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How Would You Play It? (5th Hole at Rancho Park)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

This might not be as good a hole for strategy discussion as some of the others guys have posted, but I think these posts are really fun and this is a hole I've considered and reconsidered strategy on, especially off the tee, so I thought it might be a fun one.  Consider this one like Erik's where we all assume the same clubs so we can talk strategy rather than a ton of different answers specific to a player's exact yardages.  Answers may differ of course depending on everyone's preferred shot shape and trajectory.  Assume the h, 3, and d correspond to about where a hybrid, 3 wood, and driver will stop.  Driver gets you to ~GW approach territory, 3w a ~9i approach, hybrid a ~6i approach.

 

I tried to lay out the needed info in the pic.  Dogleg right, tee shot into a steep uphill.  Trees hang more than you think from the right.  From where the h is, or if you fade a 3w and it stops along the red line, you don't have an open look at the right side of the green with a straight approach.  If you hit a draw pretty much only the left 1/4 of the green is available.  Fairway in the landing zone funnels slightly right, but it's flat or even helping the ball OB if you miss left off the fairway.  That red line indicates the absolute furthest right you can hit a tee shot straight, and even that might be generous.  If you go right the tall tree at the left downhill blue arrow will drop it, usually down the hill to the right where any shot that advances much is impossible.  No tee shot with any of these three clubs will clear the two tall trees with the big shadows.  Any recovery back out to the fairway that doesn't get almost all the way to the other side of the fairway that far back is blocked from the green by the trees.  The tree between the 3 and the OB in the pic hangs enough that a minor miss left with the 3w can force a very low knockdown even if you don't go all the way left and OB.

 

At the green, the left trap isn't very big, and anything left or long of it is down a steep, high hill covered in trees.  Totally screwed there.  Shots short of the bunker left of the green have some risk of bouncing and funneling down that hill, though if it stops before the blue line it's okay.

post #2 of 27

Gotta fade the driver and get far enough to open up the approach to the green.  Anything right either blocks you completely or forces you towards left of the green.

post #3 of 27

@mdl,

 

How high is the tree at the left blue arrow?  If it is tall, then I can't go that route unless I try to fade a driver (easier said than done for me).  OB long left is bad, so depending on wind, I would opt for a 3H or 5W and aim for the edge of the trees on the right.  My 3H-5W typically draw 10 or more yards.  That would put me on the left side of the fairway with most of the green open to view.

 

If I try to fade a driver and it goes straight or draws, I am OB.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Gotta fade the driver and get far enough to open up the approach to the green.  Anything right either blocks you completely or forces you towards left of the green.

This used to be my play, but with my swing changes a fade with the driver isn't a reliable shot right now.

@boogielicious, nothing clears the trees right.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post


This used to be my play, but with my swing changes a fade with the driver isn't a reliable shot right now.

@boogielicious, nothing clears the trees right.

Well then that makes my decision easy then!!:-)

post #6 of 27

Seems like the 3W is the best bet. The next shot is more open and there is less chance of being put into the "cyan OB" area. The chance of it running on the ground under the large tree in the middle is better than trying to go over it.

 

The second shot could be "half a 3W", or something like a PW or 52 degree wedge.

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

The second shot could be "half a 3W", or something like a PW or 52 degree wedge.

 

Is "half 3w" one of your typical approaches now from wedge range?!  So like choosing a long runner with a mid iron instead of more standard pitch with a wedge on a short game shot but from full wedge distance instead?  Interesting development!

post #8 of 27
How wide is the fairway?
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post
 

 

Is "half 3w" one of your typical approaches now from wedge range?!  So like choosing a long runner with a mid iron instead of more standard pitch with a wedge on a short game shot but from full wedge distance instead?  Interesting development!


What I meant to say is the club that goes "half a 3W" which for me is either the PW or the 52 degree wedge. They provide the loft needed to hit and stick a green from 125 and 100 yards respectively.
 

You didn't give any distances, but to be more concrete (the hole is 375 from the blues and 401 from the tips), I would hit my 3W about 220 carry and it might roll to 230-240 or so. Then I would hit something around 100-130 to finish the hole. If I played from the tips (which I wouldn't) I would need a 3W and a 8i or 7i depending upon the roll on the 3W and if I expect roll from the approach shot.

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadMan View Post

How wide is the fairway?

 

Wide.  35-40 yards through the landing zone including the areas where you don't have a look at the green.

post #11 of 27
Boy, honestly, I have no idea. I think the ideal play is to be able to fade a driver and hit your GW into the green. However, for me personally, I'm not sure I can control a fade enough to pull it off. I'm leery of an over fade into the trees on the right. That looks like double bogey city over there.

Even though I'm not particularly enamored by this play, I think I would go with the 3H off the tee. I really hate having a 6 iron approach when I could have a GW, but that seems like the best option to me. 3W brings both sides of the trees into play, and driver brings the trees into the right into play. The 3H seems to have the best chance of avoiding the trees on both sides. Hit a 6 iron, take a bogey if I miss the green and walk off happy with the result.

