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YoungTad

A Question for the 200-220 Yard Drivers, About Low Scores

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I'm a short driver.  I'd say I'm working on it, but ... I've swung the speed sticks once this calendar year.  I need to get back to that, speaking of which.

My home course, at the tees I play, has three par-4s in excess of (average drive * 2) yards.  So I hit driver (each is safe to do so), the longest second shot I can, and then I try to get up and down, accepting a 5 as a good score.  

Do you know your quarter and half wedge distances?

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I am well into the "senior golfer" range and so the first thing I do is shorten the course by playing the senior tees.  I also have a plan of attack  on each tee that I want to follow, I admit sometimes the plan doesn't last passed the tee shot, but good to know what your trying to do before you hit shot 1 on that hole.  For example my course has a long par 5 I can't reach, but can get to about 50 yards or so in 3. But I don't because the green is elevated and you're going to  have to pitch the ball up.  You can't chip the ball up as it is a steep bank.  So I deliberately lay back on the second shot so I have a full wedge as I am a lot  more comfortable with that than trying to hit a half wedge off a tight lie.  I read somewhere, I believe in "Zen Golf", that you should always play the shot you know you can execute and never the shot you don't know whether on not you can execute" (or words to that effect).  My last advise is to have fun, it's a gift to be on the course and not at work.

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Read somewhere that us amateurs tend to hit the club that we hit the longest and that we might instead want to consider (after a tee shot on a par 4 or 5) looking at dividing the remaining distance in half (par 4) to thirds (par 5). If that distance is about our driver distance, consider a shorter club to give you a realistic chance at getting on in GIR +1 and giving your self a higher loft approach. (nothing like sticking a 3 wood approach lol)

Trying to hit it further is too much work, I'm sticking with accuracy and moving up a tee box. 

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I haven’t really teed off with a driver and less frequently the 3W this season, yet. So, I end up about 200-220 off the tee too. My second shots are usually only 9i or less though. If I end up on a 450 yard tee box, I’ll hit hybrid and/or 3i to reach in 2.

That said, I enjoy playing from 5700 to 6000 yards when my woods are out of the game.

Again, golf really shouldn’t be an impossible challenge that puts you on the edge of your seat every time you tee off. It should be a comfortable and enjoyable challenge.

Golf is already hard enough without playing at your capacity...

Edited by Lihu

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1 hour ago, uitar9 said:

Read somewhere that us amateurs tend to hit the club that we hit the longest and that we might instead want to consider (after a tee shot on a par 4 or 5) looking at dividing the remaining distance in half (par 4) to thirds (par 5). If that distance is about our driver distance, consider a shorter club to give you a realistic chance at getting on in GIR +1 and giving your self a higher loft approach. (nothing like sticking a 3 wood approach lol)

Hybrid + chip (unless it’s very penal around the green) is gonna produce lower scores than two 8-irons.

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Quick question to those who would play a par four like this as if it were a par five.

Why not just move to a more forward set of tees? Or play a hybrid tee setup?

I do not understand the mindset of stepping up to a par 4 and just accepting that bogey is your best realistic score. It just seems like a stressful way to play golf. I know that if I was was playing some monster of a course where I was playing long irons/hybrids/woods into all the greens after hitting good drives that I would really not be having fun.

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18 minutes ago, benharris said:

Quick question to those who would play a par four like this as if it were a par five.

Why not just move to a more forward set of tees? Or play a hybrid tee setup?

I do not understand the mindset of stepping up to a par 4 and just accepting that bogey is your best realistic score. It just seems like a stressful way to play golf. I know that if I was was playing some monster of a course where I was playing long irons/hybrids/woods into all the greens after hitting good drives that I would really not be having fun.

Well, in my home club's tournaments, the tournament director tells us which tees we are to play.  So there's that.

Also, par is arbitrary anyway.  On any given hole, I am seeking the best chance at a low score that I can get.  How someone else, with a different set of physical abilities, would play the hole is immaterial. 

