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Ball in the thick rough - what club do you pick?

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  • YuckYuck Fore!  2546WRX Points: 213Members Posts: 2,546
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    If you cannot see your shoes, a SW for sure.

    Posted:
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  • ssfrannyssfranny  2819WRX Points: 204Lefty Boomers Posts: 2,819
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    On -, @jjfcpa said:

    Played a round yesterday and found my ball in some very thick rough. Grass was almost like crab grass and about 4 - 5 inches deep. I was about 150 from the green and decided to go with a 5 iron. Could not get the club on the ball directly and when I swung, the grass just completely grabbed the club and the ball went maybe 30 - 40 yards. On second thought, I think I should have chosen a different club.. perhaps a hybrid. What would you have chosen.

    Foot wedge?

    Posted:
  • shortstop20shortstop20 Hit 'em straight! South Dakota 1169WRX Points: 142Members Posts: 1,169
    Joined:  #64

    PW simply because it's a bigger head than the other wedges in my bag. I find a wedge from the thick stuff goes just as far as a 7 iron would. It's pretty difficult to get a lower lofted club on the ball as well from that type of lie.

    Posted:
  • shortstop20shortstop20 Hit 'em straight! South Dakota 1169WRX Points: 142Members Posts: 1,169
    Joined:  #65

    On -, @sui generis said:

    Many years ago, I found my ball in such a situation at Lahinch. Before I could speak, my caddie handed me my sand wedge.

    Funny story, I played Lahinch and Ballybunion 5 years ago and my caddy at Ballybunion told me, "at least you have enough **** sense to take the wedge when I hand it to you, some of these guys tell me no and demand I give them a long club".

    Posted:
  • BKN1964BKN1964  1046WRX Points: 138Members Posts: 1,046
    Joined:  #66

    Between this thread, seeing DJ duff one 50 yards in the rough on Friday, and my continued poor results with trying to hit a hybrid out of the rough, I'm finally maybe starting to understand I need to take a 7 iron at the most and just get it on the fairway while hopefully advancing it some.

    Posted:
  • pinestreetgolfpinestreetgolf  3511WRX Points: 308Members Posts: 3,511
    Joined:  edited May 20, 2019 4:46pm #67

    These answers strike me as off. Do you ever practice this shot? It seems to me going out there at 7 or whenever, dropping 20 shag balls in the deep rough, and practicing blasting them out up by the green somewhere would be pretty useful. Is the thread saying that people should just give up on ever being able to get the ball in the green complex from deep rough? Or just that you should do that now but try to get better at it?

    If someone is weak from a fairway bunker nobody tells them to hit it to 100 yards. They (correctly) tell them to get better. Why is this different? Not all rough is created equal, but with some practice you can learn how to get super-steep and hit bullets that give you a short game shot.

    Hitting to 100 doesn't guarantee you anything. You'll probably make bogey and sometimes double. If we compare the rate at which the average player can get up and down in 3 from 100 and the rate at which the average player can get up and down in 4 from deep rough without punching out I would be willing to bet hitting the ball hard wins over laying up every time. Will there be nightmares from the deep rough? Of course. But there can also be nightmares from 100. This Saturday I was on a roll and had 99 into a green. I flew it, hit an awful chip and three-putted. 100 yards isn't a synonym for par, especially for weaker players.

    Get used to the idea that course management isn't another word for being conservative. Good players end up near the green in regulation. Bad players end up praying for 5s from distance.

    The problem is that its hugely psychological. The only way to blast it out is to swing full-out without scooping, which is very difficult without confidence, which is impossible without practice.

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    Posted:
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  • davep043davep043  4129WRX Points: 1,328Members Posts: 4,129
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    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    I guess it depends on how you define a "stroke-costing hazard". As I mentioned before, and as was shown on TV over the weekend, even the best players in the world may not be physically able to hit a decent 5-iron from really nasty rough. Moving the ball 40 yards with your first slash in the cabbage, and remaining in the cabbage, is at least a full stroke, even if there's no hazard in sight. I do agree, you have to practice these shots, you need to learn what you can (and cannot) accomplish. With practice, you can learn techniques to improve your chances. But having learned that, you have to make a club selection that gives you the best chance of shooting the lowest score. Sometimes that will be sand wedge to the fairway, other times it will be hybrid to try to get it close to the green.

    Posted:
  • BKN1964BKN1964  1046WRX Points: 138Members Posts: 1,046
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    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    I guess it depends on how you define a "stroke-costing hazard". As I mentioned before, and as was shown on TV over the weekend, even the best players in the world may not be physically able to hit a decent 5-iron from really nasty rough. Moving the ball 40 yards with your first slash in the cabbage, and remaining in the cabbage, is at least a full stroke, even if there's no hazard in sight. I do agree, you have to practice these shots, you need to learn what you can (and cannot) accomplish. With practice, you can learn techniques to improve your chances. But having learned that, you have to make a club selection that gives you the best chance of shooting the lowest score. Sometimes that will be sand wedge to the fairway, other times it will be hybrid to try to get it close to the green.

