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Course Management: Approach Shot - Where to aim? Percentage approach


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17 hours ago, natureboy said:

There's a guy in Texas(?) who coached the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur who uses a similar approach. Essentially you're seeking to solve an optimization problem.

That guy does not do anything that is not in Lowest Score.-He makes Shot Zones and tells you where to aim. He still tries to get players to have a putt.-Better players have smaller Shot Zones so they can aim closer to the flag.

You are overthinking things if you are worried about green slopes.-You just adjust those on a hole by hole situation. Shading grey.

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2 hours ago, Phil McGleno said:

That guy does not do anything that is not in Lowest Score.-He makes Shot Zones and tells you where to aim. He still tries to get players to have a putt.-Better players have smaller Shot Zones so they can aim closer to the flag.

What's your perspective on his assertion of a short right / long left bias at the outer edges of the shot pattern?

Quote

You are overthinking things if you are worried about green slopes.-You just adjust those on a hole by hole situation. Shading grey.

For my game and many other poor to average golfers, sure. I pretty much aim for the middle of the green unless there's a big tier or double plateau. But the posts were referencing both amateurs and PGA level performance. Very high stimps seem to change the calculus. Won't Oakmont, for example,  likely display a bias for aiming a bit below the hole relative to standard PGA setup?

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3 hours ago, natureboy said:

What's your perspective on his assertion of a short right / long left bias at the outer edges of the shot pattern?

Who asserted this?-Pretty sure @iacas did not. Ask him.

3 hours ago, natureboy said:

For my game and many other poor to average golfers, sure. I pretty much aim for the middle of the green unless there's a big tier or double plateau. But the posts were referencing both amateurs and PGA level performance. Very high stimps seem to change the calculus. Won't Oakmont, for example,  likely display a bias for aiming a bit below the hole relative to standard PGA setup?

We are not talking to high level amateurs.-Yes sometimes their SZ are small enough to aim for uphill putts. But unless there is a tier or a huge slope a downhill putt is still better than an equal length uphill chip.

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17 minutes ago, Phil McGleno said:

Who asserted this?-Pretty sure @iacas did not. Ask him.

Not saying it's an LSW assertion. The guy in Texas emphasizes this. I've heard Phil Mickelson mention it too.

I expect it may be a reason (or possibly just reflecting a draw bias for most sampled players) the 50% shot patterns below are very slightly 'twisted' off axis. Interesting that the twist is slightly in the opposite direction for better players from the tee. Not a bit enough effect to really matter for most players, but just curious.

Broadie Approach Accy.PNG

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We are not talking to high level amateurs.-Yes sometimes their SZ are small enough to aim for uphill putts. But unless there is a tier or a huge slope a downhill putt is still better than an equal length uphill chip.

Interesting. I would expect that very fast greens with a lot of slope would make a significant difference even with a larger shot dispersion pattern, but I suppose these are very rarely played by most golfers.

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1 minute ago, natureboy said:

Not saying it's an LSW assertion. The guy in Texas emphasizes this. I've heard Phil Mickelson mention it too.

I expect it may be a reason (or possibly just reflecting a draw bias for most sampled players) the 50% shot patterns below are very slightly 'twisted' off axis. Interesting for better players the twist is slightly in the opposite direction for better players from the tee. Not a bit enough effect to really matter for most players, but just curious.

Pulls tend to go longer and pushes tend to go a bit shorter. Isn't that all that is?

1 minute ago, natureboy said:

Interesting. I would expect that very fast greens with a lot of slope would make a significant difference even with a larger shot dispersion pattern, but I suppose these are very rarely played by most golfers.

I don't think shot dispersion is really taken into account. It's carry yardages. You play for roll from there. Shot Zones are not where a ball finishes.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

Pulls tend to go longer and pushes tend to go a bit shorter. Isn't that all that is?

I don't know. I would expect a straight push to be just about equal length to a straight pull. I could more see a push fade being shorter than a pull draw.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

I don't think shot dispersion is really taken into account. It's carry yardages. You play for roll from there. Shot Zones are not where a ball finishes.

That's true enough. So you're saying in the example of shot pattern / zone mapping that with say a pretty tough  back to front slope with very slick greens (frontish pin position) that you'd still aim above the hole at the heart of the green because you expect the roll to roll back the slope?

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4 minutes ago, natureboy said:

I don't know. I would expect a straight push to be just about equal length to a straight pull. I could more see a push fade being shorter than a pull draw.

That's not what happens. Pushes have more loft, pulls less.

4 minutes ago, natureboy said:

That's true enough. So you're saying in the example of shot pattern / zone mapping that with say a pretty tough  back to front slope with very slick greens (frontish pin position) that you'd still aim above the hole at the heart of the green because you expect the roll to roll back the slope?

