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Left the driver in the bag

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Since I am new to NJ, I have been playing a new course every week. I know I am sacrificing 3-4 shots a round by not having the local course knowledge but I want to see em all before I pick a favorite. Typically I play the white tees anywheare from 6000-6300 yards just so I dont struggle with distance and lack of knowledge. Usually I hit driver on every par 4/5 on the course and some days I have 70 yards to the hole and others I miss the fairway to the point where I have to pitch out. (Ive only lost 2 balls in 8 rounds so I am not spraying it terribly). According to my GPS tracked stats my average drive over the last 20 rounds is 253 yards, so Im no monster off the tee.

 

Friday I played a course that was 6000 yards and only hit my driver once. Shot my best round of the year at 84 with two tweeters (birdies). I hit my hybrid or 4 iron off every Par 4 and had anywhere from 7-GW into the greens. Hit 6 greens and 8 fairways. I think I couldve musceled my way around the course with my driver but who wants that awkward yardage pitch shot from the rough.

 

I guess the point in this post is that I am now learning (BY READING LOWEST SCORE WINS) that advancing the ball down the middle and having a full swing into greens can sometimes be better than hitting driver into a greenside bunker or leaving yourself a 35-60 yard pitch.

 

or maybe Im getting better? lol

post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpaulhus View Post
 

Since I am new to NJ, I have been playing a new course every week. I know I am sacrificing 3-4 shots a round by not having the local course knowledge but I want to see em all before I pick a favorite. Typically I play the white tees anywheare from 6000-6300 yards just so I dont struggle with distance and lack of knowledge. Usually I hit driver on every par 4/5 on the course and some days I have 70 yards to the hole and others I miss the fairway to the point where I have to pitch out. (Ive only lost 2 balls in 8 rounds so I am not spraying it terribly). According to my GPS tracked stats my average drive over the last 20 rounds is 253 yards, so Im no monster off the tee.

 

Friday I played a course that was 6000 yards and only hit my driver once. Shot my best round of the year at 84 with two tweeters (birdies). I hit my hybrid or 4 iron off every Par 4 and had anywhere from 7-GW into the greens. Hit 6 greens and 8 fairways. I think I couldve musceled my way around the course with my driver but who wants that awkward yardage pitch shot from the rough.

 

I guess the point in this post is that I am now learning (BY READING LOWEST SCORE WINS) that advancing the ball down the middle and having a full swing into greens can sometimes be better than hitting driver into a greenside bunker or leaving yourself a 35-60 yard pitch.

 

or maybe Im getting better? lol

Since nobody is saying it, I will.  I think you are kind of missing the point of the book a bit.  If you can't control your driver at all then yeah there is an issue.  But I don't think there is any way you are at a disadvantage statistically if you can drive the ball to 35-60 yards from the hole or into a green-side bunker on your first shot.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post
 

Since nobody is saying it, I will.  I think you are kind of missing the point of the book a bit.  If you can't control your driver at all then yeah there is an issue.  But I don't think there is any way you are at a disadvantage statistically if you can drive the ball to 35-60 yards from the hole or into a green-side bunker on your first shot.

I havent finished the book yet, so maybe I havent gotten that far ;). I can control the driver enough to be in play 9/10 drives, but I feel more comfortable with a 9 or PW into a green vs a chip or pitch from the rough. As most people, Im more accurate with my irons than my driver. That was the first time I tried this method and it was a relatively short couse with lots of downhill tee shots, so realistically it would be different on a flat 6500 yard course where hitting driver off the tee is sort of necessary to score.

post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpaulhus View Post
 

…but I feel more comfortable with a 9 or PW into a green vs a chip or pitch from the rough.

 

You shouldn't, and it's highly, highly unlikely that you put the ball closer to the hole with a 9-iron than a shot from 47 yards.

post #5 of 21

I think it's an expectation distortion. People don't realize the chip they mishit is still closer to the hole than the 9i they simply hit near the green. And you probably don't have many sub 100 yard second shots unless you are playing really far up. Even the ladies tees at our course have par 4's in the 330-360 range. If you are there it's because you already missed one further out.

post #6 of 21

i'm with the OP on this one.  accuracy over distance leads to better scores for many players more often than not.  i played irons only for a while and just got back to my 3w off the tee (ditched the driver a looong time ago).

