Was doing some Googles....I didn't know you're at 6500-7000 feet elevation...or is that only at Paako?....you must be crushing the ball at that elevation on firm courses.
Is Paako the same #1 NM course I read about in the mid 1990's when Golf Digest had a great book rating many of the states and countries best courses....I think Paako had a 5 star rating for value & the course itself...if I recall...the green fee back then was $20-$30????....or am I thinking about another highly ranked NM course?....I know Paako is an expensive course nowadays.....is it cart mandatory or are the 27 holes walkable?
Two 78's is incredible on a tough course like Paako....no wonder the gals and guys don't want to play with you...you're a "BALLER" and would shame them.....lol.
Is NM always windy?...I hate playing in the wind...it generally not overly windy here.
Have you tried the M4...I think that's a really good stick...you could likely find one around $150-$175 if used club inventory is high in NM.
I'd hit a knockdown with a 5W off the tee and pitch it up with a wedge. Good looks at birdie. At worst a par. Going for it might net an occasional eagle but also could end up in bogeyville.
But let's be real. I have no idea what my carry with clubs with a 265 carry would be. Using my current distances, I'd hit a low 3W off the tee and a wedge shot or depending upon where my tee shot ended up I might run it up given the wind and all.
I hit a low knockdown/punch 3 iron aimed in between the two bunkers on the left. Playing it again in those conditions, I would do the same thing. Since I'm taking a bit off of the 3 iron and it was pretty into the wind, the back bunker wasn't reachable, and I almost never draw or hook with the 3 iron so not worried about the left bunker either.
It had a bit more fade than I wanted but I hit it fairly solid and it ended up roughly around the red dot below, which left me with a 40 yd pitch for my second shot.
I think it landed roughly between the yellow line and the right rough and had some fade spin and caught the downslope that starts just up and to the right of the yellow line, you can kinda see where the mowing pattern changes.
Can you consistently carry your driver at least 260+ ?
Just a month ago in your blog you said you were working on eliminating the slice but it still haunts you every so often, seems like a lot of risk for you to take on considering the area just a couple steps right of the green is most likely going to be a lost ball, two weeks ago you said you only hit 2 out of every 10 bunker shots well, and the fact that the wind was into and off the left which would make any fade/slice move even further right.
Why not just hit a long iron/hybrid or 3 wood out there in the 220-240 range and have a short wedge/pitch shot left?
Played in my first tournament of the summer. Felt a little nervous on the first few holes. Full swing and short game went well. Course management went poorly in a few spots. Was -4 going into the hardest hole on the course (#17) and I got too aggressive and hit my drive through the fairway, ended up getting a double and finished the round at -2, 70. Highlights were wedge shots. They were sticky all day.
Swing is feeling good. Main thought recently has been to feel like the path is coming straight and then left after impact. For some reason, in my stance, distance from the ball has been getting too close. So I paid attention to that today. Putting, which had been not great lately, I focused on my stroke more than the aim. It seemed to settle me and I was able to make a few more than usual.