. Jack Nicklaus faded the ball, so he aimed about 12 feet left of the flag, never at it. The reason he did this was that if he was the hit the shot dead straight, he would have a 12 foot putt; if he doubled the amount of fade to a slice, he'd still only have a 12 foot putt. So I can see the logic behind this.

post #215 of 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by xerex250 View Post
 

I agree with this from a certain point of view. Jack Nicklaus faded the ball, so he aimed about 12 feet left of the flag, never at it. The reason he did this was that if he was the hit the shot dead straight, he would have a 12 foot putt; if he doubled the amount of fade to a slice, he'd still only have a 12 foot putt. So I can see the logic behind this.

I know you also got this directly from his book, because I got it from there as well.  It's good stuff.  However, this is not what the thread is about.  You're talking about start lines vs. target lines (basically "shot cones" )

 

This thread is talking about making the center of the green your target, as opposed to the pin.

 

Also, just remember that while his diagrams would show flags, and his wording might even as well ... he's really talking about where he'd aim in relation to his target, which was certainly not always the flag.

post #216 of 376

This is great stuff! I'm going to Naples, Fl, for the week and can't wait to try this strategy on the course!

 

When is the book expected to come out? I'm assuming it will be announced on TST when it does? 

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