No. Not sure why you'd take what I said to mean that. It depends on a whole lot of things, including the firmness of the greens, the club, the spin, the landing angle, etc.

I'm saying that you map Shot Zones to take into account where a ball lands. They're independent of anything on the target area (greens, etc.). You take how you expect the ball to react into account for choosing where your target is.

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I know my tendency with irons and hybrid is a pull/pull draw*or hook*. Knowing those shots tend to make the shot go longer I almost always default to a club that may be a little shorter, unless there's danger short, and I'll aim to the right. Typically, worst case scenario I hit it straight and end up on the right side of the green or just off. Best case I hit a nice draw. Now, with the driver I basically just aim down the middle because, as Game Golf clearly shows me, I can go left just as easily as I can go right so down the middle is the safest play. At this point it's not even a conscious decision, it's just something I do. 

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10 minutes ago, iacas said:

I'm saying that you map Shot Zones to take into account where a ball lands. They're independent of anything on the target area (greens, etc.). You take how you expect the ball to react into account for choosing where your target is.

I got that and was wondering why the recommendation (per what Phil McGleno said earlier) would be to still aim above the hole per the OP example if there was a strong back to front slope and very high stimp. Thought the expected rollout back down the slope might be part of the reason.

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The most important thing is just knowing your shot zone and how to apply it to the course. That includes adjusting for firm course conditions. 

1 minute ago, natureboy said:

I got that and was wondering why the recommendation (per what Phil McGleno said earlier) would be to still aim above the hole per the OP example if there was a strong back to front slope and very high stimp. Thought the expected rollout back down the slope might be part of the reason.

I would take it because I rather putt than chip. Even though the strokes gained are nearly identical, the math I did above. Those numbers were for PGA Tour strokes gained. Yet, most people would benefit more from putting over chipping. The separation value is much closer in terms of putting over chipping. For a non PGA Tour player, more GIR is better. 

 

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2 minutes ago, natureboy said:

I got that and was wondering why the recommendation (per what Phil McGleno said earlier) would be to still aim above the hole per the OP example if there was a strong back to front slope and very high stimp. Thought the expected rollout back down the slope might be part of the reason.

I don't see where the OP used the words "stimp" or "slope."

And he said this (bold mine):

2 hours ago, Phil McGleno said:

We are not talking to high level amateurs.-Yes sometimes their SZ are small enough to aim for uphill putts. But unless there is a tier or a huge slope a downhill putt is still better than an equal length uphill chip.

Regular amateurs also don't play high stimp courses very often.

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18 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't see where the OP used the words "stimp" or "slope."

I meant taking the approach of the OP and applying it to a high stimp, high slope back to front green. I clearly heard that this is not a likely scenario for most amateurs (or maybe even pros), but I am still curious if such a scenario could shift the 'ideal' center of the dispersion target below the center of the green or hole for skilled players...all else being equal.

Re. pull & push see your point about loft. With push, the face is not as closed as intended for the shot so more loft while pull is more closed than intended. The curvature added by a push fade / pull draw is less of an effect than the loft.

 

Edited by natureboy
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4 minutes ago, natureboy said:

I meant taking the approach of the OP and applying it to a high stimp, high slope back to front green. I clearly heard that this is not a likely scenario for most amateurs (or maybe even pros), but I am still curious if such a scenario could shift the 'ideal' center of the dispersion target below the center of the green or hole for skilled players...all else being equal.

I'm not interested in trying to guess what you mean by "high stimp" or "high slope."

So let's stick to the established topic and our audience. Thank you.

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I think a lot of people thinks that aiming at the center of the green is safer that aiming at a flag in the right side (as an example). But no always is the case. If you have a 20 yards wide green and the flag is 5 yards from the rigth edge and your shot dispersion is 15 yards left/rigth. Aiming for the middle of the green will place your shot zone from 5 yards miss green left and 5 yards miss green rigth. Thats an average of 10 yards out of the green inside the shot zone and 20 yards of green. thats 66% of chances of hitting that green. But if you im for the flag you still have 66% chances of hitting that green!! Why? thats because your shoot dispersion will still include the 20 yards of the green and 10 yards rigth of it. 0 yards to the left. That´s 10 yardas out of the green and 20 yards in the green. Same 66% but aiming at the ping. the benefith is that your shot pattern is centered in the flag so the average distance to flag will be shorter.

Played at my golf course on sathurday hitting a nice 3 under par. (4 birdies / 1 bogey / 1 chip-in / 15 GIR). Aiming at every flag except i consider that a missing shot in the shot zone will lead to a d-bogey or worst (OB or water hazard). Felt grate aiming for a small target and not aiming for not to miss the green, dispersion was pretty narrow.   

