First, some pictures. Because this is going to be a massive post, I'm going to put them in a spoiler.
As you may know, even photos don't really do this kind of hole justice. Augusta National looks to barely have any slope on TV, yada yada.
Photos (Click to show)
Tee shot (closer):
Was intended to show how narrow the fairway was, but got cut off just barely to of the picture on the left. Again, the widest part of the fairway is < 30 yards.
The hazard on the right. Good luck being anywhere NEAR it.
The slope in front of the green, the bunkers, etc.
The hazard to the left. A yard or two from the fairway.
A panorama showing the green and some elevation changes.
Shooting off the front of the green. The fairway is pretty far below.
A look back up the hole.
Again, the stuff on the right.
The stuff to the left. I drew arrows… these aren't subtle slopes. :)
Now, this is all in good fun, and y'all haven't played or even seen the hole, most of you, so you can't really be "wrong." However, if you voted "3W" then you definitely chose the worst option. A 3W brings ALL of the trouble into play while failing to do much of anything. The hybrid doesn't do much better - still brings trouble (hazards) into play, and leaves you 90 yards in.
The proper answer was Barney's combo answer:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad
I would hit a 4 iron, maybe even a 5 iron off the tee, leaving something on the order of a full sand wedge coming in. (I'm not saying the full sand wedge is the reason, just that that looks like what I'd be faced with)
Wait. On the other hand ...
Aha. OK, I got it. Forget the iron, I'm hitting driver.
A 3 wood or hybrid is out because those both bring the hazards into play. However, a driver clears the hazards and leaves nothing more than, I'm assuming, a 50 yard pitch. The risk with the driver is that I'll end up in one of those front bunkers. A 30 yard bunker shot to an elevated and "severe" green is not my cup of tea, but I still think its the best play.
If I happen to be really struggling with the driver that day, I'd jump down to the 4 or 5 iron to stay short of the hazards. That fairway is too tight to be confident in hitting at that point, even with a hybrid.
Hit driver (probably towards the right bunker because that's a less penalizing place to be - less sand, more grass, farther from the hazards) OR if you're not feeling the driver, hit a 5I well back of the trouble.
I said it was a tough par, so all you are really hoping to get is on the green in regulation or reasonably close to it. So even if you hit driver and go in the sand - and normally I would tell you to avoid bunkers as if they were hazards - you aren't giving anything up if you can get it NEAR the green with your bunker shot, and if you hit a good one you're close. Or if you don't hit the bunker, you're close to the green in ONE and have a good chance to get up and down for birdie, or more likely, an easy par, with bogey almost completely out of the equation.
Ditto a 5-iron or so: hit it, and a full PW or whatever from 125 uphill 30 feet, and just get it on or near the middle of the green, take your two putts, and get out of there.
Now, some quick responses to entirely too many answers. Again, y'all get the benefit of the doubt as you haven't played the hole or even seen it, but my responses will be brief. Don't read anything too negative into them. :)
Originally Posted by 14ledo81
If I felt confident in my abilities out of the sand, I would hit Driver. I would think a decent sand player would have a chance to get up and down for birdie, and certainly could get up and down in two for a par. In the sand would be a possible birdie, but I would think a good chance at par. If it is in the rough or fairway (even funneled back down), I would think I could still get on the green in one and close enough to two putt for par.
As of now, I could easily leave a shot in the sand or skull it over the green, so with my abilities I would hit the 3 wood. It does not appear to be any benefit to hit the hybrid. H and 3 appear to have similar landing areas (width), so why not get closer.
You were on the right track, and then derailed yourself. :) But yes, go work on your greenside
Originally Posted by jamo
My first instinct was 3W. There's no real reason to hit driver because even if you hit the fairway, the ball will roll backwards, and if you miss you're in a bunker.
3W leaves you still with a long pitch or a short full wedge shot, and being closer to the shallow green makes the approache easier.
Two things give me pause and might make me err towards the hybrid or even a long iron (actually, more a long iron). First, the drop-offs around the fairway near the 3W landing area look pretty steep, and IIRC, those gnarly low spots on that course can be pretty tough. Second, if the green slopes that much front-to-back, you might want more spin on your approach shot.
