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Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

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6 minutes ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

 

I'll play it safe.

Any time trees like the ones you are talking about are involved, it's not just a risk to the scorecard. It's a risk to my health. There was a particular occasion I tried to split a gap. The comebacker off the tree truck missed my head by inches.

 

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27 minutes ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

I'm going with "Play it Safe".  I can rationalize that I at least had a chance to 1-putt for the personal best and 2-putt to tie while the aggressive shot could lead to worse than bogey and not even a tie for my personal best.  I rarely hit my absolutely perfect shots when I need and the odds would not be in my favor that I would hit the perfect shot at that time.

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1 hour ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

 When I play it safe I tend to mess that up in some way anyway, so I'm going for it!

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1 hour ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

Oh this is a no brainer. I'm going through the gap. I figure if I've played well enough to be going for my personal best, I must be hitting it pretty well. In that case I am very confident and I'm going through the gap. 

BTW - If I'm having the worse round of my life I'm going for it as well. May as well try to end on a good note, and if you foul it up, it's been a terrible round anyway. 

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5 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Oh this is a no brainer. I'm going through the gap. I figure if I've played well enough to be going for my personal best, I must be hitting it pretty well. In that case I am very confident and I'm going through the gap. 

BTW - If I'm having the worse round of my life I'm going for it as well. May as well try to end on a good note, and if you foul it up, it's been a terrible round anyway. 

I fully agree with going for it when having the worst round of my life, what is there to lose.  But in the case above I would lament the Bogey/Double Bogey for a long time.  One of my problems is that when I think I need to hit an exceptional shot my brain kicks in and then I "Try Too Hard" and end up with a really bad shot.  I will either swing too hard because I think I need to crush it, or too slow because I was trying not to muscle it.  Or I look up to see where the ball is going because I am so eager to see how well I hit it.  Unfortunately I have found many ways to mess up a shot and my game does not respond well to pressure situations.

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2 hours ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

That’s not a difficult choice for me. I’d play it safe. Give me fifty shots from that position, and I’d probably get only one through the gap, two if I get really lucky. On a normal day, short irons and wedges are my strength. But, because my personal best is an 80, I’d be having a heck of a round, so I’d be even better with the short irons.

On a day like that, the worst I’d do is nail it on and two putt for bogey and 80, or, absolute worst-case scenario, double bogey and 81. I’d still be thrilled with an 80 or 81, and I’ll walk off knowing I made the smart choice.

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2 hours ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

I’m doing the “risky” shot. I do not see much actual risk here.

It’s just golf. I’d rather try it and fail than not.

If it’s a tournament it depends on the specific size of the gap.

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11 minutes ago, iacas said:

I’m doing the “risky” shot. I do not see much actual risk here.

It’s just golf. I’d rather try it and fail than not.

If it’s a tournament it depends on the specific size of the gap.

You are correct, there is no true risk to the shot or to the choice.  No result is going to change your life, or even move your HCP much.  You either get a score card to put in a drawer with a new best, a memory of a fantastic shot AND a scorecard to put in the drawer or you get the memory of what might have been.  Even the safe shot may not be a new personal best, you would still need to make the putt.

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55 minutes ago, StuM said:

But in the case above I would lament the Bogey/Double Bogey for a long time.  

Seriously? it's just golf. 

I'd be happy I played well enough to have a shot at my personal best. If I lamented anything at all, I'd be more likely annoyed by the tee shot that put me in that position than the outcome of the shot itself. But again, in truth I'd just be happy I played well. I'd be looking forward to playing again. 

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4 hours ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

I like my chances.  I can control my start line pretty well.  I am, however, assuming that the dense cluster of trees only affects the ball and not my swing, i.e., I can take a normal swing.  If, however, I cannot take a "regular" swing, then I'm chipping out.

Edited by ncates00

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1 hour ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Seriously? it's just golf. 

I'd be happy I played well enough to have a shot at my personal best. If I lamented anything at all, I'd be more likely annoyed by the tee shot that put me in that position than the outcome of the shot itself. But again, in truth I'd just be happy I played well. I'd be looking forward to playing again. 

