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YoungTad

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

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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?

Tad, I don't know your age, but judging by your name being "YoungTad" I'm guessing you're young. You also mentioned in another post that you've only been playing for about a year. I think you said 1 year ago you shot 140 or something like that, now you are breaking 100. 

With all of that in mind, my advice is simple. Keep doing what you are doing. Your driving distance will grow. Also, as everyone else has said 450 yard par 4's are difficult for everyone. So, just do your best. Remember, that if there's a 450 yard par 4 on your course, there's likely to be a 310 yard par 4 as well. Make hay when you can, work on your long game and that green will seem to get closer. 

It takes time. In a year you've made a lot of progress. Keep up the good work. 

Now, in answer to your question. I averaged 260 off the tee with a driver last season. So I'm going driver, then hopefully a 5-iron. If things go really well, maybe a 6-iron. If things go poorly, I'm probably hitting 5 wood or maybe even 3 wood. I have a ton of confidence in my fairway metals so unless it's really nasty up there near the green there's almost no chance I'm laying up and playing it like a par 5. 

take care, and good luck. 

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9 hours ago, Zippo said:

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.

As long as you play fast, taking an extra stroke per hole isn’t a bad thing...

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11 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

I look at the handicaps of some of us posting in this thread and we'd have trouble making par if the hole were 340 yds.

Funny but I think that my thoughts apply even more to shorter holes

18 hours ago, gbogey said:

think about if you were to play the hole twenty times in a row what strategy would give you the lowest aggregate score. 

Probably the biggest course management mistake I see golfers make regularly is to not think about shorter par 4's.  If it's short there's probably danger lurking somewhere between 200-250 yards. But a lot guys just pull driver and invite DB.

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7 minutes ago, gbogey said:

Probably the biggest course management mistake I see golfers make regularly is to not think about shorter par 4's.  If it's short there's probably danger lurking somewhere between 200-250 yards. But a lot guys just pull driver and invite DB.

If you read lowest score wins, this problem goes away. 

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15 hours ago, Zippo said:

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.

I don't have an official HC but I play to a 19. I've been playing 8 years now and dumped a ton of money into lessons and I'm still a hacker. Mostly because I'd rather have rounds where I hit the ball well and scored poorly than have rounds where I hit the ball poorly and scored well - they're more fun for me. My home course has 450 yd par 5s and I get bogeys on them.... usually. Sometimes a DB because my game is ****. Take my advice for what it's worth. 

460 for a par 4 is sadistic. Understand the everyone except the best golfers are going score **** on the hole because they're trying to reach it in 2. Looking at your HC, leave the FW in the bag. For your second shot, use the longest club you can reliably hit like your 7i. So what if your mates are hitting fairway woods. 220 + 150 = 370 and leaves you with a 90 yd pitch up onto the green. If you miss the green with your wedge, chip up and you'll be on in 4. 2 putts and you've limited the damage to a double bogey. See how that works?  

Whereas 220 + 30 (**** shot with your FW) = 250 and leaves you with 210 to the green. Now you've lost confidence in the club but feel compelled to try again because you're still so far away and will likely hit another **** shot.  Or maybe you block the FW off into the woods. Now you have another problem. In any event you've got a blowup hole. 

I guess what I'm saying is that unless you're banging 300 yd drives you won't reach this green in regulation. So what you want to do is minimize the bleeding. Even scratch golfers are going to have trouble getting a GIR. Stop beating yourself up over this one hole and follow my advice. You'll feel better and have more fun and still score the same or better than your mates on the hole.

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14 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

I don't have an official HC but I play to a 19. I've been playing 8 years now and dumped a ton of money into lessons and I'm still a hacker. Mostly because I'd rather have rounds where I hit the ball well and scored poorly than have rounds where I hit the ball poorly and scored well - they're more fun for me. My home course has 450 yd par 5s and I get bogeys on them.... usually. Sometimes a DB because my game is ****. Take my advice for what it's worth. 

