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cipher

How should I play this shot?

42 posts in this topic

The situation Erik brought up got me thinking about a par five on my course that often gives me trouble.  I have been trying to figure out the best way to play this approach for a while and am wondering what you guys think?  It is a par five and there are a number of ways to play it, and hazards are in play with all of the options.  I have made anything from eagle to triple bogey on this hole.

The situation is that you have hit a decent drive and have 210 to the hole.  There is a lot of water as you can see surrounding the green.  Any miss to the right kicks into the hazard and to the left of the green are a couple mounds that a miss left kicks into that hazard.

Black(go for it) - You have about 210 to the green, and you will likely clear the first part of the hazard making for better options with a drop.  Any miss right of the green and you are in the hazard and a miss into the mounds left of the green will likely kick into that hazard.

Red(lay up just short) - This shot is about 170 yards.  It leave a nice easy little pitch and a good chance for making a birdie.  The problem is if you catch it slightly thick or push it you will not clear the hazard and will have to drop well back.

Yellow(lay up to around 100 yards) - This is what I usually do as it is the safest shot I see that still leaves a chance to stick it close.  The problem is that it generally puts you with a wedge in your hands and a ball that is below your feet.  I usually aim left and hit it to the left side of the green and take a longer 2 putt par.  The trouble when going at a pin that is is that any little push right is trouble if you do not hit the green.

Blue(lay up to about 140 where the ground is flat) - I have never tried this, but it could be an option.  You lay up to flat ground which is 140 yards out.  The issue would be you cannot miss with your third shot from 140.

Here is a photo from right of the green:

Here is a photo that is just a bit forward of where the shot is usually played closer to the 140 yard out spot:

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I tend to hit a fade with my longer clubs so I'd have to say I'd play out right with my fade and go with the red option. Im very confident in my 6&7 irons so the red option would be a comfortable shot for me. What course is that hole on? I remember you saying that you play ironwood and I was wondering if its from one of those 9's.
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As a 7.2, I'd almost always choose yellow unless I was having a great ball striking day. Then, I might choose black.

You're a 3.8. I'd expect you best play is black with a "miss" short. But, I always think anyone under 4 can hit every shot, every time.

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The red seems like the best option to me.  It is not to long of a shot, leaves you with a can't miss to the green, and also seems to have a fairly large (compared to other options) landing area.

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That's tough to say without playing it.  I like going for it, but until I played it enough to know how much room i had to miss left or right I'd probably go with the red option (yellow's not bad either).  From what I can see I'd say if I'm hitting it well I'd go black, otherwise red, yellow if I've got the shanks :-D .  Beautiful course by the way, where is it?

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I personally would go for the yellow route as I feel the 100 yard remaining is a good distance for me. It may leave a long two putt for Par but there are some holes that you need to except that Par is a reasonable score.

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laying up would result in bogey at worse I think. I laso think it depends on your lie and what your typical " miss" is. I learned my lesson on par 5's many years ago that unless I have a bail out I am laying up.

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Jakester, it is the Birr at Ironwood.

I played red option this morning.  I pushed it slightly and barely made it over the hazard.

I kind of like the option of going for it as well, I almost never do this, but the more I think about it the more I like it.  The chances are slim of doing better than par from yellow with how you have to play it, and I have come up short and put a big number up with taking red as well.  At least with going for it, if you miss you have a shot to get up and down still for a par.  I almost wonder if it is close to being worth the risk in this case?

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I like the red option. Short enough distance that a solid iron will get you there, and a pretty large landing area. A short chip and you have a good chance at birdie with a nearly gauranteed par. Too much risk to go black IMO... I'm rarely an advocate of "going for it" though if there are hazards. Say you hit a really good shot and end up on the green. More times than not you are going to have a really long putt, and while that does mean a better chance of birdie, you have to consider the times that you don't hit a really good shot approach shot (which likely means bogey or worse). I would venture to say that if you took your average score for that particular hole if you played each option 10 times, red would be your lowest number.

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Yellow every time probably for me. Maybe Red if it fit my eye but hard to say without standing there. I always say, "don't take the bat out of the wedge's hand" (ex baseball player)

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I like red.

Me too.  I've got to miss a mid-iron REALLY bad to screw that one up.  Black isn't even likely an option for me......I can get there, but the risk of a little bit of a push or pull into the agua isn't worth any possible gain.

Of course, that's probably why I can hardly remember my last eagle...... :-(

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Based on the overhead view, it looks like you have room to miss long and left.  So I would vote black and aim for the left edge of the green.  For me, 210 is usually a 4 iron, so I don't have the problem I had with Erik's example of having to trust a hybrid or 3-wood, both of which I struggle with.  But your description says that left of the green could kick into that hazard, so your target is pretty damn narrow, so that would have me leaning towards taking a 6 or 7 iron and laying up to the red.

But here's is the thing ... the hazards are still there.  It's not like you are laying up short of the trouble.  A bad swing with a 6 or 7-iron is going to put me into the hazard still, anyway - yet farther back.  Therefore, I'm probably going with black most times.

If my ball striking is shaky that day, I'm likely going with yellow.

Blue makes no sense to me. I mean, if I can't hit the yellow shot as my second shot, why would I want it as my third? ;)

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It depends on what you'd hit, you're a 3.8 so I'm guessing you can get a 4 iron or some kind of hybrid there.  If you've got a low round going, I say go for it.

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Wow, that's a good one.  Trouble everywhere.  And what a great looking course!  I immediately knew what I'd do in Iacass example, but this one is much tougher.

I can't do blue because the next shot would be as dangerous as about anything

Black just seems like threading the needle from too long a distance

Red and Yellow both seem to be pretty good options.  Red is a tough shot, but I hate the sound of that lie on yellow.  Ultimately, the shot from yellow to the green looks almost as risky as the red shot.  I usually make the most conservative play.  Here I'd probably go red even though it might not be the most conservative.

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To me, red or yellow are the smart plays, depending on the ball striking that day. I would probably choose the black shot, because I'm not too smart, I hit a draw pretty consistently and would aim just right of the green.

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