Maybe "Lament" is a little harsh, but I would prefer to get a new personal best and would not be happy if I tried & missed the hero shot costing any chance at the personal best.  I also think skill comes into play.  I'm not very good so the odds of me making the difficult shot are less than a low HCP.  

20 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I like my chances.  I can control my start line pretty well.  I am, however, assuming that the dense cluster of trees only affects the ball and not my swing, i.e., I can take a normal swing.  If, however, I cannot take a "regular" swing, then I'm chipping out.

I did not say it originally but I would agree to assume that you can make the swing, you just have a very small margin for error in the shot.  

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7 hours ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

Have you been watching me play #18 at my home course?  Literally a par 4, with a large grove of pines on the right. I have been in those pines too many times to count.  The last time I played I was literally on the line for my personal best. Thankfully that round I was in the fairway, but many times before I have been.  What did I do those times?  I have played both scenarios - the smarter side has always been to go sideways and hit an approach that may go in for birdie and but definitely leave a putt for par.  Other times I've played to shoot the gap and succeeded and the opposite ducking for cover as the ball ricocheted back towards me. To be honest the smart game is to go sideways and work for the par.  Greed kills more rounds than any other thing - greed to carry water and not properly clubbing up, greed to try to hit out of the rough with the wrong club, greed to play the wrong tees (i.e. not playing up), the list goes on. 

 

Edited by WillieT

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8 hours ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

I'm going for it no question. One of my most memorable shots was very similar to this - was trying to break 80 at my old home course the first time - I had previously shot 80 there many, many times - and had to aim OB and curve the ball around a tree to reach the green. Also, since my old home course was heavily wooded on both sides, my punch through game rocks - just takes lots of practice.

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22 hours ago, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

First of  all, this is a good question.  Thanks @StuM.

If the "gap" was really small such that trying to hit through it could almost be considered a silly shot, I likely would go sideways.  If the "gap" presented an actual opportunity, a risky opportunity but one that might work, I likely go for it.  A fail might still leave me a shot at par since ricochets are not always unplayable.  Even if I suffer an epic failure, I will still have a story I can tell for years (or until my friends tell me to shut up.)

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1 hour ago, bkuehn1952 said:

First of  all, this is a good question.  Thanks @StuM.

If the "gap" was really small such that trying to hit through it could almost be considered a silly shot, I likely would go sideways.  If the "gap" presented an actual opportunity, a risky opportunity but one that might work, I likely go for it.  A fail might still leave me a shot at par since ricochets are not always unplayable.  Even if I suffer an epic failure, I will still have a story I can tell for years (or until my friends tell me to shut up.)

1) I’m glad you like the question.

2) rules of this thread are “No Fence Sitting”.  You need to choose.  I intended that the risky shot is possible, just requires a very accurate shot where a miss has consequences.

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On 10/9/2020 at 10:47 AM, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Assume you are on #18, a par 4, all you need is par to get a new personal best by 1 stroke.  You hit your drive into a dense cluster of trees @ 125 yards from the green.  You see a very narrow gap that, if you hit absolutely perfectly, you can be on the green putting for birdie or two-putt to save par and the personal best but if you have the slightest mishit you will hit a tree and ricochet to points unknown and most likely be getting bogey or worse.  Alternatively, you can play a safe shot sideways into the fairway leaving a 125 yard approach shot and hope to 1 putt for par to save the personal best.   Also, assume there is no money on the line, no club championship or league standing, only your personal satisfaction.

Hold my beer 😉

In case that’s not clear, I’m going for it.

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On 10/9/2020 at 10:47 AM, StuM said:

Would you Rather #30 – Play it safe and hope to 1 putt for a personal best or gamble it all and play a high risk shot hoping to have a 2-putt for par to secure your personal best?

Ok. Very narrow gaps are bullshit trees are 80% air. That being said probably play safe. But in real life I’d probably hit a chip out in between the gap and shorten the 3rd shot.

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