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How Would You Play This Hole (Par 5 With a Wash to Clear)


DoubleAce
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Winning Vote Determines the Play Week 1 of My League  

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  1. 1. Standing on the tee, what do you (I) do?

    • Let the big dog eat
      5
    • Wuss out and let the scorecard speak for itself
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The hole in question is a par 5, playing around 500 yards. Pretty short by most standards. But there's a small wash/creek that runs right through my general landing zone. So there are basically two routes you can take. 

Safe layup short of the wash: The fairway runs out at about 250 yards. From there it's another 250 in to the hole. With not much room to miss left or right. So, in the spirit of playing safe. This route is best as a 3 wood or 3 iron off the tee (the latter is safer distance wise). Then a 3 or 4 iron short of the green (or maybe catching the front). Then an easy pitch for a relatively good shot at birdie. 

Aggressive drive to carry the wash: A drive of 270 carry is pretty much guaranteed safe, but 260 will do it if kept to the left half of the fairway. From there it's around a 200-220 shot in to the green. Still not much room to miss. But a considerably easier approach from that distance. And a decent chance at eagle if you can find the green. The catch with this route, aside from carrying the trouble, is the window to shoot through at the wash is only around 30 yards wide. The risk is there, but the creek is really small. A miss is just as likely to mean a second shot from the rough, as it is to end up in the creek. And even having to take a drop still gives a decent shot at par. One fun "bonus" here is the cart path that crosses that area. It's pretty wide, so even a poor tee shot could get lucky and benefit from a nice little power boost, lol. 

So how would you play this one? If your driver carry doesn't bring the trouble into play, imagine you're playing the whites. Which are about 40 yards up. Making the fairway run out at 210 and 230 to carry the trouble. 

I realize safe is probably the way to go. But being a short par 5, it's hard to refrain from trying to be able to attack it with a mid-iron.

 

Par 5 - Tee Options.png

Par 5 - Approach Options.png

Par 5 - Wash window.png

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Knowing myself as I do, I'm sure the first time I play this hole I will be hitting driver. 

Then, based on the results of that first time I'd make adjustments as necessary. Lets say I pull off the best drive I've ever hit, then I'd probably continue to play driver there from then on. The memory of that shot would keep me trying to repeat it. If I end up in the creek the first time, I'd probably play hybrid or 3 wood off the tee after that. 

My rule is when in doubt, hit driver. Because hitting driver is fun. 

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I am struggling to figure out the benefit of hitting driver here.  From the white tees, carrying it 250 or so means you run out of fairway.  From the back tees maybe I could risk the driver.  But overall, I would go 4 hybrid for about 200 yards, another 4 hybrid and then a PW onto the green.  At worst I could see a bogey if you miss the green with your third shot

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3 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Knowing myself as I do, I'm sure the first time I play this hole I will be hitting driver. 

Then, based on the results of that first time I'd make adjustments as necessary. Lets say I pull off the best drive I've ever hit, then I'd probably continue to play driver there from then on. The memory of that shot would keep me trying to repeat it. If I end up in the creek the first time, I'd probably play hybrid or 3 wood off the tee after that. 

My rule is when in doubt, hit driver. Because hitting driver is fun. 

Agree with the last sentence. 😁 Life is too short to not blast driver.

And this will be a pretty easy going league. Plus you're paired with another player (A and B caliber). And I happen to have drawn the best B player in the whole league. So he can be the safe guy. 

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8 hours ago, DoubleAce said:

The hole in question is a par 5, playing around 500 yards. Pretty short by most standards. But there's a small wash/creek that runs right through my general landing zone. So there are basically two routes you can take. 

Safe layup short of the wash: The fairway runs out at about 250 yards. From there it's another 250 in to the hole. With not much room to miss left or right. So, in the spirit of playing safe. This route is best as a 3 wood or 3 iron off the tee (the latter is safer distance wise). Then a 3 or 4 iron short of the green (or maybe catching the front). Then an easy pitch for a relatively good shot at birdie. 

Aggressive drive to carry the wash: A drive of 270 carry is pretty much guaranteed safe, but 260 will do it if kept to the left half of the fairway. From there it's around a 200-220 shot in to the green. Still not much room to miss. But a considerably easier approach from that distance. And a decent chance at eagle if you can find the green. The catch with this route, aside from carrying the trouble, is the window to shoot through at the wash is only around 30 yards wide. The risk is there, but the creek is really small. A miss is just as likely to mean a second shot from the rough, as it is to end up in the creek. And even having to take a drop still gives a decent shot at par. One fun "bonus" here is the cart path that crosses that area. It's pretty wide, so even a poor tee shot could get lucky and benefit from a nice little power boost, lol. 

So how would you play this one? If your driver carry doesn't bring the trouble into play, imagine you're playing the whites. Which are about 40 yards up. Making the fairway run out at 210 and 230 to carry the trouble. 

I realize safe is probably the way to go. But being a short par 5, it's hard to refrain from trying to be able to attack it with a mid-iron.

 

Par 5 - Tee Options.png

Par 5 - Approach Options.png

Par 5 - Wash window.png

That's 15 at Willow Run just east of Columbus right?

I played there a few weeks ago.

I'm not a fan of that hole at all, I almost always go hybrid, hybrid which leaves me around 50 yds or so then lob wedge onto the green. 

Occasionally if I'm playing a scramble or something and a partner is safe I'll try to clear the water off the tee which I have successfully done, but playing my own ball it's always hybrid hybrid lob wedge.

