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Matthew62

Elevation and Club Selection

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Hello all, 

I’m playing a course this weekend that has some elevation changes. Lake Chabot.  I’m curious about club selections with elevation Changes. Can anyone give me the scoop on this.

I have read contradicting rules.

Thanks in advance!

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Go up or down a club per 15 feet up or down. Now there are still variables like you are on a par 3 155 yards and 45 feet down. You wouldn’t club down 3 because you still need to hit it close to that distance. That’s the measurement ive been given by a couple different PGA teachers. 

Edited by mclaren4life
I’m a goof.

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6 minutes ago, mclaren4life said:

Go up or down a club per 15 yards up or down. Now there are still variables like you are on a par 3 155 yards and 45 feet down. You wouldn’t club down 3 because you still need to hit it close to that distance. That’s the measurement ive been given by a couple different PGA teachers. 

For better or worse, there's no good (legal) way to actually measure the actual elevation change up or down, its all got to be eyeballed, unless you want to use something like Google Earth ground elevations in advance.  But 15 yards, 45 feet, is a pretty big elevation difference.  Do you maybe mean 15 FEET elevation change for a one-club difference?  That would be closer to what I use.  

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Yes lol 15 feet. Now you see why my golf game struggles. It is very difficult to judge. I try to use trees as my guide but that doesn’t help on links style courses. At best it’s a guessing game for me. 

Edited by mclaren4life

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23 minutes ago, mclaren4life said:

Yes lol 15 feet. Now you see why my golf game struggles. It is very difficult to judge. I try to use trees as my guide but that doesn’t help on links style courses. At best it’s a guessing game for me. 

I think it is for most of us, especially for those who are playing on relatively level courses and go someplace with a lot of elevation change.  My home club is pretty hilly, so I've learned to evaluate up and downhill shots better than ever before.

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3 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I think it is for most of us, especially for those who are playing on relatively level courses and go someplace with a lot of elevation change.  My home club is pretty hilly, so I've learned to evaluate up and downhill shots better than ever before.

That’s kind of how I learned as well. You can read all the golf tips and advice you want, but until you experience it for yourself and see how your ball behaves, you don’t really know.

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The course I play most has some nice changes also. One hole is a solid 45 ft higher than the fairway.  Which, by the way is sloped left to right so 9 times out of 10 you have a below your feet second shot into that green. Then add to the guessing game with the times you don’t get the ball in the air like you want and it lands on the hill leading up to the green and possibly rolls back a good 10-15 yards. Ugh. 

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26 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

It's very simple:

You take the cosine of the decent angle of the club you intend to hit. Divide that by the Oblate Spheroid angle on the ball being struck, which is easily calculated by the coefficient of compression times the club head speed divided by the static loft or 0.8732 multiplied by the dynamic loft. You take that result and   multiply it by the distance you would normally hit the club. Then add that to the original figure, subtracting 1/5th value of the wind speed squared, divided by the barometric pressure. Then you multiply the coefficient of the up current or 1/3 the coefficient of the down current depending on if you are right or left-handed. Your use the Pythagorean theorem to determine the overall length of the ball flight. Which is really just a simplified version of the longest leg of the right triangle. Of course that number needs to be adjusted to account for the arch involved in the flight. To factor that in all you need to do is calculate the circumference of the Earth at the exact point at which you are standing and divide the original distance times 2π times the tangent of the height of your left wrist from the ground and the shaft length of the club. We’ll ignore the actual sole thickness of the club because while it has a factor in the calculation for our purposes it won’t affect the ball flight enough for us to include it. Once you have that result you simply multiply the coefficient of slippage which can be looked up off any chart based on weather conditions and temperature. You determine the derivative of the angle of attack at address and then simply add in the number of calories you normally burn each day divided by what time of day it is and then put factor in to select your club.

So, as you can see. It’s really very simple.

When in double you can always just have Bryson DeChambeau calculate it for you.

 

You could’ve at least used paragraph breaks...🤢

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11 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

You could’ve at least used paragraph breaks...🤢

I believe it was W.C. Fields who said "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit." 

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Well, "some" elevation change for Lake Chabot is quite an understatement. There are some huge elevation changes at that course. Don't forget the last hole (par 6) which has about the last 200 yards going way uphill, gaining probably 30 or 40 yards (not feet). If you are at the bottom after your second, no matter what club you hit (unless you are DeChambeau), you will need another stroke to get up on the green.

There is also the tiny green at the bottom of a par 3 (forgot the hole number), with a similar drop (40+ yards), on which you can easily take 3 clubs less... and still overshoot the green.

Fun course as a novelty, but a bit too much, if you ask me.  Good luck!

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4 hours ago, Matthew62 said:

I’m playing a course this weekend that has some elevation changes. Lake Chabot.

