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Stop Aiming at the Flag!!! - Page 4

post #55 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Love this sentence.  This would make a really good on course mantra.  Going to try and burn it into my skull now. :)

 

I remember reading somewhere (probably a Bob Rotella book) where he talked about how your brain doesn't really process the "don't" part of those thoughts.  Come to the tee with a negative  - "don't hit it in the water," or "don't push it OB" - and you find yourself doing precisely that a lot more than when you are able to shut out the distractions and think positively ... "Hit the center of the green" or "Hit that sprinklerhead in the center of the fairway."

 

--------------------------------------------------------

 

I struggled with this yesterday on a few holes.  I played a RTJ course that has two par 3's that are very similar.  Water short and right, and a green with a huge tier in the middle, and in both cases, the pin was tucked to the right.  Here's a picture of one of them:

The pin yesterday was at the red dot.  The red line represents a huge tier (as it runs towards the front of the green, the tier becomes less severe).  Any ball coming off that tier is going to go past the hole and likely end up in the fringe between the green and the water.  Anything with speed will roll into the water.  Knowing the course, it's really hard when you come to this tee as a mediocre player knowing that if you risk going for the pin, you are bringing double into play, however the "safe" option is going to require that you make an 8-10 footer for par.

 

Now that I've played it a few times with that pin, I realize that the correct play (I think), and in keeping with Dave's rule, is to aim for the center front edge of the green.  This will keep you off the tier and make a 2 putt a lot more of a possibility while keeping the risk of the water lower.

 

That is a diabolical hole!  Pakoh talked up that course when I played with him.  Been meaning to get down there but it's a freakin trek for me...

post #56 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post
 

 

That is a diabolical hole!  Pakoh talked up that course when I played with him.  Been meaning to get down there but it's a freakin trek for me...

Yeah.  This is #5, and we played the tips yesterday, which have you coming in from 215.  :bugout:  The other one I mentioned, which is a very similar hole, is #15.  #15 is a little less intimidating, because the tier is a little smaller (still severe though), the green is wider, and the hole is shorter.  185.

 

Its the same course I played for my last tournament and yesterday they had the holes all cut in the exact same locations.  Almost every one in the most difficult portion of the green.

 

Really fun course though.

post #57 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Just wanted to quote that from another thread…
Well, he is a great putter. Me on the other hand... Not so much. I make about 1 putt from over 20 feet in 3 rounds. The only way I can make birdies on par 4's is if I play somewhat aggressive when given the opportunity.
post #58 of 341
What if you can say yes to all of these questions:
  • Is the pin is a reasonable location on the green?
  • Is the green soft?
  • Is it a full-swing yardage?
  • Do you have a flat stance?
  • Do you have a good lie?
And no to these questions:
  • Is there water close to the green?
  • Is there a trap close to the pin?
  • Is there a particular area close to pin that will be difficult to get up and down from?
  • Is the hole located on a severe slope?
  • Is the rough very thick around the greens?

I don't think you can just say "aim at the middle of the green every shot". There are variables like these that dictate whether you should aim for the pin or not.
post #59 of 341

On this hole, you have no choice but to aim at the middle of the green.  There really isn't any other option.  There are only two locations for the flag where the gradient isn't more than 4%, the top tier shown and the bottom left.  You only have a 30 yard gap to work with.  The lower tree can block out the flag in the lower left location.  Long is not an option with deep grass.  You can miss the green short, but the rough can be sketchy.  The middle tees have about 160 yards to the center.  But our A flight played from the tips last year.  What is shown here is the furthest back tee placement.  There is another that is a few yards closer, but still hard.  The green is also very steep at the ridge, so three putting is always possible. 

 

I parred it once last year.  I hit it short and pitched up to the top tier and made a 5 footer.  But mostly I got bogeys and doubles.  There is a drop area just off the lower left edge of the green.

 

 

post #60 of 341

Thanks.

 

I often have plans to aim for the middle of the greens before I start a round but change my mind, too often beginning on the first hole. Having a yardage commitment should help.

 

Years ago, I played a late round at my then home course. It was during the week and the course was empty. They told me at the pro shop that groundskeepers had already removed the flags. I figured I'd play anyway. No flags at all meant that I did not know where the holes were. I shot one of the best rounds of the season because I had to go for the center of every green. The greens were very large and I think I hit 13 of 18. Try as I may, I could not bring myself to ignore flags after that round. Ego sneaks in...

 

If the weather ever allows for golf again, I plan to take this advise and aim for the center on every green from 100 out -- and maybe more than a few from inside that. This could be the best advise I'd read in a long time.