460 for a par 4 is sadistic. Understand the everyone except the best golfers are going score **** on the hole because they're trying to reach it in 2. Looking at your HC, leave the FW in the bag. For your second shot, use the longest club you can reliably hit like your 7i. So what if your mates are hitting fairway woods. 220 + 150 = 370 and leaves you with a 90 yd pitch up onto the green. If you miss the green with your wedge, chip up and you'll be on in 4. 2 putts and you've limited the damage to a double bogey. See how that works?  

Whereas 220 + 30 (**** shot with your FW) = 250 and leaves you with 210 to the green. Now you've lost confidence in the club but feel compelled to try again because you're still so far away and will likely hit another **** shot.  Or maybe you block the FW off into the woods. Now you have another problem. In any event you've got a blowup hole. 

I guess what I'm saying is that unless you're banging 300 yd drives you won't reach this green in regulation. So what you want to do is minimize the bleeding. Even scratch golfers are going to have trouble getting a GIR. Stop beating yourself up over this one hole and follow my advice. You'll feel better and have more fun and still score the same or better than your mates on the hole.

I am with you on this one. This year I am taking the philosophy of just trying to get within 150 yards or so in 2. Then I can at least get to within chipping distance in 3. If that means driver or 3w off the tee and then 6-7-8-9 or pw for my second shot to get within striking distance, I can maybe get there in 5 strokes.

If I could just eliminate 7s and 8s and limit 6s to par 5 holes only I would probably drop 4 or 5 strokes easily per round.

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6 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

I don't have an official HC but I play to a 19. I've been playing 8 years now and dumped a ton of money into lessons and I'm still a hacker. Mostly because I'd rather have rounds where I hit the ball well and scored poorly than have rounds where I hit the ball poorly and scored well - they're more fun for me. My home course has 450 yd par 5s and I get bogeys on them.... usually. Sometimes a DB because my game is ****. Take my advice for what it's worth. 

460 for a par 4 is sadistic. Understand the everyone except the best golfers are going score **** on the hole because they're trying to reach it in 2. Looking at your HC, leave the FW in the bag. For your second shot, use the longest club you can reliably hit like your 7i. So what if your mates are hitting fairway woods. 220 + 150 = 370 and leaves you with a 90 yd pitch up onto the green. If you miss the green with your wedge, chip up and you'll be on in 4. 2 putts and you've limited the damage to a double bogey. See how that works?  

Whereas 220 + 30 (**** shot with your FW) = 250 and leaves you with 210 to the green. Now you've lost confidence in the club but feel compelled to try again because you're still so far away and will likely hit another **** shot.  Or maybe you block the FW off into the woods. Now you have another problem. In any event you've got a blowup hole. 

I guess what I'm saying is that unless you're banging 300 yd drives you won't reach this green in regulation. So what you want to do is minimize the bleeding. Even scratch golfers are going to have trouble getting a GIR. Stop beating yourself up over this one hole and follow my advice. You'll feel better and have more fun and still score the same or better than your mates on the hole.

 

5 hours ago, tehuti said:

I am with you on this one. This year I am taking the philosophy of just trying to get within 150 yards or so in 2. Then I can at least get to within chipping distance in 3. If that means driver or 3w off the tee and then 6-7-8-9 or pw for my second shot to get within striking distance, I can maybe get there in 5 strokes.

If I could just eliminate 7s and 8s and limit 6s to par 5 holes only I would probably drop 4 or 5 strokes easily per round.

I don't want to hijack this thread, but seriously. You both should read Lowest Score Wins. 

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55 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I don't want to hijack this thread, but seriously. You both should read Lowest Score Wins. 

Julia supposedly has. Can't speak for @tehuti. I suspect he has not.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Julia supposedly has. Can't speak for @tehuti. I suspect he has not.

Not yet.

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8 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

 

I don't want to hijack this thread, but seriously. You both should read Lowest Score Wins. 

