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billchao

How Would You Play This Hole (#5, Links at Firestone Farms)

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  1. 1. Assuming you can carry your driver at least 265yd, with a severe headwind, how would you play this hole to shoot the lowest score on average?



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Would most likely go for 2 "iron"/hybrid as that should make it to that fairway "corner" and hence give me biggest angle to hit the fairway.

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First things first, the question says "assuming I can carry my 265 into a severe headwind..." I cannot. So, in real life, I'd probably hit driver into the headwind, it looks like I'd be plenty short of any trouble. If I had no wind or a tailwind then the question gets a lot more interesting for me.

Okay, back to the question, if I "could" hit my driver that far. I would go for the green. Why? Because being able to hit my driver that far would go to my head and I'd be trying to reach any and every par 4 in one that I even remotely thought I could. 

Incidentally, I've hit a number of Par-4's in one in my life. It's getting rarer and rarer, so I'm going to try it when ever the opportunity presents itself. 

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We have a similar hole at a course I play a lot. I always hit driver, generally choke up a couple inches and swing smooth but with a stiff head wind I would just aim left edge of the green and take a full swing. If I hit it straight I'll be in the rough behind the green if I have the right miss I might end up in the shit but I'm more confident I'll stick a green with a driver from 270+ than I am to hit my hybrid 220 and straight lol. 

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27 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

Have I mentioned your new nickname yet? 😝

How about yours, earmuffs?

Just now, Lugowskins said:

We have a similar hole at a course I play a lot. I always hit driver

That's not super similar IMO. Your hole has only one bunker (greenside at that), no penalty area, and it's a bit longer. With only a few seconds of thought and looking at your hole, I'd probably suggest hitting driver there every time, too.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

That’s a penalty area.

Thanks, I didn't realize that.  Even so, I'm measuring about 100 yards from the right edge of the green to what I think is probably the OB to the left.  Its about 240 to clear the right bunker, so a solid strike takes that out of play, assuming I actually can carry it 265 into that wind.  So aiming at the middle bunker, almost everything within 50 yards to the right is fairway or green, anything within 50 yards to the left is what appears to be light to moderate rough, with the bunker being a pretty small area dead straight.

At around 200 to 200 off the tee, the two left bunkers are out of play, the right bunker is reachable.  Its about 65 yards from the right bunker to the OB, and its still a little over 100 yards from the PA right to the OB left.

Perhaps I'm just stunned by my new-found length with the driver, and I'm assuming I'd have something like my current level of (in)accuracy, I'm pretty sure I can hit driver in the 100-yard wide area between the PA and the OB.  The results would vary from a 90-yard shot from the left rough (not too bad) to a 35-yard bunker shot (pretty bad) to a short pitch from the fairway (pretty good) to a putt (really good).  To me that argues for hitting driver, but not aiming at the green.

To me the wind causes the largest concern, how hard, how variable?  If its gusty, could it decrease my distance enough to bring the right bunker into play?  If it varies in direction, does it catch a curving shot and accentuate a draw or fade, does it take me off the golf course?  Either of those variables would push me towards being more conservative, playing a shorter club and expecting a tighter shot pattern.  

 

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

A number of us can, @billchao did it in the round and had like 25 feet for eagle.

Plus it was 265 to the center of the green, which means it was only like 250-255 to the front edge.

I wasn't hitting my driver great that day but a well struck drive for me can carry that, especially since it was a bit downhill.

Driver still isn't the play even though on a normal driving day I'm long enough to carry it.

Well 250 downhill is maybe a bit less daunting, into a “gentle breeze”.as well....... I’m still laying up in a medal. 

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's not super similar IMO. Your hole has only one bunker (greenside at that), no penalty area, and it's a bit longer. With only a few seconds of thought and looking at your hole, I'd probably suggest hitting driver there every time, too.

Nearly the same dogleg angle if you simply move the pin for the landing zone further up the fairway, distance isn't exactly precise if you look at where the pin is for the tee box its actually about 20 yards closer IRL so that is about the same, the trees long of the fairway on my hole are in identical spots as the bunkers on the one in the post. my hole may be slightly more lenient on a long ball but on either if you miss right or short you're in trouble. I'd say it's pretty comparable.   

image.png

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3 minutes ago, Lugowskins said:

Nearly the same dogleg angle if you simply move the pin for the landing zone further up the fairway, distance isn't exactly precise if you look at where the pin is for the tee box its actually about 20 yards closer IRL so that is about the same, the trees long of the fairway on my hole are in identical spots as the bunkers on the one in the post. my hole may be slightly more lenient on a long ball but on either if you miss right or short you're in trouble. I'd say it's pretty comparable.   