So for me, it's between 3W and long iron. I'd probably go 3W.
3W puts you right at the level with BOTH hazards.
Originally Posted by Maddog10
I'm jumping on the driver bandwagon as well. Even though there is more FW to hit with the 3W, I would prefer to take the hazards out of play. It does appear that it would be a pretty significant miss to put a 3W in one of those hazards, but it wouldn't be the first time I've significantly missed. With a driver I know I can clear the hazards, and if I miss the fairway I end up with a short pitch from the rough or a difficult bunker shot. By the sounds of the elevated green and extreme slopes, it seems pretty unlikely to get up and down for birdie from either of these locations, but I feel confident that I could get the ball somewhere on the green and give myself two putts at making par. From there it's a matter of proper reads and making good strokes on the ball to two-putt for my par.
I feel like this strategy gives me the best chance of eliminating a big number, and also gives me the best chance at hitting the GIR. By the sounds of this green, a 3 putt certainly isn't out of the question, but more times than not I feel like I'm going to make par if I can get on that green in regulation, and I believe that hitting driver gives me the best chance to do that.
You earn a gold star.
Originally Posted by Chilli Dipper
I don't want a half-swing approach to an elevated green. Hybrid off the tee, and leave a full, easy wedge for the second.
Adjust your perception. Stop laying up because you fear "half swings." They finish closer to the hole than full swings. Take 30 minutes and learn your partial swing distances. Your scorecard thanks you.
Originally Posted by David in FL
Driver is out. Just too many things that can go wrong with anything other than a perfect shot and with that elevation, it looks as if you might be virtually blind to the entire green (maybe even the pin) from down front.
Small green so I'm just putting it in the middle and should be within 30' of the pin just about wherever it is. I'll take 30' birdie putts all day long.....
You have a better chance to put the ball to within 30' if you're 30 yards from the green than if you're 90.
Originally Posted by TJBam
3W is the safest off the tee in my opinion. Risk/Reward of D is not worth it.
The 3W is the most dangerous play. The hazards are closest to the 3W. The Driver is the play that removes both hazards the most.
Originally Posted by Lihu
Without over thinking it, I would hit driver towards the right green side bunker.
Gold star. :)
Originally Posted by DeadMan
Unless my driver was really wild all day, I would hit a driver. It seems to have a reasonably large landing area and the best shot at avoiding the hazards to the left and right of the fairway. Basically, it seems like the best chance to get a par is to be as close to the green as possible and then you can probably hit a mediocre pitch/sand shot and get a par. Honestly, it seems like the best place to be on this hole is in the rough or sand by the green. I'd rather take my chances on that type of shot instead of a difficult 1/2 wedge shot up the hill.
3W is out because you put the hazards into play. No sense in hitting that and having a good chance at losing a stroke there. This play probably leads to double bogey a lot more often than the other plays.
3H is out because I think the second shot - the uphill 1/2 wedge - is much more difficult than the pitch or sand shot. It seems like this shot would probably gaurantee you at least a bogey with a decent shot at par. I don't think this option is terrible, and if my driver is wild that round, this would be my backup.
Originally Posted by WUTiger
This hole reminds me a lot of No. 16 at Cardinal Creek Golf Club on Scott AFB. This 350-yd. uphill par 4 calls for a tee shot which finds a level spot on the rippled fairway. Then, an 8-iron pitch and run works best... the lower loft gets the ball rolling on the green, which has a false front and small spoon area before rising slightly about halfway back.
For the hole in this thread, I would hit a 3W, preferably to the left side of the fairway. This would give me a good angle into the long axis of the green. If the pin was up close, I would hit a half PW pitch-and-run. If the pin was back, I would hit an 8i pitch-and-run to make sure it got deep into the green.
I'm assuming the release and run shot would be less risky than a cut shot and misplaced backspin.
Yeah, it's not like that hole at all. I said that before, and quoted you, and you never came back to revise your statement. It's not 350 yards, you can't "pitch and run" an 8-iron up a 30 foot hill, etc.
Originally Posted by Pretzel
I personally would hit my hybrid to the 90 yards out from the green. This takes the hazard out of play by making it unreachable, while leaving me with a short enough shot that I should be able to hit the green. In addition to missing the hazard, having 90 yards out versus 40-60 (you said that the driver shot would roll back) gives me a steeper landing angle and more spin in order to better hold the green should it have fast conditions.
