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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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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?

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Couple of questions:

  • You said the green is about 20 yards deep if you're approaching it from the right, right?
  • What is the slope of the green like? It is anything that would make sticking an approach tough?
  • What's to the right of the cart path? Trees? Can you play out of it?

I hate, hate 50 yard bunker shots. But I'm not sure it's that awful on this hole? You're not playing for an up and down in that case. Even if you don't hit the green, if you avoid the green side bunker, I feel like an up and down for par is very possible. The reward for missing the bunker is a good chance at birdie.

I'd vote for option 1 or 2. Probably leaning towards 1, although if you've got a lot of room on the right there, 2 makes a lot of sense. 

Cool hole.

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I'd try and play out right of the fairway bunkers to about the 128 to 118 range if possible, depending on course conditions that day.  I like this range.

If conditions rough, lay up in front of bunkers then iron in.

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26 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

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.  

Right of the fairway doesn't look too bad, as long ss the ball doesn't go over the cart path. I would take driver and aim so my shot zone sits between the fairway bunker and the cart path. 

If I wasn't comfortable with that. I would say play a long iron or hybrid to the fat part of the fairway on the right side of the bunker. 

Screen_Shot_2017-03-12_at_10_21.47_PM.png

 

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I'm going to assume I'd be playing from a different set of tees than you @Golfingdad.

I'd aim at the right side of the big bunker with a driver while playing from the blacks.

I'd have almost no chance of carrying the first bunker on the left much less threading the needle between the two, so the idea of landing a driver in that small area between the three is out of the question.

I wouldn't want to aim too far right, so I'd take the chance of my drive landing in the large bunker. I'm a terrible bunker player, but I'd only have 9i or less in if I hit any kind of decent drive. The angle to the green wouldn't scare me as much as getting up against the left edge of the bunker.

Honestly, even laying up and leaving a short or mid iron to the green might even make more sense with how inaccurate I am with my longer clubs.

These holes always look easy when all we have to do is talk/type what we'd do. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 10.54.55 PM.png

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My first thought is, "which set of tees measure closest to a total course yardage of 6,200 yards, because those are the markers I'm most likely playing from." I searched for a scorecard; the answer is the white tees (6,181), so this hole would be playing 340 for me.

When I'm hitting driver competently, I'm either hitting a draw around 250-260 yards, a straight ball that goes a few yards shorter than that, or a shut-face hook that lands 20-30 yards shorter and 10 yards to the right of the draw. If I'm aiming for the narrow line, I'm more likely than not to find that big bunker bisecting the fairway. If I aim at the right-hand edge of that bunker, on the other hand, I'm probably in the fairway with anywhere between 80 to 115 yards to the middle of the green. The smart play seems to be B.

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Option 1 or 2 are about the same for me. My driver shot zone is too wide for the right side of the fairway to feel much safer than the 30 yard strip on the left. We joked about this before but there is a lot of truth to the statement as well - If I'm going to hit driver on this hole, I'm probably just taking it straight at the middle bunker and hoping I miss my target.

And since the doing something terrible with a 60 yard bunker shot (like blading it over the green) is about the only way I'm going to bring a really big number into play, I think that the long iron off the tee is the right play for me personally. 

My short irons under 150 yards are probably the strongest part of my game, so an iron doesn't take a birdie out play and it all but eliminates the possibility of a blowup hole.

 

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1 hour ago, DeadMan said:

Couple of questions:

  • You said the green is about 20 yards deep if you're approaching it from the right, right?

Correct.  Here is a map of the green from a different yardage book:

IMG_9801.JPG

1 hour ago, DeadMan said:

What is the slope of the green like? It is anything that would make sticking an approach tough?

The slopes aren't severe, however, in my last tournament experience there the greens were quite firm.  From the rough at that angle, I would almost certainly be aiming for the left side of the green regardless of where the pin was placed.

1 hour ago, DeadMan said:

What's to the right of the cart path? Trees? Can you play out of it?

Yes, just trees. Until about 290 off the tee they are just a handful of trees with grass beneath.  You won't lose a ball in there and could certainly get lucky and have a shot if you're not behind a trunk.  (Because of that uncertainty, I would consider those trees a darker shade of grey than the bunker on my decision map :))  Also of note, those trees are almost 60 yards right of the right edge of the bunker.

1 hour ago, DeadMan said:

I hate, hate 50 yard bunker shots.

This could be (and likely might be) it's own thread.  I have no idea what the "correct" way to play this shot is.  I've tried blasting them like a green side bunker but with a PW or a 9I or something, but it's still a little far for that.  Yesterday, I put it back in my stance and played sort of a punch shot with my sand wedge.  Lo and behold, it worked. ;)

1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

Right of the fairway doesn't look too bad, as long ss the ball doesn't go over the cart path. I would take driver and aim so my shot zone sits between the fairway bunker and the cart path.

