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To Golfers Who Score in the 70s - What's Your Story?


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This is kind of related... In your 65/20/15 thread you talk about the amount of time on that... but as for number of shots it's about the same, correct?

Nah. You can hit more short game shots in a short span of time, or work on your putting in a way where you make more strokes per minute than you can swings per minute on your full swing.

Plus, sometimes the best practice doesn't even involve hitting a ball (particularly full swing work).

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The idea that going for par 5's in two is overrated is retarded.  The only time I won't go for a par 5 in two is when: (i) I have longer than 200 yards and there's OB or a hazard clearly in play; or (ii) I'm outside of 240 (220 if i've got a crappy lie).  Why in the world would you purposefully avoid having an eagle putt or two putt birdie?

Depends on the comfort level some people have with hitting their longest clubs.    I love pulling the 3w for those long shots you describe ... BUT ... only if it's a perfect flat fairway lie.   Otherwise, I'll chose something more reliable and take the BIG number out of the equation ...

John

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[QUOTE] The idea that going for par 5's in two is overrated is retarded.  The only time I won't go for a par 5 in two is when: (i) I have longer than 200 yards and there's OB or a hazard clearly in play; or (ii) I'm outside of 240 (220 if i've got a crappy lie).  Why in the world would you purposefully avoid having an eagle putt or two putt birdie?   [/QUOTE] Depends on the comfort level some people have with hitting their longest clubs ...

Or it could just mean more work on the 3W and 3H. 3W for fairway and light rough and 3H in rough.

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Most guys I know... Well there isnt that many I know that shoot 70. Its eye opening to consider that its not just every shot they remember. Its also that they know the details of the environment. They talk about shot shape, aggressive intent on birdie opportunities and the nuances of those shots that, in retrospect, one might find in a lot of golf whisperers.

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Most guys I know... Well there isnt that many I know that shoot 70. Its eye opening to consider that its not just every shot they remember. Its also that they know the details of the environment. They talk about shot shape, aggressive intent on birdie opportunities and the nuances of those shots that, in retrospect, one might find in a lot of golf whisperers.

I could tell you exact details from my recent average rounds, but the best I've ever shot (a 69 in early June) is one that I could tell you very little about besides me being -4 through 5 and throwing it in the toilet before recovering. It's kind of sad, when I think about it, that I can't remember even how I felt when it was over and I added it up. [quote name="Lihu" url="/t/60861/to-golfers-who-score-in-the-70s-whats-your-story/120#post_1110643"] Or it could just mean more work on the 3W and 3H. 3W for fairway and light rough and 3H in rough.[/quote] This is a good way to look at it. I actually prefer the 3w from the light rough because it tees up the ball and makes it roll forever when it lands. Confidence in your long clubs is always nice when going for it, so get out there and work to get that confidence if you can!

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Depends on the comfort level some people have with hitting their longest clubs.    I love pulling the 3w for those long shots you describe ... BUT ... only if it's a perfect flat fairway lie.   Otherwise, I'll chose something more reliable and take the BIG number out of the equation ...

Thanks for comprehending what I was trying to convey about the strategy in regard to playing PAR-5 holes.  Any discomfort over a shot will reduce the percentage of the shot's success. I think we can all agree, hopefully, avoiding the BIG number should be one of the key objectives when trying to shoot in the 70s.

Ferg

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Originally Posted by inthehole

Depends on the comfort level some people have with hitting their longest clubs.    I love pulling the 3w for those long shots you describe ... BUT ... only if it's a perfect flat fairway lie.   Otherwise, I'll chose something more reliable and take the BIG number out of the equation ...

Thanks for comprehending what I was trying to convey about the strategy in regard to playing PAR-5 holes.  Any discomfort over a shot will reduce the percentage of the shot's success. I think we can all agree, hopefully, avoiding the BIG number should be one of the key objectives when trying to shoot in the 70s.

Ferg

I think it heavily depends upon your miss. If your miss is a fat shot that piddles 150 yards down the fairway, then hitting a long club is not an issue because you just end up making three shots to the green anyway. Even if you slice 30 yards off line, I still think it is a safer bet in most cases.

For example, I've hit a 275 yard drive on a 540 yard par 5. My second shot would be a 3W, but my miss is a fat shot that rolls about 190 yards. My next shot is a 60 degree pitch/chip shot for my GIR. If my "gamble paid off with a full 253 yard shot from my 3W, then I would end up with a near green situation and a potential for a birdie. If I had decided that I would hit my 4i or something like that and get the same 190 yards on the second shot, I always end up short with a 60 yard pitch/chip shot, and less of a chance for a birdie.