    An example from yesterday: My drive was less than 5 yards right of the fairway on a par 5. From there, the next shot needs to land somewhere in the middle of the dogleg right, or maybe a little farther back on the left side of the fairway so that you have an angle into the green. I thought "everyone says a hybrid will cut through the rough", so I took my hybrid and duffed it 50 yards, still in the rough on the right side, with trees blocking the whole way up the right. I had to take a PW from there to put it in position for a 100 yard approach shot. If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be.

    Posted:
  • jjfcpajjfcpa Driver - Tour Edge EXS 10.5 Omaha, NE 644WRX Points: 202Members Posts: 644
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    I am the OP. There's rough and then there's thick rough. Deep, narly stuff that is at least above the tops of your shoes. That's the kind of stuff that, unless you get a perfect swing, will not make contact with the ball... especially when the ball has settled to the very bottom of the rough, as was the case with me.

    It's difficult to practice this kind of shot because this was a case where the ground had a slight drop off and the grass cutters made an imperfect pass when cutting the grass. If my ball had settled just another 10 yards ahead or to the left, it would have been a very playable shot out of the rough. In this case, no way could you get the club on the ball without getting grass in between. I think the club to play would have been either a wedge or 9 iron.

    Posted:
  • North ButteNorth Butte  11741WRX Points: 1,538Members Posts: 11,741
    Joined:  #71

    I remember an acquaintance from Northern California visiting the Sweet Sunny South and playing golf off Bermuda grass for the first time in his life. For 18 long holes he refused to quit trying to hit 3w out of down lies in the primary cut of rough every time he missed a fairway. He declared that it was Goofy Golf if missing a fairway meant hacking out or laying up with a wedge.

    I tried to explain it was just the nature of play in this part of the country but he was having none of it. He said if 2" of rough meant laying up then the course ought to use some kind of grass suitable for golf!

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  • pinestreetgolfpinestreetgolf  3511WRX Points: 308Members Posts: 3,511
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    On -, @BKN1964 said:

    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    I guess it depends on how you define a "stroke-costing hazard". As I mentioned before, and as was shown on TV over the weekend, even the best players in the world may not be physically able to hit a decent 5-iron from really nasty rough. Moving the ball 40 yards with your first slash in the cabbage, and remaining in the cabbage, is at least a full stroke, even if there's no hazard in sight. I do agree, you have to practice these shots, you need to learn what you can (and cannot) accomplish. With practice, you can learn techniques to improve your chances. But having learned that, you have to make a club selection that gives you the best chance of shooting the lowest score. Sometimes that will be sand wedge to the fairway, other times it will be hybrid to try to get it close to the green.

    An example from yesterday: My drive was less than 5 yards right of the fairway on a par 5. From there, the next shot needs to land somewhere in the middle of the dogleg right, or maybe a little farther back on the left side of the fairway so that you have an angle into the green. I thought "everyone says a hybrid will cut through the rough", so I took my hybrid and duffed it 50 yards, still in the rough on the right side, with trees blocking the whole way up the right. I had to take a PW from there to put it in position for a 100 yard approach shot. If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be.

    See, this is the type of thinking that, IMO (IMO you jackals!) leads to bad course management decisions.

    You say: "If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be."

    Why is it not an option that you duff the 7 too, and you are 20 yards behind where the duffed hybrid went to? Why is the 7 iron a magical club here where we can assume a good result?

    There are two things happening here.
    First, the risk fallacy. Our minds are conditioned to hate risk more than we like reward. A golf scorecard doesn't care. So, whenever a human takes a risk and it fails, we immediately blame the risk instead of ourselves i.e. it wasn't choosing hybrid that made you hit it 50 yards after fatting it, it was you making a terrible swing with the hybrid. However, that isn't how we think by default. We think "if only I hadn't taken the risk it would have worked out great" which is nonsense. There were any number of things that could have happened. A 7 iron doesn't guarentee you anything, and if you put a better swing on it with the hybrid you get a better result. The decision to take a risk is maybe maybe 20% of the equation, and you are giving it 100% - assuming everything would have worked out if you hadn't taken the risk, and assuming everything went bad Because of the risk (as opposed to you being bad at hitting balls out of crappy lies).
    Second, you are in a bad spot. Most of the result sets are bad from a bad spot. Everyone here is acting as if, if you're "smart", you can get out with par or bogey but most people can't make par or bogey by hitting out of horrible rough short but controlled, wedging from 100 on the green, and two-putting. Most people who can't hit a hybrid out of that stuff can't do that either. Its going to a double either way in almost all cases, so the best choice is almost always the riskiest one unless OB or water could send the analysis sideways. I think people here are drastically underestimating how much harder it is to hit three good shots in a row (controlled punch, good wedge onto green from distance, good putt) than one (hit it somewhere near the green out of the rough).

