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david_wedzik

Stop Aiming at the Flag!!!

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

Proximity, yeah, but putting could be a factor too if he's just not giving anything a chance to go in.

I'm a really good putter, and people playing with me will often remark how almost every putt looks like it had a chance. (I'll know pretty quickly whether one is just short, or pulled ever so slightly, etc.).

No, Scott knows a bit.

But I responded a few times to Breed, too:

 

When DeChambeau won consecutive events this fall, Golf Channel did a short instructional video explaining that BD won because he was aiming more to the safe side of the flag on every GIR. He wasn't going 'at the pin' but going to the closest point to avoid a bigger problem. Sounds like 'Shot Zones' to me!

This was a refreshing video from them.

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I always aim at something. Sometimes the flag, other times a tree, bush or something. It just depends on where the trouble might be creating a risk reward situation. 

Aiming at something also gives me a line to use for obtaining my intermediate target which I use to aim my my club face with. 

What ever "thing" I aim at also represents my general landing area for the shot, since my ball flight might go left, right, or on line to my target. 

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5 minutes ago, Patch said:

I always aim at something. Sometimes the flag, other times a tree, bush or something. It just depends on where the trouble might be creating a risk reward situation. 

Aiming at something also gives me a line to use for obtaining my intermediate target which I use to aim my my club face with. 

What ever "thing" I aim at also represents my general landing area for the shot, since my ball flight might go left, right, or on line to my target. 

You need to read more than the title of the topic before responding.

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This is just one of those concepts that once explained (and so clearly in this thread and LSW) seems like common sense but's has just been missed in my golf life. I've certainly never had an instructor discuss shot zones with me. It really makes one see the golf course in a different way imo.

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2 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

This is just one of those concepts that once explained (and so clearly in this thread and LSW) seems like common sense but's has just been missed in my golf life. I've certainly never had an instructor discuss shot zones with me. It really makes one see the golf course in a different way imo.

Even Dave and I changed the way we played the game after looking at the numbers, the data. And we'd already known them in general…

It's just about discipline. That's the toughest thing then, having the discipline to actually aim slightly away from the flag, to a different spot on the green or wherever.

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I wonder if the popularity of laser range finders adds to this issue? Everyone and their cat gets distance to the flag on their Bushnell or whatever. Maybe we'd be better served to get a GPS device that only gives distance to the center of the green? 

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20 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I wonder if the popularity of laser range finders adds to this issue? Everyone and their cat gets distance to the flag on their Bushnell or whatever. Maybe we'd be better served to get a GPS device that only gives distance to the center of the green? 

Maybe for some? IMO I don’t think knowing the distance to the flag adds any more confidence to a player. He’s making poor decisions (as I have for a long time) by just aiming for the flag. It’s not like he’s saying, ‘oh..the flag is 130 instead of 134? Well then I’m aiming right at it!’ He’s not making a decision to give him the best chance of scoring well based on his shot zones.

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It’s funny because I still get questions from my buddies on this when they see my target is the opposite side of the green or at least much further from the flag than they are aiming. The one time they pull off the shot I still get the “see you don’t make birdies by playing safe”. Ah how soon they forget the triple double triple rally they just went on because they dumped it into the bunker from hell or multiple water hazards on approach shots. 

3 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Maybe for some? IMO I don’t think knowing the distance to the flag adds any more confidence to a player. He’s making poor decisions (as I have for a long time) by just aiming for the flag. It’s not like he’s saying, ‘oh..the flag is 130 instead of 134? Well then I’m aiming right at it!’ He’s not making a decision to give him the best chance of scoring well based on his shot zones.

Yup ignore the flag and pay attention to the hazards. They don’t move. 

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8 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I wonder if the popularity of laser range finders adds to this issue? Everyone and their cat gets distance to the flag on their Bushnell or whatever. Maybe we'd be better served to get a GPS device that only gives distance to the center of the green? 

It does take a while to understand that the flag distance may not be your shot distance once you understand shot zones. I try to get an idea of the distance to get on the green and to the hazards. The flag distance is only one number. Where to miss is just as important.

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10 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I wonder if the popularity of laser range finders adds to this issue? Everyone and their cat gets distance to the flag on their Bushnell or whatever. Maybe we'd be better served to get a GPS device that only gives distance to the center of the green? 

I use my range finder to identify the yardages to clear greenside bunkers/make it on the green and how far the back of the green is as often, if not more often than I do to get the actual flag yardage

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10 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I wonder if the popularity of laser range finders adds to this issue? Everyone and their cat gets distance to the flag on their Bushnell or whatever. Maybe we'd be better served to get a GPS device that only gives distance to the center of the green? 