 

Thanks!

post #61 of 341
Not sure if you are looking for unofficial feedback, but I will provide it anway. a1_smile.gif

Shot two 9-hole rounds this week, one prior to reading this thread and one after. The second round I decided to go for the middle of the green on any shot outside of 80 yards (I'm a 16HC).

Here are the results:

Round 1
Score: 47 (1 par)
FIR: 43%
GIR: 0%
Scramble: 11.1%
Putt Avg: 1.8
3 Putts: 0

Par 3 Avg: 5
Par 4 Avg: 4.8
Par 5 Avg: 6.5

Round 2
Score: 47 (4 pars)
FIR: 57%
GIR: 33%
Scramble: 16.7%
Putt Avg: 2.1
3 Putts: 3

Par 3 Avg: 5.5
Par 4 Avg: 5.2
Par 5 Avg: 5.0

Obvious areas to work on are the Par 3s. I need to get a better 145 punch shot under my belt.

Any feedback is welcome.

Brad
post #62 of 341
I think guys at our level have more to worry about than perfecting the 145 yard punch shot...

It's just a wild guess, but the guys might claim your sample data is a little bit on the small side... ;)
As well as not having the correct data available.
The important stat is the shots taken after you approach shot. You can't make this out from your data.
post #63 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulhacker View Post

The important stat is the shots taken after you approach shot. You can't make this out from your data.

Yes. And not counting the shots prior the the approach.
post #64 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Yes. And not counting the shots prior the the approach.

Fair enough, I'll keep this in mind next time.

I do think the results show a positive improvement as I went from 1 par to 4 and from 0% GIR to 33% GIR. All the GIR's were on Par 4 or 5s.

But I get what you are saying.

Brad
post #65 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmartin461 View Post

Fair enough, I'll keep this in mind next time.

I do think the results show a positive improvement as I went from 1 par to 4 and from 0% GIR to 33% GIR. All the GIR's were on Par 4 or 5s.

But I get what you are saying.

Brad

You could look at it another (very imperfect) way and say that maybe it didn't pay off.
As, for round 1 you had a worse FIR% but yet you had the same overall score. Again, it's imperfect but you could argue that the short game was better in Round 1.

The guys won't be happy with the 3 3putts in round 2 either :)

Actually, the guys won't mind as it's way too small a sample and missing key data as was said earlier.
The isn't really any point reading anything into it.
post #66 of 341
We have well over a thousand shots in our testing. I'm pretty happy with what the results show. a1_smile.gif
post #67 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulhacker View Post

You could look at it another (very imperfect) way and say that maybe it didn't pay off.
As, for round 1 you had a worse FIR% but yet you had the same overall score. Again, it's imperfect but you could argue that the short game was better in Round 1.

I can only report on how the rounds felt in comparision to each other and today's round felt much better. There was far less scrambling and the 3 bad holes can be contibuted to 2 course management errors and one pitch off the hosel. a5_crying.gif
Quote:
The guys won't be happy with the 3 3putts in round 2 either :)

I not sure I'm out to make the guys happy, I would expect the putts to increase when going for the center of the green vs. not and chipping it close.

I do appreciate the comments.

Brad
post #68 of 341
@iacas, is the reasoning as simple as the fact that you are more likely to hole out a putt versus a chip from any given distance?

I know some people are trying to justify being aggressive, but shouldn't we be more worried about missing the target rather than hitting it (because we are statistically more likely to miss)?
post #69 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post

@iacas, is the reasoning as simple as the fact that you are more likely to hole out a putt versus a chip from any given distance?

Basically. Putting is always easier than chipping. Saves so many strokes it can be ridiculous.
post #70 of 341

Grew up playing the San Francisco city amateur at Harding Park where the greens are very small. My strategy was always to just have my final target be the center of the green and always played pretty well. Think this is a great strategy and will help many golfers shoot lower scores.

 

Look forward to implementing this Sunday at Goose Creek, good thing @iacas will be there to remind me ;-)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Fantastic!  This is the kind of stuff that you already "know" but you like to allow yourself to forget because, well, we think we are better than w really are.  Nice to see it written down.  I am playing this afternoon and will follow this to the letter.

 

Yes definitely fits under stuff you "know" but don't put into action.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Look at the PGA Tour stats. The median player on the PGA Tour from 100-125 hits it to about twenty feet, and still misses the green 21% of the time!

 

You should be happy to hit the green from that yardage, as your proximity will be about 35'+.

 

Exactly, just hit the green and you'll be better off. 

 

Great stat to share, most golfers would never guess the pros miss the green 21% of the time from that distance.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foreleft View Post
 


I think a lot of us do that for a couple of reasons.

1. most of think we are better than we are and

2. when I watch touring pros on TV, they seldom show someone missing the green from 100 yds, even though stats tell us that it happens quite a bit.

