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Get serious about club selection to hit more greens

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2 weeks ago I bought a new set of irons, the last one where 15 years old so i didn´t know how far i
would hit my 9 iron with the new ones. With the last ones i hitted 140 yards with the 9 iron.

Here in Argentina I think trackman exist but if it does it´s really expensive to purchase for and hour
to check distances. 

So i went to the course on and try to figure my distances through the round. The result was that i end
up shot of my target most of the time and a few short of the green, never miss in the back. I think there
is no worst feeling than hitting a really good iron rigth to the flag and ending way short
because of bad club selection.

Next day i open and excel and start writting down every hole, with distance intended to shot,
iron selection and the result distance. well the result was not good at all.
In average i hit 9 yards less than i spected. Thats exactly one club less on each hole. That would not
be a problem, to solve it I just need to club up. But that´s not the case, some shot pass the hole 5
yards so if i club up there i´ll be off the green too.

What worries me the most is that my deeph dispersion was 30 yards long, from -25 yards short
of my target to 5 yards past my target. Im a pretty good striker, my misses regulary are rigth or left
not long/short of the green. So there was something that i was missing.

That´s when i realised i was not taking into account other factors than distance and wind for my club
selection. After online reseach i gather more factors and add them to my excel and how they will
afect the distance in yards. With that i could see cleary that my club selection was really poor.

I group the factors in categories.
Ball Factors:
Lie (Tee, fairway, flyer, sand, rough..etc)
Ground (Dry, normal, wet)
Slope (Sidehill,uphill,downhill)

Air factors:
Wind speed and direction
Height over sea

Green Factors:

Then i set average yardage of impact on every item... for example.. in ball factors:
Lie: A tee up ball on a Par 3 will make in average better contact strokes so i´ll need to hit
5 yards less, so Tee = -5. Fairway is the best lie no efect takes 0 yards. Flyer lies will add distance
to a shot so a have to hit 5 yards less, so -5. Sand or rough depending on the length of grass/sand deeph
i will reduce distance so i have to hit more, so you have to decide how much, from +5 to infinite.
At my home course the worst rough will take 20 yards of a shot. So deep rought will be +20,
light rough will be +5.. average rough will be +10. Did the same with the other factors, a mix of online
research and 15 years of experience playing golf.

Now a real example of that round:

Hole 5, 145 yards to the hole (to the middle of the green). I was against the wind but it was a little
breeze, no more than 5 yards.  
So what i did then ?? My 8 iron hits 150 yards so was the rigth club to hit to reach my inteded 145 yards.
Hit a decent shot and i end up 15 yards shorter into the bunker.

What happened? well, didn´t take into account the other factor´s. Lie was ok in the fairway (0).
Slope was flat (0). As i said wind was against (+5). Height over sea, im´practically 1 to 5 meters over
the sea so no effect (0) Green Heigth was at the same heigth as me (0) and the green are really soft
so the ball stops right away even with a 4 iron with the wind, so no roll (0).
At that point of the analisis every thing was OK, the count was +5. 145+5=150, it´s 8 iron!.

But now let take into account the last 2 factors:

Ball Factors - Ground: the day before rains a lot so the ground was way too soft and the club takes a lot
of divot in every shot reducing club speed so the math in there told me that this will reduce my
distance in 5 yards so i need to hit 5 more yards.
145 yards + 5 (wind) + 5 (wet ground) = 155 yards

Air Factor - Temperature: I measured my distances in december when i started to play again and it was
summer with 30 to 40 degrees Celsius ( 86 to 104 Fahrenheit) so the ball flew more. That morning after
the rain it was really cold 10°C (50°F). As i read ball flying will reduce 2 yards
with a drop of 10°F, so 50°F was arround 5 times that gap so 10 yards less. So temporature = +10.

So the final numbers are:
145 yards + 5 (wind) + 5 (wet ground) + 10 Temperature = 165 yards to reach my intended spot in the middle
of the green. Now i know why i hit it decent with my 8i (150 yards) but leave it 15 yards shorter into
the bunker. Instead i yould hit a 7 iron (160 yards) o 6 iron(170 yards) to be closer to my target,
maybe a soft 6 iron.

The numbers that day were:
Average distance related to target(ADRT): -9 yards
Longer miss(LM): +5 yards
Shorter miss(SM): -25 yards
Deep dispersion(DD): 30 yards.
Miss average Ratio(MAR): 10 yards

Last weekend applyed this analisis before every shot for 2 rounds and the result where really encouraging.
Here I compare the 3 rounds

Item 1St 2nd 3er
ADRT -9 1 -1
LM 5 15 10
SM -25 -10 -10
DD 30 25 20
MAR  10 3 4

ADRT tells me that my shots now average my intended yards, some longer and some shorter.
LM/SM how far o short my worst shot was.
DD is important because I norrowed my gap from 30 yards to 20.
MAR is very important because my average yards from my target in deeph reduces from 10 to 3,5.
Thats 6,5 yards closer to the hole in deeph in average.
If i hit it right to the ping I´m going to be
in average 3,5 yards away of it, thats 10 feet over the 10 yards (30 feet). If i hit it 10 yards left or
rigth i´ll be (using math) 10,6 yards to the hole (31 feet) (missing 3,5deeph X 10width) witch is
closer than 14 yards (42 feet) (missing 10deeph X 10width)

I hit my irons good all three days´s but the result were better the last 2 day´s. In the first round I
shoot a 76 with 10 GIR, in the second shoot a 72 with 12 GIR and the last one shoot 74
with 14 GIR(poor putting). All missed greens where left or right, knowing that i could miss +-10 yards
away frmo my intended target i always aimed +10 from the front of the green or -10 from the back of it.
My greens are 20 to 30 yards deep so i aimed to the middle of the green or 5 yards away from it if the
flag were in the front or in the back. That garanteed me to hit the green at least in deeph. Left or
rigth missed could happend.

Hope this help you hit more greens and make better club selections.

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Sounds like a good approach.  I know there is software/phone apps that provide a lot of info, but sometimes, it is good to just write things down.  I find I retain more when I take the time to record it personally.

It would be interesting to qualify the ball strike... thin, fat, etc. and track results to lie, distance/swing intensity, etc.  It would help to see a trend on the success rate between hitter softer on a longer iron vs. going for it with a shorter iron.


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  • iacas changed the title to Get serious about club selection to hit more greens
Note: This thread is 1873 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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