Pretty boring hole IMO because the overwhelming majority of golfers are forced to lay up and then won't be able to reach the green in 2 even if they wanted to take on risk with their 2nd

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3 hours ago, pganapathy said:

I am struggling to figure out the benefit of hitting driver here.  From the white tees, carrying it 250 or so means you run out of fairway.  From the back tees maybe I could risk the driver.  But overall, I would go 4 hybrid for about 200 yards, another 4 hybrid and then a PW onto the green.  At worst I could see a bogey if you miss the green with your third shot

I only put the white option to make the tee shot dilemma applicable to most everyone. And 250 doesn't run out of fairway from the whites. Straight line over the cart path crossing the creek gives you 300 yards before running out of fairway. 

I do agree that absolute worst case playing safe as a bogey. And to do that really requires some poor play after the tee shot. 

The benefit I see is that, while the green is reachable after laying up on my tee shot, it's a considerably riskier approach with a wood from 250-ish, that it is with an iron from 200-ish.

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8 minutes ago, klineka said:

That's 15 at Willow Run just east of Columbus right?

I played there a few weeks ago.

I'm not a fan of that hole at all, I almost always go hybrid, hybrid which leaves me around 50 yds or so then lob wedge onto the green. 

Occasionally if I'm playing a scramble or something and a partner is safe I'll try to clear the water off the tee which I have successfully done, but playing my own ball it's always hybrid hybrid lob wedge.

Pretty boring hole IMO because the overwhelming majority of golfers are forced to lay up and then won't be able to reach the green in 2 even if they wanted to take on risk with their 2nd

Nice catch on the course! I've only played there a few times. My "home" course is Cumberland Trail. But the league is at Willow. 

I don't disagree with the idea the hole is kind of boring. Because it really does force a layup for most. Heck, many can probably just blast driver for a de facto layup. 

At the same time, maybe it is a more interesting hole. As it can be attacked, but requires a fairly demanding tee shot. 

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If you can carry it, go for it. The creek doesn't look that wide, and you could still have a shot even if you end up in the hazard area. 

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52 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

If you can carry it, go for it. The creek doesn't look that wide, and you could still have a shot even if you end up in the hazard area. 

That's my general thought on it. And what I tried to infer in the OP. That even if you land it around the creek, it doesn't mean it'll end up in the creek. Maybe it doesn't leave a legitimate shot at the green. But it's not incredibly punitive, and allows for advancing the ball without too much difficulty.

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1 hour ago, DoubleAce said:

That's my general thought on it. And what I tried to infer in the OP. That even if you land it around the creek, it doesn't mean it'll end up in the creek. 

Narrow though, won't you be in trees X% of the time? For me, I'm going with @pganapathy and maybe hybrid-hybrid or equivalent. Try to pitch it close with a birdie now and then.  

(I like these "how would you play it" questions!)

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37 minutes ago, mohearn said:

Narrow though, won't you be in trees X% of the time? For me, I'm going with @pganapathy and maybe hybrid-hybrid or equivalent. Try to pitch it close with a birdie now and then.  

(I like these "how would you play it" questions!)

Correct. That is an additional risk. But the trees aren't exactly deep woods. So it's likely there'll still be an opportunity to advance the ball. Maybe a lot, maybe a little. So the rest of the hole almost becomes a slightly similar approach to laying up off the tee.

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I have almost this exact situation at my home course, a short par 5 with a creek running through the landing zone. Mine is more straightforward, the creek cuts the whole in half, it doesn't travel the same direction as the hole. It also doesn't narrow in any area aside from the small green. In my case I let the big dog eat. Mostly because hitting driver is fun, and my hole is a valley so the safe approach can very easily end up with a downhill lie.

In your particular case I would probably hit driver if I was having a bleeps and giggles round, but if I was working on course management, or trying to avoid a blow-up hole, I'd go the safe approach. The smart play for me is to probably take the safe approach 90% of the time. So of course I'd probably hit driver 90% of the time.

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I’m hitting hybrid. There’s no reason to make 6 on this hole trying to carry the creek for a better shot at making 4. You still have a chance to make 4 getting up and down from 50 yards out.

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My good drives could carry the creek, but I'm not hitting that consistantly enough to go for it on this hole. The trees on the left and the creek would be in play too often for me here. This would be a standard "2 x irons + 1 x wedge" par 5 for me, with an occassional good look at birdie or par most of the time for me.   

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I can’t carry my driver 260, so I have no choice but to lay up short of the wash. I’ll likely hit a 3 hybrid, which I typically hit 220 on a solid shot (I can hit a 3 wood 250 if I get ahold of it) and will be left with another hybrid in. Another solid hybrid will leave about 60 yards for my third, which still gives a decent chance for birdie or easy par.

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We had a similar hole on a course I used to work at that had a creek that split the fairway. From the back tees the hazard was 240 from the left side and 280 from the right with carries being 265-305. The play was to hit up the right side about 265 then carry the creek. The forced carry was out of the question unless you were a big hitter, and for a fader it was dangerous. 

The way I would play this would be a 3 shot hole as a 260 carry is not something that I can rely on, plus add in a tiny fade and you need 270. So I would play as close to the creek that I could do so and hit 3 or 5 wood close to the green on the approach. Make the left side 230 carry and right side 265 and I would probably bite. 

I will tell you that I am a fan of risk/reward, when you actually have a potential reward. In this scenario, the architect has taken the decision out of the hands of the definition "scratch" male golfer who hits his driver 250 yards. 

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