Another example is I am hitting into a 590 yard par 5 with a huge green. I drive about 270 into the fairway over some water hazard. What should I do for the remaining 320 yards? Should I try to hit a 3W to get the same distance as the above scenario or automatically use a 4i to layup short? My answer is of course to take the gamble and try for the 250 yards with my 3W and leave myself with the 70 yard pitch/chip shot instead of another full swing 130 yard PW where I could end up 25 yards away from the pin on a multiple break green?

How would you justify not using a 3W in these cases?

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I think it heavily depends upon your miss. If your miss is a fat shot that piddles 150 yards down the fairway, then hitting a long club is not an issue because you just end up making three shots to the green anyway. Even if you slice 30 yards off line, I still think it is a safer bet in most cases.

For example, I've hit a 275 yard drive on a 540 yard par 5. My second shot would be a 3W, but my miss is a fat shot that rolls about 190 yards. My next shot is a 60 degree pitch/chip shot for my GIR. If my "gamble paid off with a full 253 yard shot from my 3W, then I would end up with a near green situation and a potential for a birdie. If I had decided that I would hit my 4i or something like that and get the same 190 yards on the second shot, I always end up short with a 60 yard pitch/chip shot, and less of a chance for a birdie.

Another example is I am hitting into a 590 yard par 5 with a huge green. I drive about 270 into the fairway over some water hazard. What should I do for the remaining 320 yards? Should I try to hit a 3W to get the same distance as the above scenario or automatically use a 4i to layup short? My answer is of course to take the gamble and try for the 250 yards with my 3W and leave myself with the 70 yard pitch/chip shot instead of another full swing 130 yard PW where I could end up 25 yards away from the pin on a multiple break green?

How would you justify not using a 3W in these cases?

I have no problem with any of your examples. In fact, they make a lot of sense.

We have a hole that plays 540 or 550 depending on the markers. It’s one of my favorite holes at our club. The green is well-bunkered in the front and left side. It’s a good-sized green from front to back. I shot too long is dead. I “try” to play the hole the exact same way each time - something roughly 250 with some draw from the tee, then a solid 5 or 6 iron cut shot (175-185) always leaves me between 110-120. This is a 80% wedge for me. 8 out 10 times, I hit the green or the frog hair and have a run at birdie. From time-to-time, I’ll hit a 3W for my second, but it often leaves me at that goofy 60-ish yards.

The drive is comfortable for me, the second shot feels comfortable to me the wedge approach feels good to me. In case you missed it in an earlier post, I apologize – my irons are the strongest part of my game, so it’s only natural for me to hit an iron for the second on this hole.

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[COLOR=000000]I have no problem with any of your examples.[COLOR=000000]  [/COLOR] [COLOR=000000]In fact, they make a lot of sense.[/COLOR][COLOR=000000]  [/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=000000] [/COLOR]

[COLOR=000000]We have a hole that plays 540 or 550 depending on the markers. [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000]It’s one of my favorite holes at our club.[/COLOR][COLOR=000000] [/COLOR] [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000]The green is well-bunkered in the front and left side.[/COLOR] [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000]It’s a good-sized green from front to back.[/COLOR][COLOR=000000] [/COLOR] [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000]I shot too long is dead.[/COLOR][COLOR=000000] [/COLOR] [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000]I “try” to play the hole the exact same way each time - something roughly 250 with some draw from the tee, then a solid 5 or 6 iron cut shot (175-185) always leaves me between 110-120.[/COLOR][COLOR=000000] [/COLOR] [COLOR=000000]This is a 80% wedge for me.[/COLOR][COLOR=000000] [/COLOR] [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000]8 out 10 times, I hit the green or the frog hair and have a run at birdie.[/COLOR] [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000]From time-to-time, I’ll hit a 3W for my second, but it often leaves me at that goofy 60-ish yards.[/COLOR][COLOR=000000]  [/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=000000] [/COLOR]

[COLOR=000000]The drive is comfortable for me, the second shot feels comfortable to me the wedge approach feels good to me. [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=000000]In case you missed it in an earlier post, I apologize – my irons are the strongest part of my game, so it’s only natural for me to hit an iron for the second on this hole.[/COLOR][/COLOR]

Hit your drive as far as you can while keeping it in play then hit the club that won't go long, but has a chance at reaching the green, if you want to score better on that hole. You don't mention any trouble to the left or right, so I can only assume missing a bit left or right isn't bad. All things being equal, you will score better from that bunker in the front of the green than you will from 100 yards out in the fairway.

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Originally Posted by Ferguson

I have no problem with any of your examples.   In fact, they make a lot of sense.

We have a hole that plays 540 or 550 depending on the markers.  It’s one of my favorite holes at our club.   The green is well-bunkered in the front and left side.   It’s a good-sized green from front to back.   I shot too long is dead.   I “try” to play the hole the exact same way each time - something roughly 250 with some draw from the tee, then a solid 5 or 6 iron cut shot (175-185) always leaves me between 110-120.  This is a 80% wedge for me.   8 out 10 times, I hit the green or the frog hair and have a run at birdie.  From time-to-time, I’ll hit a 3W for my second, but it often leaves me at that goofy 60-ish yards.