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I’m inclined to disagree as well. The hole at Firestone Farms has a penalty area right and behind the green. You’re not “in trouble” if you miss it right, you’re teeing up 3.

The difference in bunkering matters, too, in terms of decision making. The lone green side bunker in your hole is pretty small. The one at FF is huge and about 5’ below the green. You can end up having a 40, 50, or 60 yard bunker shot from in there. The small bunker on the left side of the fairway after the dogleg matters, too, because again it’s not simply a green side explosion shot.

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Just now, billchao said:

I’m inclined to disagree as well. The hole at Firestone Farms has a penalty area right and behind the green. You’re not “in trouble” if you miss it right, you’re teeing up 3.

You beat me to it. It's dead. That is overall what makes this a no go for me. It really should for everyone unless you have to make an eagle in a tournament or match play. You had an awesome shot there, but I was honestly shocked that someone went for it.

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8 minutes ago, Lugowskins said:

Nearly the same dogleg

It's nowhere near the same hole strategically.

greysoff.jpggreys.jpg

27 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Even so, I'm measuring about 100 yards from the right edge of the green to what I think is probably the OB to the left.

No, it's closer to 60 at pin high, and 86 just past the bunker, which also brings another bunker into play, making it about 65 there, and that's without adding in the penalty buffers:

image.png

Into the wind, your driver curve is doubled or tripled.

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Actual Play with My Swing:

My driver carry is about 225.  I'd aim a driver up the left side of the fairway (pretty much at the left edge).  That would bring the right bunker into play on a miss, but my thought is that I would at least be up near the green with the driver, rather than back in the bunker (if, say, I missed a hybrid off to the right).  Curious what @iacas thinks, but I actually don't think that bunker is a uniform shade of gray - it's much worse further back than greenside.

To lay up short of the bunker from the black tees would be about 180...seems like I'd be leaving too long a second shot, over the bunker, which as an 18-hcp gives me a chance of chunking the wedge shot in.

Play with 265-yard Driver Carry:

Still a lay up.  I'd take a club that would be short of the left bunker, and aim right at it.

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Looking at the layout my thought was immediately going for it. I’m not afraid of the bunker, I’m pretty sure I’m leaving with a par from the hole if I hit it. The low average scoring play would probably be somewhere left of the green short of the bunkers. From 40 yards out an up and down is actually a real possibility. But I just can’t hit irons on reachable par 4s. That’s why my scoring sucks 😂

 

And after writing all that I think of a 265 yard par 4 that is hole #1 on a local course that I never drove before. Thing is that that specific green is a blind shot with water behind the green. So I never dare to hit driver of the tee afraid of being too long. I’ve been 20 yards short with my 3 wood though. 

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25 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

Curious what @iacas thinks, but I actually don't think that bunker is a uniform shade of gray - it's much worse further back than greenside.

Correct, but for the sake of simplification.

22 minutes ago, Killa said:

I’m not afraid of the bunker, I’m pretty sure I’m leaving with a par from the hole if I hit it.

You list your handicap as ~29. If accurate, you don't leave many holes with even bogey when you play them with any strategy, so I'm not sure what you're saying here…? You should be afraid of the bunker.

From 40 yards in the sand, PGA Tour players average 2.82, FWIW:

 

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If the swing felt good good, then I would aim with a shot zone between the three bunkers. There is a nice sized shot zone area there that is about 45 yards wide. 

If not, then hit a club that can not reach the first bunker on the left and try to get it down the left half of the fairway. 

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No-brainer for me; I go for making it a boring hole every time--a "left-half" layup that leaves me short of the left front fairway bunker, then a controlled wedge in.  That takes the penalty area, and most of the sand trouble out of play.

2H or 3W (~215y-235y) is a repeatable/go-to shot for me, even with what I'd assume would be OB left of the path.  I'd guess ~75% of the time I'd have a ~55y-80y wedge in with no real trouble in play on that shot, making a GIR likely with some putt at birdie or 2-putt par (just fine for me)--and completely eliminating the big number.

I hit it fairly long--not 265y-carry-into-a-severe-headwind-long--but I can translate the scenario to my game.  It's just that my "mashed miss" is a push fade that the headwind would amplify, leaving me with all sorts of score-ballooning misses (penalty area, long bunker shot, etc.), while I'd only hit the green or have a manageable NGiR like 10-20% of the time at best--and even then, I'd still hardly ever make eagle with my short/putting game, and 5 or 6 would be much more likely.

So I'll take the "chance at a 3 / boring 4" option every time.

Edited by BamaWade

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