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Taking elevation rise into account?


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At the course I play there is an uphill par 3 labeled as 145-yards. Google Earth says that the center of the green is 15-feet higher than the tee box (though it seems much more than that). I've played the course enough to know what club I need on a given day with a given wind, and how I'm striking the ball that day.

My question is: Do you have a "formula" in your head that says... For every x-number of feet of inclination/declination, I need to increase/decrease club selection by this amount? Or do you just play it by feel?

I ask because I hope to start playing other courses in my area, and I don't want the learning curve to skew my results.
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for me it all depends... I go with feeling.. if i'm hitting pure that day or hitting a club less... but as far as elevation goes... I base it on yardage...if it looks like a 15 - 20' elevation... I'll club up 1 since each club gives me about a 10 yard diff. There are times where I'm hitting a 5 iron to an elevated green from 155 away (bear brook 10th hole).
Try basing it off of that...look at the elevation change and then add or subtract yardage that way.. that's how I started in just figuring it out
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for me it all depends... I go with feeling.. if i'm hitting pure that day or hitting a club less... but as far as elevation goes... I base it on yardage...if it looks like a 15 - 20' elevation... I'll club up 1 since each club gives me about a 10 yard diff. There are times where I'm hitting a 5 iron to an elevated green from 155 away (bear brook 10th hole).

me too

all feel baby in general, if there iz zero wind and a hole looks elevated enough, i will usually club up vise versa for a green that is lower, ill club down one or so we have a short par 3 similar to pebble, saying that it plays about 114 yds, but is WAAAY down hill 114 is a 1/2-3/4 Gap wedge for me, but on this hole i hit a 1/2 Sand wedge or a full out Lob wedge (wind depending) really hard hole believe it or not, for being so short
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Its tough to say, the shot type will dictate alot. If you hit a very high shot that comes down vertically into the green there will be little difference in the distance. But if you hit a line drive than that comes into play more.

I think a good rule of thumb is add one yard per one yard of elevation, and subtract one yard per one yard of elevation. That will get you close.
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I don't have a lot of experience golf-wise, but logically thinking, it's going to depend on the club you're using. As was said above, shots that drop straight down from a high trajectory will be affected much less than lower shots. Furthermore, the roll-out will be affected---you'll probably find more roll on an uphill shot (to a level surface) than a downhill due to cutting off the ball's arc earlier (when it has more horizontal velocity) or later (when it's closer to falling down). This will act opposite the other effect somewhat.

Personally I don't worry too much since I don't have great control over my distances, but I tend to figure about 15 feet up or down per club of adjustment. It's good enough for me, and probably serves to give me confidence that I'm doing *something* more than anything precise.
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Threre is a formula, base on degree of rise, thats how distance gadgets with slope come up with the adjustment. Having said that I basically eye ball it when going down hill. Uphill I allow extra roll for any shot over 160 yards since mine come in a little flat and roll out extra from those distances. If the hole is a short iron I don't add as much. It seems like short uphill shots from a level lie reach their apex and drop down with almost no loss of distance. Of course if the lie is uphill the extra loft added by the hill is a factor. Uphill into the wind is why golf gods invented knock down shots.
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  • 1 month later...
for me it all depends... I go with feeling.. if i'm hitting pure that day or hitting a club less... but as far as elevation goes... I base it on yardage...if it looks like a 15 - 20' elevation... I'll club up 1 since each club gives me about a 10 yard diff. There are times where I'm hitting a 5 iron to an elevated green from 155 away (bear brook 10th hole).

Played bear brook for the first time over a week ago. What a b!tch of a course. Lost quite a few balls on that course :) the wind and elevation changes kept me guessing the whole time as to what club to hit with.
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Can't think of a formula really...

Its all feel and experience. Uphill I take an extra club, downhill I take one less.

If its 100+ feet off a cliff etc, I'll adjust from there.
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  • 8 months later...

mdbuschr:

Understanding how elevation change affects your shot is a big part of good course management and hopefully to lower scores.

Your definitely on the right track using Google Earth, it is a great source for evaluating a course or even a particular hole

To your question, there is NO formula that will provide very accurate information.

  1. It is almost impossible to determine accurate elevation change that is greater than a few yards. So adding a club for every 10 yards is still basically a guess.
  2. The yardage correction needed for an uphill shot is going to be different than the yardage correction for a downhill shot with the same distance and corresponding elevation change due to the flight characteristics of the golf ball.
  3. The yardage correction for a 100 yard shot with 10 yards of elevation change is very different than the yardage correction for a 200 yard shot with 10 yards of elevation change.

So “eyeballing” it or going by “feel” are two very common methods, they are still only educated guesses.

If you are serious about game improvement I suggest checking into some of the products that will provide this information for you, Bushnell, Leupold or Nikon Callaway all work very well, but at a pretty high price.

Here is a link to an inexpensive product that will provide the same information at a reasonable price Slope-Tec .  Even if you use it on a few holes per round it will help you start understanding how to play shots with elevation change a little better.

Good luck.

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  • 2 years later...

mdbuschr:

Understanding how elevation change affects your shot is a big part of good course management and hopefully to lower scores.

Your definitely on the right track using Google Earth, it is a great source for evaluating a course or even a particular hole

To your question, there is NO formula that will provide very accurate information.

  1. It is almost impossible to determine accurate elevation change that is greater than a few yards. So adding a club for every 10 yards is still basically a guess.
  2. The yardage correction needed for an uphill shot is going to be different than the yardage correction for a downhill shot with the same distance and corresponding elevation change due to the flight characteristics of the golf ball.
  3. The yardage correction for a 100 yard shot with 10 yards of elevation change is very different than the yardage correction for a 200 yard shot with 10 yards of elevation change.

So “eyeballing” it or going by “feel” are two very common methods, they are still only educated guesses.

If you are serious about game improvement I suggest checking into some of the products that will provide this information for you, Bushnell, Leupold or Nikon Callaway all work very well, but at a pretty high price.

Here is an updated link to an inexpensive product that will provide the same information at a reasonable price S lopetecgolf .  Even if you use it on a few holes per round it will help you start understanding how to play shots with elevation change a little better.

Good luck.

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Cool zombie thread. More to it that just the elevation. Where is the flag, the markers, the trouble, what would be a good miss etc. Experience is everything with a hole like this. We have a similar par 3, card says 145 but there are 3 boxes they use for one set of tees, it varies as much as 30 yards. It's never as simple as pulling a club on the number and just trying to hit the green. Even a little wind might be two clubs up. If the flag is in the front I usually try to land it short and chip on because there is a bunch of deep undulations behind it that would make a 2 putt difficult. Long is never good, sand and hills so never smart to go for the flag back there. Par 3's can be tricky. When I was playing bogey golf I made more doubles on par 3's than anything.

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????? What is going on in this thread?? Did Riverdale really post the exact same thing more than 2.5 years apart?

I like to think he just had that post pinging around in his brain for those 2.5 years and re-typed it from memory.

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Note: This thread is 2793 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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