The drive is comfortable for me, the second shot feels comfortable to me the wedge approach feels good to me.  In case you missed it in an earlier post, I apologize – my irons are the strongest part of my game, so it’s only natural for me to hit an iron for the second on this hole.

Hit your drive as far as you can while keeping it in play then hit the club that won't go long, but has a chance at reaching the green, if you want to score better on that hole. You don't mention any trouble to the left or right, so I can only assume missing a bit left or right isn't bad.

All things being equal, you will score better from that bunker in the front of the green than you will from 100 yards out in the fairway.

This is truth.  He says that he is sometimes in the frog hair after playing from his "comfort" distance.  If his posted handicap is legitimate, then he should be better than that from a greenside bunker.  I know that I'd rather be in the bunker in most cases than 120 yards out.  I would change that wish if the bunkers are deep pot bunkers where you may not even be able to advance the ball, but I'll still take 60 yards over 120 yards.

Playing to a full club distance is old school thinking.  I'm old, but even I have come around to seeing that such a strategy has been proven to be wrong thinking.

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Rick

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This is truth.  He says that he is sometimes in the frog hair after playing from his "comfort" distance.  If his posted handicap is legitimate, then he should be better than that from a greenside bunker.  I know that I'd rather be in the bunker in most cases than 120 yards out.  I would change that wish if the bunkers are deep pot bunkers where you may not even be able to advance the ball, but I'll still take 60 yards over 120 yards.

Playing to a full club distance is old school thinking.  I'm old, but even I have come around to seeing that such a strategy has been proven to be wrong thinking.

The 40-60-yard area is a devilish zone on this hole. It’s sits on downslope into a green that slopes off the back. That’s why going long is dead. For the second shot or third shot with lumber that comes up short, the front bunker that guards 85% of the green’s frontage, is no easy task with a high face. But, the left side bunker is pretty straightforward, and have played out of it before.

I don’t think coming in from 110-120 is old school. I think it defines that I play within my limitations for what the course’s designer was trying to accomplish.

I once read this and it stuck with me.

5 ways to know whether you should go for a par-5 in two shots.

  1. If you can’t make up your mind, lay up.

  2. If you can’t hit the green 7 out of 10 times, lay up.

  3. If you have a clear image of yourself hitting the green, go for it.

  4. If reward outweighs the risk, and you can hit the green 7 out of 10 times, go for it.

  5. Do what you think is equitable in terms of ability.

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5 ways to know whether you should go for a par-5 in two shots.

If you can’t make up your mind, lay up.

If you can’t hit the green 7 out of 10 times, lay up.

If you have a clear image of yourself hitting the green, go for it.

If reward outweighs the risk, and you can hit the green 7 out of 10 times, go for it.

Do what you think is equitable in terms of ability.

7 out of 10 times is far, far too high a bar.

I'll take 30 yards short in the rough or the fairway 10 out of 10 times over being in the middle of the fairway 100-110 yards out almost every time.

We lay all this out in the book and DVDs we wrote. Once a golfer understands his Shot Zones, he can build a Decision Maps, factor in some things like (is he well above or below his typical score for the day, how's he feel about this particular shot, how's he hitting his 3-hybrid that day, etc.), and make a good decision.

Generally speaking, though, you seem to place less value than you should on getting close to the green, @Ferguson . It's not an either/or, "7/10" type of situation. I'd rather be anywhere near the green (on grass or sand) in two than 107 yards back in two almost every time.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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You don't have to hit the green for it to btw worth it. I guarantee that from inside of 40 yards on that hole you will hit the green more frequently and closer to the pin than from 110 yards. Think about it: - When was the last time you completely missed the green from a greenside bunker? - The pros only hit the green ~75% of the time from that distance, I guarantee you do it less frequently. - The pros also have a sand save percentage of ~65% - That means they ate nearly as likely to make birdie from the sand as they are to even hit the green and give themselves a birdie putt, not counting the chance at eagle or birdie if you hit the green in two. Just some numbers you might want to ponder when you next play that hole.
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Some yardages are like some family members. Some you like and some you want only to see only on holiday. The 40-60 yard shot is not something I like to practice and is not something that is fun.

A well-executed shot from the fairway that avoids the bunkers and downslope is the higher percentage play, at least for me. Just like Mrs. Kettlebrook’s plum pudding cake. It’s always the same and delicious because she doesn’t mess around with the mixture. Consistency is another main component to unlocking this puzzle to scoring in the 70’s.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ferguson

5 ways to know whether you should go for a par-5 in two shots.

If you can’t make up your mind, lay up.

If you can’t hit the green 7 out of 10 times, lay up.

If you have a clear image of yourself hitting the green, go for it.