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1 hour ago, p1n9183 said:

I think a lot of people thinks that aiming at the center of the green is safer that aiming at a flag in the right side (as an example). But no always is the case. If you have a 20 yards wide green and the flag is 5 yards from the rigth edge and your shot dispersion is 15 yards left/rigth. Aiming for the middle of the green will place your shot zone from 5 yards miss green left and 5 yards miss green rigth. Thats an average of 10 yards out of the green inside the shot zone and 20 yards of green. thats 66% of chances of hitting that green. But if you im for the flag you still have 66% chances of hitting that green!! Why? thats because your shoot dispersion will still include the 20 yards of the green and 10 yards rigth of it. 0 yards to the left. That´s 10 yardas out of the green and 20 yards in the green. Same 66% but aiming at the ping. the benefith is that your shot pattern is centered in the flag so the average distance to flag will be shorter.

First, I don't think people are talking about always aiming at the center of the green. I quite literally wrote a book on this, and you're coming into the discussion a bit ignorant of that. Which is fine, but if the topic area interests you, buy the book.

As to your assertion, Shot Zones are not squares (nor are they just linear, where you can do one-dimensional math as you've done). Instead, your situation is akin to this:

sz.jpg

It's close (once you add in the distance gradient on putts), but the left one is likely still the better option. Add a bunker and this may very well be the best option:

sz2.jpg

1 hour ago, p1n9183 said:

Played at my golf course on sathurday hitting a nice 3 under par. (4 birdies / 1 bogey / 1 chip-in / 15 GIR). Aiming at every flag except i consider that a missing shot in the shot zone will lead to a d-bogey or worst (OB or water hazard). Felt grate aiming for a small target and not aiming for not to miss the green, dispersion was pretty narrow.   

Players who aim away from the flag are not "aiming not to miss the green." They're still aiming at a very small, precise target.

PGA Tour players miss the green from 125-150 yards 30% of the time (#100 is median player right now - http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.329.html - 70.00%). Even their Shot Zones are relatively large. Yours is quite a bit bigger, and players worse than you or I, it's even bigger than that.


I've done these studies. I've done these tests. Heck, from 130 yards and in most players shouldn't assume they can aim at the flag, even from as little as 50 yards. Thousands of golf shots hit helped us to determine this. Check it out…

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30 minutes ago, iacas said:

First, I don't think people are talking about always aiming at the center of the green. I quite literally wrote a book on this, and you're coming into the discussion a bit ignorant of that. Which is fine, but if the topic area interests you, buy the book.

As to your assertion, Shot Zones are not squares (nor are they just linear, where you can do one-dimensional math as you've done). Instead, your situation is akin to this:

sz.jpg

It's close (once you add in the distance gradient on putts), but the left one is likely still the better option. Add a bunker and this may very well be the best option:

sz2.jpg

Players who aim away from the flag are not "aiming not to miss the green." They're still aiming at a very small, precise target.

PGA Tour players miss the green from 125-150 yards 30% of the time (#100 is median player right now - http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.329.html - 70.00%). Even their Shot Zones are relatively large. Yours is quite a bit bigger, and players worse than you or I, it's even bigger than that.


I've done these studies. I've done these tests. Heck, from 130 yards and in most players shouldn't assume they can aim at the flag, even from as little as 50 yards. Thousands of golf shots hit helped us to determine this. Check it out…

I agree with the shot zone shape for a rigth handed player on average. But not for everyone. I have more distance control than direction. I miss a lot more left/rigth than short/long that´s why my shot zone is wider but not too deep. Also always hits fade shot to avoid hitting left misses way to long and rigth misses way to short, not even 1 single straight or draw shot)

In the first 2 pictures my landing area past the hole (aiming at the hole) still be in the green or right/left of it. 

And in the picture with the bunker I really prefer beeing in the sand trap near the hole than on the other side on the rough with twice the distance to the hole.

Don´t get we wrong, not saying you are wrong, just that i try to do the best for my game. I i think it´s ok if you think you prefer avoid been on the sand if you think it´s worst than been left in the rough.

About my math approach it´s obviusly not perfect, is just a simulation to see from that point of view where i should aim in some scenarios at my golf course. I could get more accurate if i add more detailed information as slopes, short with little green space to work with, deep rough, non-linear dispersion.. etc. But that´s not the point at all, and thats a lot of work too, in the course i have to decide my shot zone without the math.. so it give me tips based on data that where is better for me an where´s not.