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4 minutes ago, Shindig said:

Well, in my home club's tournaments, the tournament director tells us which tees we are to play.  So there's that.

Also, par is arbitrary anyway.  On any given hole, I am seeking the best chance at a low score that I can get.  How someone else, with a different set of physical abilities, would play the hole is immaterial. 

Well, obviously if you are not able to choose which tees you play, playing from forward tees is out of the question. That is a specific circumstance that falls outside of the general play situation that I was meaning. 

How is par arbitrary by the way? If par really means that little to you why not tip it out? Play from the pro tees. If par is arbitrary, why not just make the pars 5,6, and 7 instead of the usual 3,4, and 5?

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You don't give much info about your game other than driver distance, but here are some thoughts: forget about par and think about if you were to play the hole twenty times in a row what strategy would give you the lowest aggregate score.  If you are  straight hitter that is distance challenged, then you probably want to go D/FW or D/H and then a short game shot.  If the variability in your drives is caused by severe slicing, which is common, you may be better off playing it more like a par 5 with FW/FW/W or FW/H/W or even H/H/W - avoiding driver may make it easier to avoid double bogey.  Your game and skills will lead to the answer..

I'm also a big proponent of playing the right tees but just because one hole is our of reach doesn't mean that you are playing the wrong tees.

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54 minutes ago, benharris said:

How is par arbitrary by the way? If par really means that little to you why not tip it out? Play from the pro tees. If par is arbitrary, why not just make the pars 5,6, and 7 instead of the usual 3,4, and 5?

It's arbitrary because it's nearest integer to the average for good players.  That has nothing to do with how I'm going to play it.

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6 minutes ago, Shindig said:

It's arbitrary because it's nearest integer to the average for good players.  That has nothing to do with how I'm going to play it.

I'm sorry, really I am but I still don't understand what you're talking about. The "average for good players" is dependent on which set of tees one chooses to play from is it not? A "good player" (read: scratch player) from the senior tees isn't going to be close to that average from the championship tees. 

I read your comments as saying you really don't care about par as a target score? Is that wrong? whether you get in the hole in two shots or ten shots doesn't really matter as long as you play the hole as you've envisioned? Do I have that right?

Sorry if I'm way off base, I'm just not seeing the picture here.

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44 minutes ago, benharris said:

I'm sorry, really I am but I still don't understand what you're talking about. The "average for good players" is dependent on which set of tees one chooses to play from is it not? A "good player" (read: scratch player) from the senior tees isn't going to be close to that average from the championship tees. 

I read your comments as saying you really don't care about par as a target score? Is that wrong? whether you get in the hole in two shots or ten shots doesn't really matter as long as you play the hole as you've envisioned? Do I have that right?

Sorry if I'm way off base, I'm just not seeing the picture here.

I'm saying that, given a hole, par is one way to describe it, but it doesn't have to dictate strategy or goals.  A 450 yard par-4, for my handicap level, would probably be a par-4.5 if we didn't use integer values for par.  And if I can play that hole in 5 strokes, it doesn't feel the same as making a 5 at a 340-yard par-4, even though they're both "par 4" holes.  And if I can play that 450 yard par-4 in 5 strokes without a significant risk of making anything higher than a 5, that's pretty good.

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3 hours ago, benharris said:

Quick question to those who would play a par four like this as if it were a par five.

Why not just move to a more forward set of tees? Or play a hybrid tee setup?

I do not understand the mindset of stepping up to a par 4 and just accepting that bogey is your best realistic score. It just seems like a stressful way to play golf. I know that if I was was playing some monster of a course where I was playing long irons/hybrids/woods into all the greens after hitting good drives that I would really not be having fun.

It kind of boils down to bogey or play up.

Some people think a glass is full versus empty, I suppose...

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On 5/4/2019 at 10:57 AM, YoungTad said:

Hey guys. 