If reward outweighs the risk, and you can hit the green 7 out of 10 times, go for it.

Do what you think is equitable in terms of ability.

7 out of 10 times is far, far too high a bar.

I'll take 30 yards short in the rough or the fairway 10 out of 10 times over being in the middle of the fairway 100-110 yards out almost every time.

We lay all this out in the book and DVDs we wrote. Once a golfer understands his Shot Zones, he can build a Decision Maps, factor in some things like (is he well above or below his typical score for the day, how's he feel about this particular shot, how's he hitting his 3-hybrid that day, etc.), and make a good decision.

Generally speaking, though, you seem to place less value than you should on getting close to the green, @Ferguson. It's not an either/or, "7/10" type of situation. I'd rather be anywhere near the green (on grass or sand) in two than 107 yards back in two almost every time.

wow - this is eye opening.    I'm actually pretty decent out of the sand, but won't pull the 3w or other long club if I think there's a pretty good chance I'll run it up & find my way into the sand.    I guess the moral is to not be afraid of the sand ??

John

Fav LT Quote ... "you can talk to a fade, but a hook won't listen"

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Some yardages are like some family members.  Some you like and some you want only to see only on holiday.  The 40-60 yard shot is not something I like to practice and is not something that is fun.

A well-executed shot from the fairway that avoids the bunkers and downslope is the higher percentage play, at least for me.   Just like Mrs. Kettlebrook’s plum pudding cake.   It’s always the same and delicious because she doesn’t mess around with the mixture.    Consistency is another main component to unlocking this puzzle to scoring in the 70’s.


I would think that that same downslope from 40-60 yards is easier to hit than from 110+ yards, though. 110 yards is an in between yardage for my wedges anyway.

wow - this is eye opening.    I'm actually pretty decent out of the sand, but won't pull the 3w or other long club if I think there's a pretty good chance I'll run it up & find my way into the sand.    I guess the moral is to not be afraid of the sand ??

Sand can save you sometimes from a much worse fate. . .

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Some yardages are like some family members.  Some you like and some you want only to see only on holiday.  The 40-60 yard shot is not something I like to practice and is not something that is fun.

A well-executed shot from the fairway that avoids the bunkers and downslope is the higher percentage play, at least for me.   Just like Mrs. Kettlebrook’s plum pudding cake.   It’s always the same and delicious because she doesn’t mess around with the mixture.    Consistency is another main component to unlocking this puzzle to scoring in the 70’s.

Even though you're "not good" at the 40-60 yard shot, you're still going to get closer to the pin from that yardage than 110 yards. I would be willing to bet $25 on that holding true, and I've never seen you pick up a club.

Also, the 40-60 yard shot is an easy one to practice. Most short game areas at courses are big enough to hit some pitch shots like that. Record your half and 3/4 swing distances, along with the distances of your pitch shots with each club, and you'll fear it a lot less and actually come to enjoy it once you realize how much closer you hit it from there than from 110 out.

The highest percentage play is for you to get it as close to the green as you can on your second shot from your description. There is no trouble to penalize you by getting closer, just a mental block you've created for yourself that holds you back from better scores.

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Some yardages are like some family members.  Some you like and some you want only to see only on holiday.  The 40-60 yard shot is not something I like to practice and is not something that is fun.

@Pretzel addresses it pretty well below.

wow - this is eye opening.    I'm actually pretty decent out of the sand, but won't pull the 3w or other long club if I think there's a pretty good chance I'll run it up & find my way into the sand.    I guess the moral is to not be afraid of the sand ??

So long as you aren't completely miserable (as in worse than bad) out of the sand, they're not terrible places to be in one stroke under regulation . They're lousy places to play from for your third on a par four or fourth on a par five, and worse than the rough of course, but they're often much better places to play from for your second on a par four or third on a par five than 100 yards back even if it's in the fairway.

Even though you're "not good" at the 40-60 yard shot, you're still going to get closer to the pin from that yardage than 110 yards. I would be willing to bet $25 on that holding true, and I've never seen you pick up a club.

Pending some sort of yips or something that prevent you from hitting the green from 40 yards, yup. I'd take that bet as well.

Generally speaking (to a high amount, I'm not saying only 51% of the time) you're better from closer than farther away.

Also, the 40-60 yard shot is an easy one to practice. Most short game areas at courses are big enough to hit some pitch shots like that. Record your half and 3/4 swing distances, along with the distances of your pitch shots with each club, and you'll fear it a lot less and actually come to enjoy it once you realize how much closer you hit it from there than from 110 out.

The highest percentage play is for you to get it as close to the green as you can on your second shot from your description. There is no trouble to penalize you by getting closer, just a mental block you've created for yourself that holds you back from better scores.

Yup.

You should read the book I wrote, @Ferguson . There's a lot of bogus information out there. The book dispells quite a bit of it.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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