My thought about knowing what club to pull on a shot with a significant elevation change (up/down) comes from experience, and repetition.
After a while, the golfer sees what's in front of them, and just knows.
Thanks for all of the replies. I have been working hard on the range and have been playing better. HCP went from 8.4 to 11.4 and is now back to 10.1, all in 3 weeks.
The good news is that the ball striking has improved and I see light at the end of the tunnel - hope it's not a train.
Finally got a net, so now I can start doing more videos. Here is where my swing is currently at. I’m hitting the ball pretty well right now and mostly just focusing on keeping a very light right hand. I pretty much let my right hand pointer and thumb barely touch the grip or not touch at all. Hitting it pretty solid this way. enjoy!
I've noticed something similar around here but at a lower level, say scratch-3.0. There were several guys in a tournament last year with that type of game but obviously play more often than they post scores. My guess is that betting is such a big part of the golf culture here that they like their stroke position in their weekly golf group and don't want to mess it up by posting more scores.