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Golfingdad

How Would You Play It? (Hole #10 at Goose Creek)

How would you play this tee shot?  

60 members have voted

  1. 1. How would you play this tee shot?

    • Driver aggressively
      11
    • Driver safely out to the right
      18
    • 4 or 5 iron short of the big bunker
      31


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I would play a 3-wood off the tee favoring the left side of the right bunker with a draw.
The left bunker has a better angle approach than the right bunker or right fairway if I do not carry it.
Usually bunker shots will have great spin and hold the green.

If the pin is front, then driver to right side of fairway.
Wind direction would also change my decision, but Sunny California never has brutal winds unless your playing a coastal course.


 

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Bunker shots like that don't bother me too much. Im hitting driver and hoping for the best. If I make good contact I'm clearing the bunkers easily but either way, im taking the chance.

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12 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Lowest Score Wins has largely helped me make many strategy decisions that may have previously stumped me on the golf course.  This one, though, still has me undecided.  It is a 352 yard par 4 with a rather large bunker in the center of the fairway.  It starts at 217 yards from the tee and ends at about 285 from the tee.  At 275 yards from the tee, the fairway is 80 yards wide in total, with the bunker occupying the center 20 yards, leaving 30 yards available on either side of it.  To the left is another bunker, but to the right is nothing.  It's basically wide open over there.  There is also another bunker to the left of the fairway that runs from about 210-258 from the tee.  Here's an overhead:

IMG_9800.PNG

And here is a pic of the yardage book:

IMG_9799.JPG

There are basically three options off the tee:

  1. Most aggressive:  Hit a driver or 3W into the fairway between all three bunkers.  In that area you have about a 30 yard diameter circle from 245-275 to hit.  If you succeed, you have a short approach (60-90 yards) from the most ideal angle - up the long part of the green with nothing in your way.  You also have the most risk of finding a bunker for an awkward length approach out of sand.
  2. Mid-range: Hit driver, but slide your shot zone way to the right.  The drawback of going over there, however, is that you're coming into the green from the worst angle - its only 18-20 yards deep across it's entire length.  The upside, though, is that you probably avoid the bunkers and you're approach is likely going to be in the 70-90 yard range.
  3. Safest tee shot:  Pull out a 4 or 5 iron and hit into the fairway short of the bunkers.  This takes the bunkers entirely out of play off the tee and nearly guarantees you find a fairway that is 60 yards wide at that point.  It also leaves you with a 125-135 yard approach shot.

Is it worth the risk of possibly being left with a 50 yard bunker shot to try and find that ideal spot on the fairway?  If not, is it better to leave a small chance of finding that bunker to give yourself a shorter approach from a bad angle, or is it best to stay away from the bunkers entirely by bunting off the tee?

For the record, I played it yesterday and went with driver (option 2) but drew it too much and ended up in the bunker.  I hit a good shot from 60 yards and found the putting surface.  Based on that, I am kind of leaning towards either option 1 or 2, but I'm not sold on either.  Want to hear others thoughts

So, how would you play it?

Wow, you are really getting yourself ready for our outing. . .this is a tough hole though. . .

So, my play at this point is to either try to hit 3W or driver (depends upon the tees we play) to the rough on the far right side, or as I answered in the poll layup with a 5i.

The approach shot with a well hit 5i should be around 145 yards, which should allow me to get near green with reasonable expectations.

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39 minutes ago, RandallT said:

Great topic. 

For those picking #2 who aren't too worried about the bunker, I'm curious why not just go #1?

Wouldnt the better angle be worth the risk, if getting stuck in a bunker isn't too worrying? 

Something about those bunkers on the left must be pushing the decision to go right. 

Simple answer - I think the shots to get in the hole from outside the bunker at that distance is slightly under 3, but from inside the bunker it's over 3. I think the odds are that I would made par from either situation. But I think being the bunker means virtually no shot at birdie and a much better shot at bogey. From the outside of the bunker from 50-70 yards, I think I'm going to make birdie more often than bogey, but still mostly make pars. My rough guess is probably 2.95 strokes on average from the right of the bunker, and probably 3.33 in the bunker. That's a big difference.

The better angle doesn't register with me. My dispersion from 50-70 yards isn't big enough to make the angle that big of a difference. I'm slightly more likely to be off the green from the right, sure, but the risk of being in a bunker completely outweighs that.

The only way I'd aim left is if the pin is in the back of the green, and I really need to chase a birdie. With that greenside bunker, you're not going to want to get close to a back pin from the right. You play at the middle of the green, erring away from the bunker. But that would be extremely rare - either I'm chasing in a tournament or I'm playing a scramble.

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Unless the rough to the right is really light, in which case #2 is the best option, #3 is the best option IMO.

It's rare, but a 50-80-yard bunker shot is a horrible shot to have to play. It's going to lead to an average of a bogey. You can't make enough birdies to offset how often you make bogey from the bunker.

Laying up to just short of the bunker leaves you with a wedge from a better angle that should result in roughly a par on average.

30 yards is not that wide for an average golfer. And the trees beside the tee may force/require a cut - if you can't start the ball right enough to play a draw to the right side, that hampers your ability to avoid the bunker.

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I voted #3.  I would feel most confident with an iron short and left of the large bunker, trying to get into the 130-140 range as there is not much protecting the green on this hole.

I played this course once, in 2014, I bogeyed this hole but I did hit the fairway looks like.

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at 6500 yards, I'd be playing Blues - white on occasion.  My carry is about 240, so I'd just aim up the line of the two little bunkers and swing to a fade.

works for white regardless, blue is on the edge......

and.....for blue, after a few rounds where that doesn't work, I'd likely back off to 2H or 5w (whichever is in the bag) and aim left - that's right between those little bunkers,  and I don't mind being in the rough from that distance as long as it's not terribly deep....