 

Im just wondering, for us amateurs who can’t hit distance, how do you handle 450 yard par 4’s?

say I hit a good 210 driver, followed by my 4 iron which is 180, that still leaves me 2 shots for par, but still 60 yards out from the pin. At best that’s 3 shots for me.

do you guys just practice your short game too help improve on this? 

My 2 clubs for close range is Pitcher and a 56, maybe I should consider more wedges for more control in short shots?

I have same issues since I'm a short hitter but 450 yard par 4 is tough for everyone.Yes long hitters have shorter shots but they are still gonna have  medium length shots in.If you are decent with chipping and putting then you can still make pars on that hole.Birdies are tough but as long as you don't have more than a couple long holes then your tee selection is fine.

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I have both moved up a tee box or two and on the longer holes I think  +1 as my par. 

As I have not played a tournament in the past few years, I cannot say what I would do/say if forced to tee from the tips.

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On 5/4/2019 at 7:57 AM, YoungTad said:

Hey guys. 

 

Im just wondering, for us amateurs who can’t hit distance, how do you handle 450 yard par 4’s?

say I hit a good 210 driver, followed by my 4 iron which is 180, that still leaves me 2 shots for par, but still 60 yards out from the pin. At best that’s 3 shots for me.

do you guys just practice your short game too help improve on this? 

My 2 clubs for close range is Pitcher and a 56, maybe I should consider more wedges for more control in short shots?

The advice I have read is move up a tee. Unless you’re already playing from the white tees, like me. In which case just play for bogey on those longer holes and don’t sweat it. Wedge shots into greens may SEEM easy but they aren’t for most mere mortals. Get close, chip onto the green and 2 putt.

9 hours ago, ghalfaire said:

I am well into the "senior golfer" range and so the first thing I do is shorten the course by playing the senior tees.  I also have a plan of attack  on each tee that I want to follow, I admit sometimes the plan doesn't last passed the tee shot, but good to know what your trying to do before you hit shot 1 on that hole.  For example my course has a long par 5 I can't reach, but can get to about 50 yards or so in 3. But I don't because the green is elevated and you're going to  have to pitch the ball up.  You can't chip the ball up as it is a steep bank.  So I deliberately lay back on the second shot so I have a full wedge as I am a lot  more comfortable with that than trying to hit a half wedge off a tight lie.  I read somewhere, I believe in "Zen Golf", that you should always play the shot you know you can execute and never the shot you don't know whether on not you can execute" (or words to that effect).  My last advise is to have fun, it's a gift to be on the course and not at work.

You are describing how to play strategically, based upon your abilities. I have been trying to do that recently and it is helping.

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8 hours ago, benharris said:

Quick question to those who would play a par four like this as if it were a par five.

Why not just move to a more forward set of tees? Or play a hybrid tee setup?

I do not understand the mindset of stepping up to a par 4 and just accepting that bogey is your best realistic score. It just seems like a stressful way to play golf. I know that if I was was playing some monster of a course where I was playing long irons/hybrids/woods into all the greens after hitting good drives that I would really not be having fun.

For me, there's several reasons (or excuses). First, moving up to the red tees will only gain me 15 yards or so - still not enough to reach a long par 4 given my current lack of skill. Second, while I understand that lowest score wins, for me, moving forward isn't much different, conceptually, than taking an extra stroke when I fail to get up and down. On the other hand, when I do get up and down, I feel like I have really accomplished something and I can accept the times that I just don't make it. And, at my age, the struggle to improve is more fun than admitting that I'm a cr*ppy golfer and just moving forward as far as I can. Lastly, I have fun out on the course with the fresh air, grass and critters. While it would be great to score a scratch round I wouldn't feel like I'd really accomplished much if I just moved closer to the green. I am scoring the best that I am currently able to score. As my lessons get me farther along my scores will lower but I'll never be a scratch golfer and I'm really fine with that. If I were just looking to win I'd take up something easy like marathoning or kettle weight lifting or some such.

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