 

the flip-side of the argument is course management on any given course... do you smash it as far as you can and take a half wedge in, or take an iron off the tee for a full-swing second shot??  horses for courses.  i only recently discovered i prefer low bounce wedges for pitches (actually just bought a 56.08 today, can't wait for it to get here), so i've been in the same boat as the OP and somewhat uncomfortable with those touch approach shots.

 

then again, i prefer to chip with my 7i, which is probably uncommon.  to each his own.  if ditching the driver works again, stick with it and enjoy lower scores.

post #7 of 21

Unless you can't outright hit a driver, then distance is much more important than accuracy. The correlation is highly in favor of distance. The reason is, being closer to the green in the rough still gives players a better chance to hit a GIR than in the fairway 20 yards back. Proximity to the green is the number one determinant to GIR, which leads to better scoring. 

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyJeeBiv View Post

accuracy over distance leads to better scores for many players more often than not.  i played irons only for a while and just got back to my 3w off the tee (ditched the driver a looong time ago).
It doesn't, and the data backs this up.

I've played rounds with just irons, too, and the bonus from less penal tee shots does not offset the penalty of having to hit longer approach shots. My scores were comparable to my regular rounds.

As for the 3w over driver, a lot of people hit their 3w just as far and more accurate than their driver, that is true. But that's a technique and equipment issue, not a defense of accuracy over distance.
post #9 of 21
funny - I play with 2 long hitters, myself 200 + - with the driver. what I find odd is when we play our home course they beat me 4 out of 5 rounds. but when we go to a longer track I allways think that they are going to crush me because of how long they are but I end up beating them. don't know why.
post #10 of 21

my opinion is probably skewed b/c my home course is very tight, with OB surrounding half of the holes.  

 

driver into rough 20 yds further??  sure, i'd take that.  but for me on my course, if you don't hit fairway, you're lucky if you aren't screwed.

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyJeeBiv View Post

my opinion is probably skewed b/c my home course is very tight, with OB surrounding half of the holes.  

driver into rough 20 yds further??  sure, i'd take that.  but for me on my course, if you don't hit fairway, you're lucky if you aren't screwed.

Yes, I'd be interested in the extent to which the stats take account of how rough the rough is. My home course puts a pretty high premium on being straight, on most holes if you miss the fairway by much you're in tree trouble and the rough, though not always high, is pretty dense. I'd take being 150 yards out on the short stuff over a 130 yard shot from the rough every time, because with the latter I'll either not have a shot to the green, or be in danger of turning the club over in the lush grass.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

Unless you can't outright hit a driver, then distance is much more important than accuracy. The correlation is highly in favor of distance. The reason is, being closer to the green in the rough still gives players a better chance to hit a GIR than in the fairway 20 yards back. Proximity to the green is the number one determinant to GIR, which leads to better scoring. 

Yep. Learn to hit the big dog. Distance is good. However, I prefer the fairway 20 yards back as opposed to rough with those long wooden things (trees) in the way.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post


Yes, I'd be interested in the extent to which the stats take account of how rough the rough is. My home course puts a pretty high premium on being straight, on most holes if you miss the fairway by much you're in tree trouble and the rough, though not always high, is pretty dense. I'd take being 150 yards out on the short stuff over a 130 yard shot from the rough every time, because with the latter I'll either not have a shot to the green, or be in danger of turning the club over in the lush grass.

 

agreed.  everyone likes to point to the stats, but it doesn't take each of our typical experiences into account.  

 

if you play open courses, then longer into rough probably isn't too bad.

 

on tight or woodsy courses, i'm not so sure.

post #14 of 21

I guess from my perspective neither the premise that "distance is always more important than accuracy" or "accuracy is always more important than distance" is true.  It just depends on your game and the situation.  Maybe the only true premise in golf is "if you don't pick a shot you're comfortable with/ confident in, you'll screw it up".  

post #15 of 21

  I think that a lot of people are complicating this a bit too much.....The further you can advance the ball towards the hole without bringing serious trouble into play is always the best bet.  From my standpoint the rough is going to have to be pretty darn horrible to pass up a shot inside of 50yds to the green. 

  I played with a gent of about the same skill set as mine last weekend.  The course was pretty slow, he was a nice guy.  We had a great time.  I bettered him by 5 strokes, and it was all course management with this mindset. 