 

QFT

 

Just to add to #2, when watching golf we are also watching the players around the lead, so the guys having a good week. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BENtSwing32 View Post
 

I love when people try and challenge Erik lol.

 

Maybe we should start a thread with a list of other threads/posts where people have tried to challenge Erik and they were proven wrong. Just for future reference when someone disagrees with him ;-)

 

To the above, I'm referring to Erik's expert take on golf stuff, where their is plenty of data to back up his stance. Not his opinion that 5 Guys is better than In and Out, you can disagree with him all you want on that, cause he's wrong:-P

post #71 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmac20 View Post

What if you can say yes to all of these questions:
  • Is the pin is a reasonable location on the green?
  • Is the green soft?
  • Is it a full-swing yardage?
  • Do you have a flat stance?
  • Do you have a good lie?
And no to these questions:
  • Is there water close to the green?
  • Is there a trap close to the pin?
  • Is there a particular area close to pin that will be difficult to get up and down from?
  • Is the hole located on a severe slope?
  • Is the rough very thick around the greens?

I don't think you can just say "aim at the middle of the green every shot". There are variables like these that dictate whether you should aim for the pin or not.

 

I'll respond to this just because I'm a numbers geek.  The point of this argument is answering the question of what minimizes your overall score in the long run, playing the same hole over and over again.  What variables do we need to consider?  Your GIR % when aiming at the pin and the center of the green, your up and down percentage from near the green, and your percentage of birdies and 3-putts resulting from your approach when you hit the green with those two aim points.  We'll ignore chip-ins and 3-putts when you miss the green, though I'd bet ignoring both of those biases the results below in favor of aiming at the pin.

 

The 100th best U/D % on tour last year when scrambling not from the sand in 10-20 yards was 60% (Davis Love III).  The 100th best % from the fringe was 87.5%.  I'll be very generous and give the player graphed below 65% U/D when missing the green on the sort of non-dangerous hole with an easy green you describe.  As a 4.6, I assume you 3-putt rarely.  Below I've assumed that you 3-putt 2% of the time when you hit the green when aiming for the pin and 4% of the time when aiming at the center of the green.  The increase in that case is due to the fact that you'll hit the green but be very far from the hole more often.

 

The key variables are the difference in GIR % and the difference in birdie % for the two strategies.  Below are 4 graphs that give results for when your GIR % decreases by 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% when aiming at the pin versus aiming at the green center.  I've graphed your expected score over a range of GIR %s.  I've given the player aiming for the center of the green a birdie only 5% of the time he hits the green (so if he hits the green 50% of the time, he's getting a birdie 2.5% of the time, which I think is quite low for a good player with a PW approach to an easy green).  Then I've graphed the expected score for a player going at the pin when he expects to get a birdie 10% and 20% of the time he hits the green, taking into account the decreased GIR %.

 

 

Think about what these mean.  When the red line is below the black line(s), the expected score aiming at the center of the green is better.  These are assuming an unrealistically good 65% U/D, better than Davis Love III from right next to the green but off the fringe.  It also assumes you never flub a chip and don't get on the green or thin one way long and then 3-putt.  Consider the top right graph.  This tells you that even with this unrealistically optimistic percentage for U/D and failing to get home in 2 or 3 strokes 0% of the time, you need to believe that you expect to hit the green at least 60% of the time aiming for the center, you're only decreasing your GIR % by 10% going at a tucked pin, and that you get double the birdies by going for the pin.

 

If you accept that you'll decrease your GIR by 15%, then you need to think you're quadrupling the number of birdies you hit by going for the pin to ever go for the pin, no matter how high a percentage of the time you think you could hit the green aiming for the center.

 

The point of all this is that unless you think you have tour level precision with your scoring irons, it's almost inarguable that you're giving away strokes going for the pin.  I fall victim to the psychology of it being more fun to attack pins on easy greens cause it's really fun to hit one just like you want and get an easy birdie putt, and you like to think to yourself that it's not that penal and you're not giving away much if you miss a tad.  But if you look at these numbers and think about what's probably closer to the truth with a 9i, or 8i, or how often you underestimate the penalty you'll pay on any given hole because it's more fun to attack the pin and in general you play better when you're confident, you're probably giving away at least a stroke or two on average per round by attacking pins with our amateur skills.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

We have well over a thousand shots in our testing. I'm pretty happy with what the results show. a1_smile.gif

 

I'm interested to see the actual results over a range of handicaps!

post #72 of 341

after reading a lot of what you guys are saying i went back and looked at my stats for the last 2 years on my golf logix program. what other stats should i be keeping track of to help me know what to work on to lower my scores. and is there a better program that i can use when im out the course to help keep these stats

 thank in advanced for any input 

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