 

(nothing wrong at ALL with option 3)

 

There's a similar hole I recall in Eagle CO.  I hit driver and got very lucky, in retrospect, I should have laid off it.

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17 minutes ago, iacas said:

It's rare, but a 50-80-yard bunker shot is a horrible shot to have to play. It's going to lead to an average of a bogey. You can't make enough birdies to offset how often you make bogey from the bunker.

Not sure why I didn't check the tables, but without checking, I had definitely guessed this bunker shot was far easier than it actually is.

By the PGA data in the link, the 50-80yd bunker shot is roughly comparable to 180-200yd fairway shot, from hole-out value standpoint. 

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46 minutes ago, iacas said:

Unless the rough to the right is really light, in which case #2 is the best option, #3 is the best option IMO.

It's rare, but a 50-80-yard bunker shot is a horrible shot to have to play. It's going to lead to an average of a bogey. You can't make enough birdies to offset how often you make bogey from the bunker.

Laying up to just short of the bunker leaves you with a wedge from a better angle that should result in roughly a par on average.

30 yards is not that wide for an average golfer. And the trees beside the tee may force/require a cut - if you can't start the ball right enough to play a draw to the right side, that hampers your ability to avoid the bunker.

I don't understand why you would be worried that much about ending up in the rough. You say a lot how being in the rough isn't that bad for amateurs. What's the difference here?

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20 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

I don't understand why you would be worried that much about ending up in the rough. You say a lot how being in the rough isn't that bad for amateurs. What's the difference here?

If the rough is thin then the rough is the ideal play, but I remember the rough being pretty deep last time I played here. With all the rain and all, I'd guess it's currently pretty thick. The other thing that you can't see is the reeds along the left side of the tee box. If they're too high you'd possibly clip them?***

This is one of those cases where you just have to be at the tee box to make your decision.

Being in the short grass below the hole 135 to 150 yards from the hole seems like a pretty tame play.

 

***EDIT, thinking about the wrong hole. The 5i/9i is my play. It's easier than the drive. . .but I don't know why it's "better". Just "feels" easier to do.

Last time I played at an outing here I was a 16 handicap, and I pulled driver and ended up exactly where you described. I remember getting near the green and making a par on this hole, but it was pure luck. I only remember it because it was one of my better holes from the shorter tees. Last time I played here from the blues, I think I ended up in the bunker just short of the lip (the bunker was hard and the ball rolled) nearer the green and had to hit sideways to get out for at least a bogey. I don't remember if I 3 putted or not? Thinking about how stupid that was, I decided to vote for the 5i(or 4i)/9i(or PW) combo for a good chance for a bogey and a reasonable chance at par.

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22 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

I don't understand why you would be worried that much about ending up in the rough. You say a lot how being in the rough isn't that bad for amateurs. What's the difference here?

I didn't say much about the rough. I said if it's light rough, #2 is the best option. But otherwise (for medium or thick rough), #3 is the best.

Generally speaking. Most people have pretty wide Shot Zones with their drivers.

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I voted #1. As long as the bunker is not overly deep where if you were close to the front lip you would be handcuffed, fairway bunkers are not much of an issue for me. Some reason it never has. I usually play a flat footed armsy chip type half wedge and pick it fairly cleanly most times with good success.. well, at least no worse than a 140 yard (which is where I would lay up if not driver) GIR approach.

This hole is very similar to the 2nd hole at my CC (Elizabeth Manor) albeit shorter (290 Y) but inundated with two bunkers in the fairway smack in driver range for me and two around the green. I hit driver every time and usually its an easy 30-40 yard 'pitch' out of the bunker on to GIR for a two putt par and an occasional bird. I am going to try and do a v-log for this hole.

 

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Probably would hit driver as I would be able to carry the bunker unless there was headwind, if there was I would go option 3.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

I didn't say much about the rough. I said if it's light rough, #2 is the best option. But otherwise (for medium or thick rough), #3 is the best.

Generally speaking. Most people have pretty wide Shot Zones with their drivers.

Sure, but you end up with 60 yards between the bunker and the trees on the right if you add in the rough. According to @Golfingdad, at least. I'm not all that accurate with the driver, but that's enough room for me to not be overly worried about ending up in the trees or in the bunker. If it's really thick rough, then I understand taking this play. But, beyond that, I would take a shot from 70 yards in the rough over a 120-140 yard shot every time.

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4 minutes ago, JxQx said:

Probably would hit driver as I would be able to carry the bunker unless there was headwind, if there was I would go option 3.

Somehow, I don't see a 60 yard bunker shot being that difficult for a golfer who can drive 280 yards on average. That's probably the same play I would make if I could hit that far. :-D

Although, my son would probably take option 3 because it would be something like 6i/PW for him. . .

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6 minutes ago, JxQx said:

Probably would hit driver as I would be able to carry the bunker unless there was headwind, if there was I would go option 3.

You regularly carry the ball 290?

2 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

Sure, but you end up with 60 yards between the bunker and the trees on the right if you add in the rough. According to @Golfingdad, at least. I'm not all that accurate with the driver, but that's enough room for me to not be overly worried about ending up in the trees or in the bunker. If it's really thick rough, then I understand taking this play. But, beyond that, I would take a shot from 70 yards in the rough over a 120-140 yard shot every time.

It's not 60 yards wide.

Screen%20Shot%202017-03-13%20at%2011.45.

That changes things, particularly since I measured pretty much to the edge of the bunker, and you could end up behind that little tree in the right rough, too. Anything over the cart path is likely blocked out by trees.

Just now, Lihu said:

Somehow, I don't see a 60 yard bunker shot being that difficult for a golfer who can drive 280 yards on average.

It's still difficult, @Lihu. Look at the PGA Tour stats.

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