It only rolls back if you hit the ten feet of fairway. :) Otherwise it hangs up in the rough or the sand.
Hybrid doesn't completely take the hazards out of play.
Originally Posted by MS256
If I feel like I am playing pretty well I would probably hit a 3W. I usually feel pretty good about my accuracy with that club.
I guarantee you don't hit your 3W to within 27 yards or so on average. If that were true you'd hit 230-yard par threes regularly as that's about the same width. The best PGA Tour pro in 2013 averaged only 62% GIR from 200+ yards. So even if you're playing so well you're Justin Rose in 2013, you still shouldn't hit the 3W.
People routinely overstate how good they are, and how small their dispersion patterns are. I don't want to give too much away, but this is a big part of LSW.
Originally Posted by mdl
This is a tough hole. I think 3w is the clear answer. If it were flat I might bet tempted to go driver with the hope of rolling it up on, and I'm not super scared of green side bunker shots if I miss a bit. But as it is, I'm going 3w. Keeps me in front of the bunkers and carries past the circle of brush at the middle of the collection area left, so a miss left has some chance of not being dead. Pulled or hooked hybrid probably results in an unplayable. Plus I'm hitting it significantly closer to the hole on my approach from a well hit 3w versus hybrid.
That said, if I'm playing poorly, especially with the long clubs, and get to this hole at this total distance I might just hit 5i or 6i off the tee into the wide short part of the fairway.
It doesn't, but Drew illustrated that really well.
Originally Posted by Golfingdad
Here's what I see:
As I interpret it, a 3 wood puts both hazards in range, a hybrid takes one of them out, and only a driver or something less than a hybrid takes both of them out. Without more to go on, I'll go driver. But if I'm hitting my driver poorly that day, or have been struggling out of the bunkers, or have been hitting my irons pure and knocking my wedges stiff, then maybe I'll go iron.
But anything in the middle seems too risky.
3W and hybrid both put the hazards in range. Any club except hybrid is all carry on this hole, as with the slopes present, there's no roll.
Originally Posted by pepsiplusconker
I haven't read any replies yet but I'd go with the 3w.
I think 60 yards, plus the elevation would be good for my 58 wedge and give me the best chance of stopping the ball on the green.
I have a few holes on my home course with elevation changes like this, maybe one is even worse, you have to really muscle a high lofted club other wise the ball will hit the green almost at the top of it's arc and run straight through, very tough hole.
And the 50% of the shots you hit in the hazards…? :)
Originally Posted by sopel10
At my level, something that flies the hazards and gets me the closest to the whole usually works out the best. I could lay up very very short and have an iron into the green, but my GIR percentage is not the greatest.
I would hit the driver, hope for the best, worst case scenario, flying the hazards and dealing with the rough/bunkers (which could have also happened if I layed up).
Originally Posted by k14
I'd go hybrid, purely because that is the club I know I can hit the straightest. Hitting 3w and Driver (for me) both bring into range the deep rough and it isn't worth it for reducing the shot into the green from ~90 yards to 60 yards or less. That way I can put a full swing on the club and get it to check on the right yardage.
You're not getting it to check. It's 30' uphill, and slopes to the back right corner.
Originally Posted by k14
Purely from reading the lowest score wins thread etc I am guessing Erik will say hit driver cause the closer you are to the hole the lower score you are going to get. But for me hitting driver or 3w bring in double bogey to the equation. Even if I hit a poor tee shot with the hybrid I am still able to most likely have a shot to the green and at worst get bogey.
At some point you've got to make the strategic play and if you hit a bad shot, you hit a bad shot… and need to work on that. But then your GamePlan is not what's holding you back. It's your golf swing.
Originally Posted by Pretzel
- Going just past the hazard on the right with a driver would wind up in the water, courtesy of the mentioned hills
No it wouldn't. I mentioned that the rough or sand would hold the ball up.