If I were you, I'd factor in that there is a fairly good possibility that I would carry the bunker on some days. :)

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Played this hole twice. First time hit driver in the center bunker, hit it over the green and made double. Second time I hit a hybrid, wedge and made par.

It's kind of a weird hole because it's almost designed to be a lay-up hole unless you can carry it 290 and the green does play fairly narrow from the right side.

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Driver up the right away from the big bunker. A 90 yard bunker shot doesn't sound like fun for me. But even a 90 yard wedge from the rough doesn't seem too bad. Even with the green being shallow on the right side.

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5 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?

Ide chosen driver out to the right but probably fade of centre to right side of right bunker anything from 130 in ide be happy with,knock it centre of green two putt par adjusted birdie..out of interest why is the shot index of hole decrease the further back the tee or am I getting it wrong? 11 hcp from 288 and 15 hcp from 352

Edited by Daddycool_83

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I'd hit it at the right bunker, and fade it to the right if I'm feeling good.  Otherwise just take a hybrid and lay it up to about 120-150 distance and have an OK shot at the green.  Drivers into a bunker could be good or bad.  If it gets plugged close to a lip then it's over.  I'd stay away from that scenario especially since it's a shorter hole.  I don't think the hole gets easier when it gets longer obviously, just there are other holes that probably have even more difficult tee box placements when it jumps back a couple tees so this drops in difficulty.  Just relative not absolute.  

It's a really big bunker though.  About 30% of the fairway.  Can't carry it 270 to clear it, so I'd avoid it if possible.  So option 3 if you want to play smart.  

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Voted for option 3 and the lay-up.

If the pin was front left, I might try taking driver out to the right for a better chance to get it close with a sand wedge if I was hitting the long ball well (by the 10th hole, I'd know how things were going that particular day).  Otherwise, I want nothing to do with trying to land a perfect-distance pitch over that greenside bunker and before the trees behind.  Lay-up with a PW or 9-iron in still sounds like a pretty good way to make par in my mind.   

    

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I'd probably try to hit driver out to the right, so I'd probably end up in that large bunker. I'm usually OK out of fairway bunkers from 50 yards or more.

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Knowing where my game is currently I would use a 3 wood and aim to the right of the big bunker.

This should leave me about 110' - 130' to the green, maybe longer depending on the day.  A solid

8i or 9i from there and then 3 putt...  Yeah, I am working hard on putting.

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#2.

I'm not long, but I can hit a very accurate little 225ish cut with my driver.  The added distance and an approach with a wedge is worth the slight risk of putting it in the bunker when compared to laying back and having to hit at least 8-iron in.  Hell, I'd probably rather have wedge out of a good lie in the bunker than 7 or 8 from the fairway...

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8 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Correct.  Here is a map of the green from a different yardage book:

The slopes aren't severe, however, in my last tournament experience there the greens were quite firm.  From the rough at that angle, I would almost certainly be aiming for the left side of the green regardless of where the pin was placed.

Yes, just trees. Until about 290 off the tee they are just a handful of trees with grass beneath.  You won't lose a ball in there and could certainly get lucky and have a shot if you're not behind a trunk.  (Because of that uncertainty, I would consider those trees a darker shade of grey than the bunker on my decision map :))  Also of note, those trees are almost 60 yards right of the right edge of the bunker.

I think, given all that, I would play driver to the right of the fairway bunker. If I played a fade with the driver, I'd aim left-center, maybe center, of the fairway to the right of the bunker. If I played a draw, I would be aiming halfway between the cart patch and the edge of the fairway. 60 yards is plenty to work with over there. If you get frisky, you could even clear the bunker and not have to worry about it too much.

I don't really see a problem with a 20 yard deep green from a 70ish yard shot. That seems like plenty of room for error to me. Especially since there's not a ton of trouble behind the green. Play it as 75 yards to avoid the bunker in front. You're likely on the green, if not looking at a pretty simple chip from behind.

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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. 

I first chose 2, in fact, but I'll take my chances and just bomb one left side of the fairway. I hit a nice 70yd gap wedge from a fairway bunker last round to the middle of a green so I'll roll the dice and hope for a decent lie if I end up in one over there.

I feel like I can hole out in the fewest strokes by approaching the green from that direction- i.e., I want to say I'm more likely to get on the green from the area in #1 than the others (even factoring in bunkers). My shot zone on my approach is deeper than it is wide, so coming at the green from the left suits me more (I hope).

 

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