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Blow up Hole Avoidance


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Just looking for some advice on avoiding blow up holes i played 9 yesterday and went 7-9-4-4-4-3-7-3-5. That they happened on the first couple of holes would speak to lack of a warm-up but they can come up any time. Feel ike I can put up some decent scores if I can get over this hump. What's worked for you in saving a decent score on a hole?

BO THE GOLFER

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29 minutes ago, Bo the Golfer said:

Just looking for some advice on avoiding blow up holes i played 9 yesterday and went 7-9-4-4-4-3-7-3-5. That they happened on the first couple of holes would speak to lack of a warm-up but they can come up any time. Feel ike I can put up some decent scores if I can get over this hump. What's worked for you in saving a decent score on a hole?

Along with what@billchaosuggested, I would say to continue to work on swing and ball contact for us guys with the "generous" handicaps. Two swings with poor contact on a par 5 plus an extra putt leaves you with an 8. Eliminating those two bad swings brings you down to a 6. The same principle applies to every hole.

Also, try to stop the bad decisions. I play one 340 yard par 4 that has water extending into the fairway down near the approach to the green. If I hit a 180 yard drive (for me a decent one), I'm left with 160 to the green. My 5 hybrid can reach that but it often has a slight fade tail at the end of the ball flight. If I land in the fairway short of the green the fairway slope and side spin takes it down into the water. Take my penalty, chip onto the green, two putt and I've got a 6. Yesterday, after the drive, I hit a nice 7 iron that left me 40 yards short. I pitched onto the green and 2 putted for a 5.

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47 minutes ago, Bo the Golfer said:

Just looking for some advice on avoiding blow up holes i played 9 yesterday and went 7-9-4-4-4-3-7-3-5. That they happened on the first couple of holes would speak to lack of a warm-up but they can come up any time. Feel ike I can put up some decent scores if I can get over this hump. What's worked for you in saving a decent score on a hole?

Have you analyzed these blow up holes individually? Is there a pattern to them? Like driver OB? Awful approach shot? The other guys gave good advice. But you can start by seeing if there’s a more specific cause to these blow up holes and not just tackling the problem generally/philosophically.

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I am of the opinion, that you allow a few blow up holes a round. I 'budget' 3-4 a round. I don't try too hard to damage control them. Not saying keep attempting dumb shots but you gotta keep trying your best reasonable shot at all times regardless of of it being your second shot or fourth on a par 3. 

I think they will stop chasing you once you stop running from them. I admit it's more of a mindset than a strategy.    

 

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24 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Have you analyzed these blow up holes individually? Is there a pattern to them? Like driver OB? Awful approach shot? The other guys gave good advice. But you can start by seeing if there’s a more specific cause to these blow up holes and not just tackling the problem generally/philosophically.

I have and they do tend to be off the tee with driver. I generally hit my driver ok but on a couple of holes it will leave me. All the advice has been great and for me it's going to come down to honing my swing and not trying to play hero after a terrible shot. 

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53 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

When you hit one bad shot, don't try to make up for it.  Your decision for the shot you're facing has to be based on making the best best score you can from THIS spot.  If the best play is to play for 5 more shots, that's the way to go.  It doesn't matter if you're lying one, or lying 5, play for 5 more from here.  No hero shots to "save par", no swing tweaks based on what you think you did wrong with the last swing.  Make a solid decision, and a normal swing.

I agree with that but have been told by a couple better players on my league I am too cautious after a bad shot and they say "I need to trust my stroke".  I'm not saying they are telling me to try the "Hero Shot" just to look for other shot choices and not just the safest way back into the fairway.  I've tried in some cases to be a little more aggressive and have had mixed results.

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1 hour ago, Bo the Golfer said:

Just looking for some advice on avoiding blow up holes i played 9 yesterday and went 7-9-4-4-4-3-7-3-5. That they happened on the first couple of holes would speak to lack of a warm-up but they can come up any time. Feel ike I can put up some decent scores if I can get over this hump. What's worked for you in saving a decent score on a hole?

The only thing that works for me is to redefine what a good score is, once you've gone off the rails. For example, if you hit your drive on a par 4  OB, well all of the sudden a dbl-bogey is a good score (equiv to par). Or the other day when I hit a drive on a par 5 and it rolled thru the dogleg into high weeds, I hit it out sideways and was laying 2 where normally I'd have hit my drive.  So bogey is the new par, so to speak. (still lost the hole, ut didn't feel so bad)   Easy to say, harder for me to do in the heat of the competition. 

Look for patterns too, I noticed I'd sorta check out on #6 and #7, oth long par 4's with trouble both sides and around the green.  Felt like I was losing concentration.  I started to eat (1/4 protien bar, or similar) earlier in the round and it seems to have helped.  Could be all in my mind though.

Otherwise, I write it off to random variability.  Youre probably not as good am your 3 pars in a row, but maybe not as bad as your 3 triples either.  Keep working at it!

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1 hour ago, mohearn said:

if you hit your drive on a par 4  OB, well all of the sudden a dbl-bogey is a good score (equiv to par).

I think that this gets to the heart of the issue. The margins between a good golf, and a blowup like a triple, are actually rather slim when things like penalty strokes come into play.
I saw a top guy on Korn Ferry have a triple yesterday due to OB (and he was a really good ball striker).  For mid-high caps like myself that could also be due to a poor chip/pitch, poor putting pace and 3 putt… but I think biggest culprit is swings that result in OB, or don’t advance ball purposefully - simply put inadequate striking.

It seems like a cop out, but laying up more, playing cautiously, taking your medicine etc. are probably won’t save you from these holes.  It probably comes down to not being a good enough ball striker.  It’s a painful truth (at least it is for me).