About aiming to not to miss the green... It´s just what I felt not speeking generally, when i aimed for the midddle of the green my subconsient is trying to not to miss the green. aim big miss big.  But when i aimed at the flag subconsisnt aimed to not to miss the flag. Aim small, miss mal. It´s a defect in me that i cannot focus in the middle of the as q target, and star thinking not missing the green, when i aim at the flag, despite i know i can easily miss the green im more focus on getting it closer to the flag. Hate the mental game..     

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5 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

I agree with the shot zone shape for a rigth handed player on average. But not for everyone. I have more distance control than direction.

I don't mean this in any sort of dismissive or offensive way, but I don't really care about your SZ. I can only really talk in generalities here. I can not know what your SZ is truly like for any club let alone all clubs.

I've also learned that there's little point in discussing any particular golfer's stuff, particularly if they seem intent on disagreeing, because quite often let's just say the situation or specifics changes to suit their side of things. I don't know what anyone's SZ is like. I can only speak in generalities unless I have worked with the golfer or know more than what they type on a forum.

So if you've figured out what works for you, cool. More power to you. But I disagree that what you're saying works for the majority of golfers, given what I've read in this topic.

5 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

And in the picture with the bunker I really prefer beeing in the sand trap near the hole than on the other side on the rough with twice the distance to the hole.

What you prefer may not actually be what's best for you. Golfers lie to themselves all the time. Rarely is it malicious. Golfers still like to think that they're better from 100 yards than they are from 50 despite ample evidence that almost every time that's untrue.

Maybe that's what's happening here, or maybe you are an awesome bunker player. If I were a betting man, I know where I'd place my bets.

But again, this is why I don't really care to talk about specific things while lacking the specific knowledge.

5 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

About aiming to not to miss the green... It´s just what I felt not speeking generally, when i aimed for the midddle of the green my subconsient is trying to not to miss the green. aim big miss big.  But when i aimed at the flag subconsisnt aimed to not to miss the flag. Aim small, miss mal. It´s a defect in me that i cannot focus in the middle of the as q target, and star thinking not missing the green, when i aim at the flag, despite i know i can easily miss the green im more focus on getting it closer to the flag. Hate the mental game..     

You're right - that is a defect.

Pick a small piece of turf where you want to land the ball and make that your target. Your target is not "the green." It's a small point on the green. For some players, given their Shot Zones, it's the back left corner of the green. Some players who miss right a lot might even be trying to aim left of the green… so that they finish on the green relatively often.

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5 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't mean this in any sort of dismissive or offensive way, but I don't really care about your SZ. I can only really talk in generalities here. I can not know what your SZ is truly like for any club let alone all clubs.

I've also learned that there's little point in discussing any particular golfer's stuff, particularly if they seem intent on disagreeing, because quite often let's just say the situation or specifics changes to suit their side of things. I don't know what anyone's SZ is like. I can only speak in generalities unless I have worked with the golfer or know more than what they type on a forum.

So if you've figured out what works for you, cool. More power to you. But I disagree that what you're saying works for the majority of golfers, given what I've read in this topic.

What you prefer may not actually be what's best for you. Golfers lie to themselves all the time. Rarely is it malicious. Golfers still like to think that they're better from 100 yards than they are from 50 despite ample evidence that almost every time that's untrue.

Maybe that's what's happening here, or maybe you are an awesome bunker player. If I were a betting man, I know where I'd place my bets.

But again, this is why I don't really care to talk about specific things while lacking the specific knowledge.

You're right - that is a defect.

Pick a small piece of turf where you want to land the ball and make that your target. Your target is not "the green." It's a small point on the green. For some players, given their Shot Zones, it's the back left corner of the green. Some players who miss right a lot might even be trying to aim left of the green… so that they finish on the green relatively often.

I know the SZ has to be general, it´s a concept. Each player has to mesure it to know their own more precisly like i did. 

All i said work for me of course, it´s the final goal of the analysis! that´s the idea. but i could work for someone else to, i just encourage not to just aim at the middle of the green like i used to do because I read it or was told to, give it little more thought to it and know when is better and when is not. 

Totally agre with the 100 yards / 50 yards matter.

In general (PGA stats) is better a shot from the bunker 15 yards away (the bunker next to the hole in the picture) average : 2,46 strokes than a shot from the other side of the green int the rough 25 yards way from the ping average : 2,64 strokes.

One´s again that´s a generall stat and for the pro, most mortal amateurs are worst from the bunker than the rough and it would be better staying out of the bunker at all cost as you said. But the one´s that are decent from the sand like pro or scratch amateurs benefist from that skill and prefer (based on stats) landing the ball on the sand close to the flag than lading it farther away in the rough. 

By the way im´not an awsome buker player but im´s worst from 20+ yards shots even in the fairway so for me is better been as close as i can from the flag to increse my chance for and up and down.       

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