Honestly, this seems like a hole where bogey is a fine score. There's a lot of trouble with those trees lurking, and I think that's what you have to do on this hole. Avoid the trees, get close to the green, take a bogey. If you hit the green, take a par and run.
post #12 of 27

I think I'd want something between the 3 and the h, maybe leaving a 7i or preferrably 8i approach. The h is safe, to what looks like the widest part of the fairway, but I don't think I like the 6i approach from there. I want to go past that h, but not far enough to reach or get stuck behind that tree on the left. Maybe take a little off the 3w, towards that tree, with a slight fade?

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadMan View Post

Boy, honestly, I have no idea. I think the ideal play is to be able to fade a driver and hit your GW into the green. However, for me personally, I'm not sure I can control a fade enough to pull it off. I'm leery of an over fade into the trees on the right. That looks like double bogey city over there.

Even though I'm not particularly enamored by this play, I think I would go with the 3H off the tee. I really hate having a 6 iron approach when I could have a GW, but that seems like the best option to me. 3W brings both sides of the trees into play, and driver brings the trees into the right into play. The 3H seems to have the best chance of avoiding the trees on both sides. Hit a 6 iron, take a bogey if I miss the green and walk off happy with the result.

Honestly, this seems like a hole where bogey is a fine score. There's a lot of trouble with those trees lurking, and I think that's what you have to do on this hole. Avoid the trees, get close to the green, take a bogey. If you hit the green, take a par and run.

 

Yeah the best leave is a nice fade with the driver.  My issue with that play is that either you have to aim pretty far left where with anything left or even just a shot that doesn't fade like you want there's a huge risk of OB, or you have to aim pretty tight against the tree on the right, where any push or over fade gets knocked down by the tree.  And you're right, without a somewhat lucky drop from the tree double bogey is in play big time.

 

If I had a reliable fade right now, I'd play this with a fade 3w.  As my swing is now, I just play for a straightish 3w aimed more or less where the 3 in the pic is.  It's always disappointing to hit what feels like a decent shot a bit left and end up having to hit a knockdown under the tree, but with that 3w distance only a pretty big pull or hook gets OB.

 

And I don't hit the hybrid.  I hate the approach with the longer club.  Trees right and hill left doesn't leave that big a margin for error with a relatively long club, and if you pull the hybrid off the tee at all you can easily be hitting 5i or even 4i into that tight window.  Plus, if you push the hybrid, you're probably still in the fairway but you're far enough behind the dogleg that you have much less opportunity to at least get it pretty close to the green and have a decent up and down shot.  A 3w too far right (but still past the tree on the right) might not leave you an open look, but you're far enough that you've got more high percentage options for getting it closer to the green.

post #14 of 27

Considering my form of play, I would probably take out my driver and swing right down the middle..maybe aim a fraction to the left of that right tree line. And then if I get lucky with that shot, I would probably have the opportunity to chip it up to the green with my 8 or 9 iron....I think that sounds about right.

post #15 of 27

I would like to take my driver up the fairway in the bottom of the pic to avoid OB and leave what appears to be LW over the trees. Not sure how tall the trees are by the green or closer to the tee box are though.

post #16 of 27

Short par 4 with a tight fairway and dog to the right?

 

I'd try to fade a full driver down the fairway.

When my slice puts it in the wrong fairway, it's a pretty simple wedge over the trees to the green.....

post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlSpackler View Post
 

I would like to take my driver up the fairway in the bottom of the pic to avoid OB and leave what appears to be LW over the trees. Not sure how tall the trees are by the green or closer to the tee box are though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

 

I'd try to fade a full driver down the fairway.

When my slice puts it in the wrong fairway, it's a pretty simple wedge over the trees to the green.....

 

Unfortunately that's not a smart play. I've played from that other fairway more times than I'd like to admit.  You're well below the green from down there, and you're not in LW range, more like PW or 9i.  So then every time you think you've gotten over the trees (and have over the ones you can fully see from down there), it catches the last tree before the green and comes down short, often in a not great spot, pretty much every time.  Maybe you could make it if you go for the very back of the green, but usually that requires a longer club that might not get over the first trees, and even if you've got a little window and sneak it through, aiming that far back brings the big hill behind the green into play which is very penal.

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post
 

 

Unfortunately that's not a smart play.

 

Let me clarify.....:-P

 

"I'd try to fade a full driver down the fairway"------>  Smart Play

"When my slice puts it in the wrong fairway"------>  Poor Result

 

I'm glad to hear that a similar handicap has also had similar results......

 

 

(I'd like to also admit - "fade a driver"....for me, that's just my regular shot when it goes well......but I like to pretend it's on purpose)


Edited by rehmwa - 5/22/14 at 1:20pm
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