Lake Chabot has huge elevation changes, and the greens are very tiny. There are only a few flat holes on the entire course. I've played it enough times with a slope enabled rangefinder that I have a pretty good idea of how I need to club up/down. Also, many of the east bay courses are really dry and firm right now, so there is a lot of roll out. Haven't played Lake Chabot since early May, so not sure what condition it's in now. Here's my recollection of how I played elevation changes last time around.

Hole #2, par 3, uphill: I usually club up 1X unless pin is in the front.

Hole #3, par 5, extreme uphill approach: I usually club up 2X for this one

Hole #4, par 5, also has has an extreme uphill approach: I usually club up 2X

Hole #5, par 4, extreme downhill hole: Bombs away with driver

Hole #6, par 4, uphill all the way, but short, so maybe 1X club up if laying up. Green is close to reachable for me, so usually I am pitching onto the green

Hole #7, par 3, moderate uphill: 1- 2X club up, depending on wind, pin location

Hole #8, par 5, downhill tee shot, moderate uphill approach: Bombs away with driver, maybe club up 1X on approach depending on distance.

Hole #9, par 3, extreme downhill: This hole is stupid, probably at least 40 yards downhill, but maybe 140 yards from tee to green. I usually club down 2X but depending on wind this varies.

Hole #10, par 4, uphill: Another short hole, so clubbing up depends on how aggressive you are off the tee. Probably a 1X club up if laying back off the tee.

Hole #11, par 4, uphill approach: At least a 1X club up.

Hole #13, par 4, uphill: Another shorter hole, so probably a 1X club up if playing conservative off the tee.

Hole #16, par 4, uphill approach: Again, depends on if your tee shot lands in the flat section of the fairway, or if you play aggressively and get closer to the green. Probably a 1-2X club up if playing all the way up the hill.

Hole #17, par 3, uphill: Usually 1X club up, but maybe 2 if into the wind.

Hole #18, par 6, downhill and uphill: Another stupid hole. Tee shot is slightly downhill. I think that the fairway doglegs left at around 260-280 yards and basically goes 350 yards straight down an extremely steep hill. Then back up almost to half the elevation you just went down. Most players will have their second shot from somewhere around the top of the hill. The second shot on this hole, which is often blind around the dogleg, will usually roll all the way down this hill to the valley in the bottom, regardless of what club you hit. I've hit a 7-iron 280 yards here. Then you have a ridiculous uphill shot that goes back up almost half of the hill you just came down to a green that seems like it's the size of a living room rug. Probably at least 2X club up back up the hill, but I can never really tell.

1 hour ago, sjduffers said:

Well, "some" elevation change for Lake Chabot is quite an understatement. There are some huge elevation changes at that course. Don't forget the last hole (par 6) which has about the last 200 yards going way uphill, gaining probably 30 or 40 yards (not feet). If you are at the bottom after your second, no matter what club you hit (unless you are DeChambeau), you will need another stroke to get up on the green.

My drive from my last round on the par-6 18th rolled out to 424 yards. I spent 10 minutes looking for my ball around where I saw it bounce, and I was ready to drop in the fairway with a 2-stroke penalty, when one of the guys I was playing with drove his cart another 100+ yards down the fairway and found my ball. It was really well struck, so it might have carried 275 at most, and then bounced over the crest of the hill and rolled another 150 yards downhill and stopped against one of the cart path switchbacks. 

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8 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

You take the cosine of the decent angle of the club

All of my clubs have indecent angles or I might experience more decent shots... 😁

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21 hours ago, Zippo said:

All of my clubs have indecent angles or I might experience more decent shots... 😁

🤣 probably should have been "descent". But it doesn't really matter. It's all just a big string of BS anyway.

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1 hour ago, ChetlovesMer said:

🤣 probably should have been "descent". But it doesn't really matter. It's all just a big string of BS anyway.

I thought it was hilarious! And, for @Matthew62, I hope he'll come back after his rounds this weekend and let us know how it went with the elevation challenges.

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My thought about knowing what club to pull on a shot with a significant  elevation change (up/down) comes from experience, and repetition. 

After a while, the golfer sees what's in front of them, and just knows. 

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Although I do appreciate the analysis by @ChetlovesMer I always added/subtracted the vertical elevation to the horizontal distance. This assumes a 45 deg angle of descent. So if you have a 150 yards to the center of the green and there is what looks to be a 30 foot drop (10 yards) I would play it as a 140 yard hole. 

Elevation rises are easier to visualize as opposed to drops in my opinion. 

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7 hours ago, Carl3 said:

Elevation rises are easier to visualize as opposed to drops in my opinion.

The reason for that is because your descent angle doesn't stay the same. Because of backspin, the longer the ball stays in the air, the more vertical the descent angle becomes.

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