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1 hour ago, dudu3000 said:

It seems like a cop out, but laying up more, playing cautiously, taking your medicine etc. are probably won’t save you from these holes.  It probably comes down to not being a good enough ball striker.  It’s a painful truth (at least it is for me).

I will occasionally suffer a blow up hole, or sometimes it is just a bad stretch of holes. I think it definitely boils down to ball striking ability. As I have improved my ball striking over the last 5 years or so, the number of blow up holes has decreased, and the bad stretches are less bad, and/or shorter. But they still happen.

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Its interesting for me to read the responses, from a variety of players at a variety of skill levels.  I didn't mention anything about improvement of skills, because I'm sure that @Bo the Golfer would love to see immediate improvement.  Improving your swing takes a bit of time, so while that kind of improvement will certainly decrease the disasters, it won't happen overnight.  Improving your decisions CAN happen overnight.  I think both are important, and I'm guessing that in the long run improving your golf swing will have more impact than improving your decision-making.  But you can start right now with better decisions.  One good decision would be investing a few bucks and buying Lowest Score Wins.

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8 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Its interesting for me to read the responses, from a variety of players at a variety of skill levels.  I didn't mention anything about improvement of skills, because I'm sure that @Bo the Golfer would love to see immediate improvement.  Improving your swing takes a bit of time, so while that kind of improvement will certainly decrease the disasters, it won't happen overnight.  Improving your decisions CAN happen overnight.  I think both are important, and I'm guessing that in the long run improving your golf swing will have more impact than improving your decision-making.  But you can start right now with better decisions.  One good decision would be investing a few bucks and buying Lowest Score Wins.

Agree 100%  I would certainly love to improve my swing and will take steps to do just that. Better decisions will definitely be the more immediate help. With my 9 yesterday on a par 5 I put my tee shot in a hazard down the left side. Dropped in the rough and pulled 3W thinking I needed to get as much as possible with the next shot. That went 10 yards. The play should have been whatever iron got me back in position the safest. 

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I think there's two main things at play with blow up holes:

1. Penalty stroke avoidance- which obviously the better you are the fewer terrible shots you have but no matter who you are you will have some. Therefore the second thing is making good decisions. That doesn't mean being "conservative" per se but rather knowing your shot patterns and picking appropriate targets...PGA tour players have driver shot dispersions that are 65 yards wide on average!! You will hit it off line- you need to center your shot patterns so that the chances you end up in a bad place are lower. 

2. Recovery situations- When in recovery situations (trees, hazard, just duffed it off the tee etc) you need to advance your ball as close to the hole as safely possible. The biggest thing is to not end up in another recovery situation. Two things that helped me in this regard are practicing a trouble shot on the range as suggested in LSW so that you have a go to shot in these situations. Also you need to pick a shot that you can execute 70-80% of the time. Don't be Phil from the trees on 13 at Augusta. 

The second thing that helped me was reframing my expectations. I would often times make worse scores by trying to "make up shots" after I hit a bad shot. Instead I tell myself now: get in play as close to the hole as I safely can. Knock it on two putt for my bogey and smile that it wasn't a double or a triple. 

 

Lastly this also applies when you leave yourself an insanely difficult shot sided chip. Knock it somewhere on the putting surface and two putt. Rather than take the hero chip. Remember there are some situations you put yourself in that NO golfer on earth is making better than bogey on that's just golf. 

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6 hours ago, Zippo said:

Also, try to stop the bad decisions.

I only dated her for 4 months back in ‘81! It still haunts me.

Agree with this 100%. Don’t follow a bad shot with a bad decision. Get the ball in play and try for a bogey. Sometimes a par will happen.

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7 hours ago, Bo the Golfer said:

Just looking for some advice on avoiding blow up holes i played 9 yesterday and went 7-9-4-4-4-3-7-3-5. That they happened on the first couple of holes would speak to lack of a warm-up but they can come up any time. Feel ike I can put up some decent scores if I can get over this hump. What's worked for you in saving a decent score on a hole?

sorry to say, being a bogey golfer means you will have blowup holes. Just because you average bogey golf, doesn't mean you actually bogey every hole. 

If you want to avoid blowup holes. 

1. Keep the ball in play such that your 2nd shot can be advanced near the green. 

2. Do not have more than one short game shot per hole, #1 goal get the ball on the green from around the green. 

3. Do not three putt. 

If you do that, you will probably make bogey at best, and make more pars. 

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7 hours ago, Zippo said:

Along with what@billchaosuggested

I was wondering why I was mentioned in a topic I haven’t posted in, but I think you have mistaken me for @DaveP043. I can’t believe you just insulted him like that 😉

Pretty good advice in this thread. I’m of the mind that shit happens, like bad shots and blowup holes. Don’t let one bad shot affect the next, one bad hole the next, etc. They’re going to happen. If there’s a pattern then I start thinking about what to do to fix things.

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35 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

sorry to say, being a bogey golfer means you will have blowup holes

I'm a semi-competent 7 handicap, and I have blow up holes.  Tiger has blow up holes.  The same principles apply, in my opinion.  Play shots you can actually play, don't do hero nonsense, make smart decisions.  The shot we can actually  play is hugely different from me to you to Tiger to @Bo the Golfer, we each need to understand our own ability, but the principles remain th same.

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2 hours ago, billchao said:
10 hours ago, Zippo said:

Along with what@billchaosuggested

I was wondering why I was mentioned in a topic I haven’t posted in, but I think you have mistaken me for @DaveP043. I can’t believe you just insulted him like that 😉

Oh, good grief! My apologies to both @billchaoand @DaveP043! I must be swinging so hard it's depriving my brain of the blood it needs. I need more stack and less tilt. Shoot! 😬

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