Inspired by the "you should always go for it" talk in the "Breaking into the 80's" thread, I figured I'd throw another one of these up. This is the 18th hole at my brothers club. It's a Par 5, 526 yards from the middle tees, sweeping dogleg left, and it usually plays with a left to right slightly helping wind on the tee shot, and slightly hurting on the 2nd shot. Assuming a good drive, 260 yards or so into the middle of the fairway, here is what you are faced with:
The last time I played it, I hit a good drive, chose to follow the "get it as close as you can" theory and pulled a 3-wood, then hit it beautifully into the front bunker. But when I got up to it, I realized that perhaps that was not the best course of action. The pin was all the way back left (where the "+" is on the pic) and it left me with an awkwardly long bunker shot over the edge of another bunker and a lot of rough/fringe to a green running a bit away from me. I chose to play it safe, stay right, ran it to the back fringe, and managed my par.
With any other pin position, I would have had a reasonable chance at giving myself a good birdie opportunity so I think that is still usually the right play. However, with that pin position (and we have a big tournament coming up next month where that will be used, I'm sure) I'm wondering if laying up would be better.
My thought is that a hybrid or 4-iron aimed just right of the first bunker would be the best option. I feel it would be safest because it would leave me short of the water if I push it a little, and it would still clear that bunker if I pulled it a little. Ideally, it would leave me a 55-60 yard pitch shot and the further right I could get it, the more green I'd have to work with.
Option "C" would be to lay up short and right of the bunker, leaving a 100-110 yard third shot.
What say you, TST??