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut
The photo's don't to the hole justice. How I play it depends on those hazard areas to either side and the sloping terrain. Depending on the severity of the slopes and those tall grassy areas to either side, I may play short of them to leave myself 120yds or so. If those areas are playable, I may play more aggressive and leave myself a 60yd approach from short of those bunkers. Under no circumstances do I see a reason to challenge that tiny neck of fairway between the bunkers.
120 yards is right, but then you fail to earn your gold star with the last half of your post. :) There are lots of good reasons to challenge the green… namely that you have a 30-yard pitch shot for eagle. Or a bunker shot or 50 yards from the rough, perhaps.
Originally Posted by chris3putt
I'd swing a Driver, and not be too upset if I was in the sand.
The hazards are the deciding factor - that, and the need to stop the ball fairly quickly once it's on the green, due to the drop off if you go long. With the green being elevated, approach shots will tend to run on more, so the closer you can be for your second shot, the better.
That's good. Silver star, just lacking some details. :)
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut
That line of reasoning is partly why you're a 15HC......... just an observation.
I disagree. I might go so far as to say his answer was better than yours.
Originally Posted by JetFan1983
You say par is a good score here and almost no one birdies it, so that tells me quite a bit. There's always that one hole on every course that's like this, and I don't want to make a big number. Since my hybrid and 3-wood bring the hazard into play, I don't think I should hit those clubs. Driver looks like a pretty good option, but again, I think I'd have to see how the hole looks from the tee to see if this is a good play or not. I really would love a pitch from the rough or green-side bunker if I could consistently leave myself something like that.
I dunno, I think I'd probably end up just hitting 5-iron and leaving myself like 110 or 120 or something. It's either that or driver. I really don't want to yank one left or flare one right with my 3-hybrid or 3-wood, which is totally possible.
Silver star. One of the few to recognize that the hybrid still brings the hazards into play.
Originally Posted by tomvk77
I think the smart way is to hit iron off the tee. a 5 or 4 iron would do it for me, it leaves you no more than pw to the green.
A club i feel confident with and you get drop and stop control with these clubs. the closer you get to the green the harder it is to get spin on the ball.
A big plus is also is that you stay out off trouble and by doing so you get a reasonable flat lie also, this makes things easier also.
Silver star. Just missing the driver option.
Originally Posted by CarlSpackler
Here is the way I look at the hole. It is better to be as far left as possible in the fairway for the better angle, but of course you have to challenge the trouble to get there. Since this is #16, if I'm down in the match, I'm grabbing 3w and playing for a draw into Pos A. Otherwise, I'm hitting an easy hybrid or maybe even a 4i trying for the left side of the fairway. In a practice round, I would love to step on a driver and try to chase one up on the green or in the hole though.
Again, yeah, you're not that good. You're missing the entire (narrow) fairway pretty often, let alone aiming for a "side" of the fairway.
Originally Posted by 14ledo81
I have done some more thinking on this, and I still feel the Driver is the way to go. 3W is out because of the potential hazards. That leaves Driver or hybrid/long iron. I would take my chances, even from the rough or sand from 30 yards vs. 90+ from the fairway. And 90 is not even guaranteed to be in the fairway.
Originally Posted by boogielicious
3 wood. If I am 60 yards away with an elevation change of 20 feet then a full 58 sand wedge would be my approach shot. I hit it 80 - 85 yards from flat lie with a full shot, so the 20 ft elevation would have me in the 60-65 yard range. It will have some spin, so it should check up. but if it doesn't, I have an uphill putt depending on where the flag is. If my lie is an uphill lie (I did not see where you described the slope at H or 3), then I would choke up on a 52 wedge and hit the same shot. If it is really sloped at 3 and not at H, I would go back to the H spot and use a PW (120 yard club) and grip down a half inch on the shaft and hit a full shot.
I am aiming and the center of the green on each of these shots. My sand game is not a guarantee and the two closer bunkers look like a long bunker shot and uphill. If I catch it thin, I am off the back. So Driver is out. The fairway is slightly wider at 3 than H, so there is a bit extra room to play with. My miss is an overdraw. Left at H puts me in the little gully. Left at 3, I may go past the gully in the rough, which is better.
Of course, this may all be wrong. I am waiting for a new book to come out and help me with these decisions.
Bzzzzzt. 3W is the worst play. :)