  Now this is a very short course and pretty open, rough is not penal in most areas.  A couple holes stick out in my mind as to how both of us played it.  One is a short par 4.  Its just over 300 I believe.  Big fairway, pretty open tee shot out to about 250, then it tightens up considerably with OB left and sage brush right.  No trouble around the green, no bunkers, light rough, etc.  relatively easy chipping and pitching area.  green itself is fairly small.  He played 5 iron off the tee and had around and had 9 iron I believe into the green.  Hit a pretty good shot, just pushed it slightly and landed just off the fringe.  Decent chip to about 8ft, lipped out and scored bogie.  Really played pretty well.  I played 3hybrid off the tee, just into the rough on the left side of fairway straight draw ball flight.  But I had about 90yds into the green.  I hit a hard LW, again a bit off a pull(frequently happens to me when going after it)  but being as close as I was it was still on the left side of green.  I two putted a par.  Since I have started playing hybrid off the tee there I make par more often then not....

  A couple holes later was a drivable par 4.  I think it plays 275 ish.  Wide open tee shot.  if you go left your in the next fairway with a open shot at green, and you'd have to go quite a ways right to reach the sage brush.  Green is deep but narrow side to side, there are a pair of bunkers front right and front left, very little room in between.  Green slopes severly back to front.  tough pitch/chip from off the back.  For me with no wind or wind at my back again its the hybrid.  But if the wind is into my face pretty good I hit driver.  That day wind was in my face so I pulled driver.  Pushed it right and about 30yds short of the green.  Other guy hits 3 iron and had a little under 100yds left dead center in the fairway.  Pin was in the front.  He smartly clubbed up for the wind and hit a nice shot to the back 3rd of the green.  I had a close pitch, but had a bunker between myself and the front pin location.  So I played to the middle of the green, right of the bunker taking it out of play.  I didn't hit a great pitch really, it actually landed short of the green and barely bounced on.  If I had gone at the pin with the same stroke I would have been in the bunker. He had a long downhill put, and he left it about 7ft short guarding against rolling off the front.  I also left it short, but I was closer to begin with and was only about 4ft short.  I made mine, he lipped his....

 

To me the point is the closer I can get, the better chance I have of making it on the green, now I may not hit the shot the way I want to and put it inside 10ft of something.  But if I have a putter in my hands for my next shot, my chances at making par go up considerably. 

  Now there are a couple holes on that course where I leave the driver in the bag, because its too tight with too much trouble around the landing area for my driver.  And on those holes my chances of making par are also less then those I hit driver on because im further away on my approaches, but the flip side of the coin is I am hopefully taking the double or bigger score out of play by taking driver out of play.... 

  For me the hardest hole on the course is a par 4 that plays I think just under 400yds.  The problem for me is the fairway is very,very tight.  It doesn't take much of a mis hit to be OB left or up on a hill punching out to the fairway on the right.  This in the past has always been a classic blow up hole spot for me.  At this point I just can't squeeze driver into the fairway reliably.  So I play hybrid off the tee.  My second shot is usually somewhere around a 5 iron going at the green, the green itself is relatively simple putting wise, but there is trouble everywhere but short.  Bunkers, water etc.  I now play one club short at least and leave myself short of the green on purpose.  Its a simple chip/pitch.  If I hit it good I might still make par, but worst I'm going to make is most likely bogie.  But if your really trying to score the lowest you can, at my skill level taking a fairly sure bet on bogie isn't necessarily a bad play. 


Edited by oregongolfguy - 7/5/14 at 1:39pm
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 

@iacas was correct. I played the same course today and drove the ball very well. Ended up having a majority of my shots within 75 yards and shot 2 strokes better with an 82 vs hitting 4 iron or hybrid off the tee. Had I had a better day putting (38 putts) I would have shot in the mid 70's. I had two holes where I drove the fringe and 3 putted for par. One hole was 315 down hill and I drove it to the left of the green 302 yards according to my GPS and chipped up and made birdie. I guess I need to finish Lowest Score Wins, but now I understand about how your scoring improves the closer you are to the hole regardless if youre in the rough or not.

post #17 of 21
Some of the rough we have in Florida isa place you do not want to be. You can lose your ball just a few feet off the fairway.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I lived the first 26 years of my life in Florida so I know what the rough is like. It's tougher in Florida than here, but it's not unmanageable.
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