I've read the book. Twice. But like I said, I play to a 19 HC. I've adapted what was written in the book to the kind of shots I make around the course. Also what I said was that it's more fun for me to hit the ball well on the course and not score, i.e. get a GIR and three putt or nGIR, chip up and two putt, than duff three shots onto the green and one putt. I get frustrated doing the latter and it's not fun for me. But then I'm not playing in competitions. I'm playing against myself. Or in match play.

But there's nothing wrong with the strategy I laid out for that 460 yd par 4.

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My number one strategy for 460-yard par 4s is not to play them. Way too many other courses for a hack like me to torture myself in that fashion.

Other than that, I hit the longest clubs I feel comfortable with on a given day. Most of the time that's a driver, 5W combo. If I happen to hit both well (which hasn't happened much this spring), I'm covering 410 to 440 yards. That leaves me a short pitch shot and a chance to get up and down.

 

 

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3 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

I've read the book. Twice. 

Sorry, I should have noticed the symbol at the bottom of your post. 

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Where I play it’s a competition every week, so you can’t just move forward. There are competition tees that you have to play from. 

Our longest par 4 is 440 yards and it’s the index 1. If I couldn’t get there in two I’d play it like a par 5. It’s almost always stableford points we play so a bogey is still two points for everyone except scratch golfers and if you have a handicap of 19 or more you get two points for a double bogey on the index 1. 

If I were the OP I’d play it like a par 5 and be delighted with a 4 and happy with a 5

 

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12 hours ago, iacas said:

Julia supposedly has. Can't speak for @tehuti. I suspect he has not.

I’ll have a copy on Thursday.

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On 5/5/2019 at 6:26 PM, 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.

I have completely the opposite attitude. The whole point of the handicap system is to allow you to play better players on equal terms. So if you're playing off a ten handicap, you should expect (on a good day) to bogey the holes that are stroke index 1 to 10. I'm trying to become a better golfer. The way to do that is not to simply accept that I need to play a shorter course, it's to improve my game and reduce my handicap.

True, when I visit a "monster course" - I've played a few Open Championship courses - I'm not playing off the championship tees, because ordinary mortals can barely reach the fairways from back there and can't remotely play the course as it's designed to be played. But in general, I'm absolutely having fun when when playing holes I'll struggle to make par on, because the point of playing is to challenge myself.

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54 minutes ago, chazza said:

I have completely the opposite attitude. The whole point of the handicap system is to allow you to play better players on equal terms. So if you're playing off a ten handicap, you should expect (on a good day) to bogey the holes that are stroke index 1 to 10. I'm trying to become a better golfer. The way to do that is not to simply accept that I need to play a shorter course, it's to improve my game and reduce my handicap.

True, when I visit a "monster course" - I've played a few Open Championship courses - I'm not playing off the championship tees, because ordinary mortals can barely reach the fairways from back there and can't remotely play the course as it's designed to be played. But in general, I'm absolutely having fun when when playing holes I'll struggle to make par on, because the point of playing is to challenge myself.

This is exactly the thinking here in Ireland too. A 65 year old can win the club competition at the weekend from the same tees as a 25 year old who outdrives him by 100 yards which is exactly why there is a handicap system. 

It seems in America that maybe the majority of golfers just play with friends and so as they get older it makes sense to move up to forward tees

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Can't add much more than what's already been said, other than to share a mantra I use when I've put myself in a situation where I can't get the GIR; I tell myself: "Putt for a par...easy bogey."  I.e., get on the green with a reasonable putt to save the par, and if I miss it, leave a tap-in bogey.  As a mid-capper (15.5 ATM), if I execute that, I'm walking off the green with a smile.

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12 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

But there's nothing wrong with the strategy I laid out for that 460 yd par 4.

It's not optimal for the general golfer, that's all. 

7 hours ago, tehuti said:

I’ll have a copy on Thursday.

Oh man, I hope you didn't buy it from Amazon. We filed a copyright claim with them and I'd prefer that you cancel that order ASAP, if that's where you ordered it.

They're stealing from us, the sellers on Amazon (unless you bought a used copy from an individual).

Please buy from https://lowestscorewins.com/.

 

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