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The three things I can think of that determine when I lay up and when I go for a green are 1) distance, 2) lie, and 3) how protected the green is. (There are other factors such as the weather or how I'm playing on a particular day, but I thought it would be better to keep it simple.) I'll start off by saying that I can't remember ever laying up on a par 3. I don't play long courses or from the back tees much, so a par 3 beyond 200 yards is rare. Most of those longer par 3's generally have more room for less than perfect shots. So I'm mostly asking about approach shots from the fairway or rough. Distance This is probably the biggest determining factor for me. My longest club for approach shots is my 5w (I recently gave my 3w away). While GG shows I average 192 yards with that club, 180 yards from off the deck is a decent shot. I rarely try approach shots with this club, but will occasionally. The other factors - the target and the lie - play a bigger role with this club than with my long irons. I've learned not to hit out of the rough with this club unless the ball is sitting up, and anything with much of a slope almost guarantees a wayward shot or poor contact. It's something I have to work on but for now, better to lay up than to hit out of a bad lie to a tight green with this club. As far as irons, I try not to lay up when shorter than 150 yards (6 iron) regardless of how tight the green is - as long as the lie isn't horrible. I will try for the green with my 5 or 4i as long as there's room somewhere for a miss. Lie I'd define a decent lie as being on the fairway or in normal rough and sitting up. The ground doesn't have to be perfectly flat, but downhill lies are tougher for me than uphill ones. As the slope increases, so does the difficulty. Fairway bunkers can be tough. I've hit greens from them, but it's tough for me to pick the ball out of a bunker with any kind of consistency. When hit cleanly, I get close to my standard distances... maybe a bit less. The thick rough is difficult for me. I have to remember to grab more club and I rarely get good contact and a high ball flight. If I have a water hazard in front of a green, I would have to think hard about trying for the green from 150 yards with a ball in this thick stuff. As for trouble shots, I'll try to get close to the green with them, but I don't really consider that going for it. If it happens great, but that result is generally more of a happy accident. Greens While I don't hit well from green side bunkers, they aren't as bad as water, and water isn't as bad as thick woods or brush (as in always a lost ball or unplayable lie). Any green that is free of this on three sides is an easier green. I don't mean easy to hit, just easier to go for - even with a fairway wood. Water or brush tight on two sides is an average hole. I'd likely lay up if left with more that 180 yds, but with an ok lie, I'm probably going for it from 170 (4i). These are the kinds of holes where shot zones really help. As a high capper, I obviously can't hit small greens very often with long irons. But I'd like to think I can shift the center of my shot zone over to miss the trouble areas. If I have two sides of a green that are open, I like my chances of leaving myself a short chip at worse. There are a couple holes I play that have trouble tight on all 4 sides. These are the holes I'll go for with mid irons and think twice about with anything longer. Not to say I never hit long irons into them, but I'd need a good lie, a good angle and a bit of confidence on that day. So with my giant shot zones and wimpy distances, I'll rarely go for the green from 190 (off the deck), but will rarely lay up from 150 and in. How about anyone else? When do you decide to play it safe and why?
Hi, I made an android app (free app) for shaft length calculation and lie angle. It is especialy made for all golfers who do not fit to the standard. Mostly women, tall and short golfers. I would be glad if the app can help you: go to google play store and search for "biofitting" Please feel free to ask me or to make a review at google play store. I try to make the iTunes version too. Mike
My long irons 3 and 4 have a massive sh**k problem I can't seem to shake. I have never been fitted, but this issue followed me with a recent club change. Standard length clubs. All other clubs I am happy with. I noticed with my 3 and 4 that the toe is up at address. My long irons always feel floppy and heavy, I feel like I am reaching, and promote a really flat and fanning swing plane, resulting in me round-housing the ball to the outside and thus the hozzle hit. If I choke up to a flat address I found consistent pure long shots, a steeper plane and balanced swing feel, great distance. But, I have to choke 3-4 inches down the grip almost to the metal for these results. I have found many opinions. Hank Haney says always address flat from driver to putter. Others say always address toe up to accommodate shaft flex upon impact. Should I consider shortening my long irons? Or just adjusting the lie to my swing? What questions should I ask the club fitter? Several instructors have looked and never been able to fix this issue, but no one has ever mentioned club fitting as a possibility. I have a lot to work on, but in general I am happy with my game and my swing except for the long irons. I am 6'-1", and by Internet measurements (Ping) I should be using standard length clubs with .25 extra. I can't imagine going any longer. Thanks! 12.5 Handicap.
I just received my last evolvr lesson, where we took a break from dynamic swing thoughts to focus on setup and address (I mentioned to my instructor that I have been hitting overdraws and pull draws, generally everything going left of target). He mentioned that I look too bent over at address and my butt it sticking out too much. I am 6'2", and he asked if my irons are over length, which they are by 1 inch, but they are at standard lie angle. When I first started playing, I was fit for irons at 1" over length as well as 2º upright. At that time I was swinging very steep and over the top, so I thought they were just fitting clubs to my (lousy) swing. At any rate, when trying to fix my posture at address, I want to pick the handle up a little higher, getting the heel of the club a bit off the ground. So I went down to the local golf store and asked to hit off a lie board to confirm I still need 2º upright lie angles. Using my current 7 iron, I hit twice off the lie board, both times making center contact on the sole, indicating I do not need a lie angle adjustment. So with all of that backstory, my question is this: Is it possible that I still need an upright lie, and because I set up with my current 7 iron soled properly was able to deliver the clubhead correctly at impact? Or is the lie board correct and I just need to get used to reaching farther down to the handle of the club? Perhaps I need to adjust to the new posture at address before hitting off the lie board. I very well could have inadvertently used my old setup when I went to hit off the lie board yesterday.