I don't think so. The flag is a target. We all have grown up playing some sort of target game before. It's more ingrained in our way of playing sports that predates the use of rangefinders.

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13 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I wonder if the popularity of laser range finders adds to this issue? Everyone and their cat gets distance to the flag on their Bushnell or whatever. Maybe we'd be better served to get a GPS device that only gives distance to the center of the green? 

I personally think it does. There are a lot of times where you don't need to know the distance to the flag on a particular shot. On most of my approaches, if I had to choose, I would want to know the distance to the center of the green over the exact distance to the flag. It takes a lot of discipline, which most golfers don't have, to ignore the exact distance to the flag and play to the center of the green.

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1 hour ago, DeadMan said:

I personally think it does. There are a lot of times where you don't need to know the distance to the flag on a particular shot. On most of my approaches, if I had to choose, I would want to know the distance to the center of the green over the exact distance to the flag. It takes a lot of discipline, which most golfers don't have, to ignore the exact distance to the flag and play to the center of the green.

Pin is back, take the laser measurement and subtract 5 yards. Pin in the front, take the laser measurement and add 5 yards. There really isn't that many strange green complexes were you have to make crazy assumptions on how to get a safer landing area.

Aiming at the flag predates rangefinders. Also, I do not see rangefinders as the reason why people aim at the flag. Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of people in my golf league who own a rangefinder. They are not that common. Most people still judge distance from the yardage markers on the course and they still aim at the pin.

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9 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Aiming at the flag predates rangefinders. Also, I do not see rangefinders as the reason why people aim at the flag. Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of people in my golf league who own a rangefinder. They are not that common. Most people still judge distance from the yardage markers on the course and they still aim at the pin.

Rangefinders aren't that common, you're right. A lot of people still play without 'em.

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7 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Pin is back, take the laser measurement and subtract 5 yards. Pin in the front, take the laser measurement and add 5 yards. There really isn't that many strange green complexes were you have to make crazy assumptions on how to get a safer landing area.

Aiming at the flag predates rangefinders. Also, I do not see rangefinders as the reason why people aim at the flag. Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of people in my golf league who own a rangefinder. They are not that common. Most people still judge distance from the yardage markers on the course and they still aim at the pin.

I have to disagree.  I know a bunch of players who will get the number form their laser, and try to hit it exactly that distance.  It doesn't matter if their "number" is only 4 yards over a bunker, of 5 yards from the back edge, they're still playing the yardage to the flag, because that's the number their device gives them.  To do as you do (and I do too) is to take the "number" and use some judgement, and lots of players struggle with judgement.

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7 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Pin is back, take the laser measurement and subtract 5 yards. Pin in the front, take the laser measurement and add 5 yards. There really isn't that many strange green complexes were you have to make crazy assumptions on how to get a safer landing area. 

Right, in theory, it's fine. In practice, I'm not so sure. It takes a lot of discipline to throw out that exact number. You and I could definitely do it, but I'm not sure about others.

10 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Aiming at the flag predates rangefinders. Also, I do not see rangefinders as the reason why people aim at the flag. Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of people in my golf league who own a rangefinder. They are not that common. Most people still judge distance from the yardage markers on the course and they still aim at the pin.

That's strange. In my men's club, everybody has some sort of GPS or rangefinder. Probably 75% have a rangefinder.

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44 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

 I know a bunch of players who will get the number form their laser, and try to hit it exactly that distance.  It doesn't matter if their "number" is only 4 yards over a bunker, of 5 yards from the back edge, they're still playing the yardage to the flag, because that's the number their device gives them.  To do as you do (and I do too) is to take the "number" and use some judgement, and lots of players struggle with judgement.

It doesn't require a LOT of judgment, just observation......

I play different courses as often as I can.  As such, I don't normally know the shape and layout of a green or even the pin placement assumption.  Left/right - I can see that normally of course and whether the flag is center or to one side or another.  But front to back I might be guessing a lot as to how deep to hit depending on how blind the view is.  The best I can do it scan the flag, scan the hazards and edges of the green and make a good guess of if the pin is short or long....  Then I adjust.  It only takes a few seconds, but it's nowhere near as easy as when I play a course I know directly. 

I mostly miss out on knowing how a green rolls and finding those obvious 'sweet spots' for more 'nuanced' greens.  That can fun to know that if I hit it 'here', it'll end up rolling all the way over to 'here'.  Don't get that often since I travel about.

Fortunately, (I might be fooling myself, but IMO) my distance control is a lot better than my lateral control (face drills please).  So if I play a safe zone left to right and the green isn't too twisted, I do ok.

I don't drive up and look, I don't like the time it takes even when when we are waiting.  It takes a pretty desparate needs to score good for me to pull that trick.

Edited by rehmwa

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