Originally Posted by CR McDivot
The best layup leaves a wedge from the fairway 70 yards to the center, to a 30 yard wide target. I'll take that rather than 240 carry, one hop and stop any day!
You know, it's possible to stop a ball on the green without spin checking it. Especially since the green slopes back towards the tee, the ball just needs to come down from a high apex and it will lose most of its energy, even bounce backwards in some cases without having a high amount of spin. Ball speed and launch angle are also important for stopping the ball, especially with the long clubs. It's not a finesse shot to stop those long approaches, it's a power shot. Hoist the ball into the air and carry everything, the ball will be in the air for so long it will be too tired to roll.
There's an ENTIRE STROKE to be gained here. If you can hit to the same target in one shot vs 2 shots, no matter how much tougher the longer approach is, you want to do it. You'll end up so much better off so much of the time it will offset the difficulty. The risk is also probably just as high on the layup, it's quite possible to send it into trouble, but since you spent the stroke to hit the fairway you really NEED to get it close. If you just don't have the carry yardage to reach the green, then you play it from the tees that allow you to do so. Like I said, play it from the ladies tee. That's what laying up will accomplish. Even if you are a short hitting senior, you can carry 130 yards. If you're a beast then hitting 5 iron over water is a thrill.
It's also possible to hit into the water on the layup or the approach, doubling the risk. The trouble doesn't magically know when you hit a layup and repel your shot onto the green for you; you can get burned on the layup, plus you already wasted a stroke laying up.