    Posted:
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  • pinestreetgolfpinestreetgolf  3511WRX Points: 308Members Posts: 3,511
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    On -, @jjfcpa said:

    I am the OP. There's rough and then there's thick rough. Deep, narly stuff that is at least above the tops of your shoes. That's the kind of stuff that, unless you get a perfect swing, will not make contact with the ball... especially when the ball has settled to the very bottom of the rough, as was the case with me.

    It's difficult to practice this kind of shot because this was a case where the ground had a slight drop off and the grass cutters made an imperfect pass when cutting the grass. If my ball had settled just another 10 yards ahead or to the left, it would have been a very playable shot out of the rough. In this case, no way could you get the club on the ball without getting grass in between. I think the club to play would have been either a wedge or 9 iron.

    Right, I mean, we can always come up with scenarios that buck the trend - there is, of course, some rough that you literally cannot hit out of. But "trust me, the rough was awful, i had no choice but to punch out" doesn't make for a very interesting discussion.

    Posted:
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    j40 DPC 3-PW x100 SL
    Vokey SM7 50, 55, 60 s300
    Edel Putter
  • BKN1964BKN1964  1046WRX Points: 138Members Posts: 1,046
    Joined:  #74

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @BKN1964 said:

    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    I guess it depends on how you define a "stroke-costing hazard". As I mentioned before, and as was shown on TV over the weekend, even the best players in the world may not be physically able to hit a decent 5-iron from really nasty rough. Moving the ball 40 yards with your first slash in the cabbage, and remaining in the cabbage, is at least a full stroke, even if there's no hazard in sight. I do agree, you have to practice these shots, you need to learn what you can (and cannot) accomplish. With practice, you can learn techniques to improve your chances. But having learned that, you have to make a club selection that gives you the best chance of shooting the lowest score. Sometimes that will be sand wedge to the fairway, other times it will be hybrid to try to get it close to the green.

    An example from yesterday: My drive was less than 5 yards right of the fairway on a par 5. From there, the next shot needs to land somewhere in the middle of the dogleg right, or maybe a little farther back on the left side of the fairway so that you have an angle into the green. I thought "everyone says a hybrid will cut through the rough", so I took my hybrid and duffed it 50 yards, still in the rough on the right side, with trees blocking the whole way up the right. I had to take a PW from there to put it in position for a 100 yard approach shot. If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be.

    See, this is the type of thinking that, IMO (IMO you jackals!) leads to bad course management decisions.

    You say: "If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be."

    Why is it not an option that you duff the 7 too, and you are 20 yards behind where the duffed hybrid went to? Why is the 7 iron a magical club here where we can assume a good result?

    There are two things happening here.
    First, the risk fallacy. Our minds are conditioned to hate risk more than we like reward. A golf scorecard doesn't care. So, whenever a human takes a risk and it fails, we immediately blame the risk instead of ourselves i.e. it wasn't choosing hybrid that made you hit it 50 yards after fatting it, it was you making a terrible swing with the hybrid. However, that isn't how we think by default. We think "if only I hadn't taken the risk it would have worked out great" which is nonsense. There were any number of things that could have happened. A 7 iron doesn't guarentee you anything, and if you put a better swing on it with the hybrid you get a better result. The decision to take a risk is maybe maybe 20% of the equation, and you are giving it 100% - assuming everything would have worked out if you hadn't taken the risk, and assuming everything went bad Because of the risk (as opposed to you being bad at hitting balls out of crappy lies).
    Second, you are in a bad spot. Most of the result sets are bad from a bad spot. Everyone here is acting as if, if you're "smart", you can get out with par or bogey but most people can't make par or bogey by hitting out of horrible rough short but controlled, wedging from 100 on the green, and two-putting. Most people who can't hit a hybrid out of that stuff can't do that either. Its going to a double either way in almost all cases, so the best choice is almost always the riskiest one unless OB or water could send the analysis sideways. I think people here are drastically underestimating how much harder it is to hit three good shots in a row (controlled punch, good wedge onto green from distance, good putt) than one (hit it somewhere near the green out of the rough).

    The problem here is your interpretation of my use of the word "duff". That swing from the fairway would have been fine. Trying to muscle it out of the rough with my hybrid was the problem. My 7 iron likely would have put it somewhere close to where i referenced (based on past experience).

    Posted:
  • PepperturboPepperturbo Midwest and Southwest 16157WRX Points: 604Members Posts: 16,157
    Joined:  #75

    On -, @Johnny_Fairway said:

    On -, @Pepperturbo said:

    Yesterday I hit a crappy drive on #18. Found my ball just far enough into deep rough to be problematic. Anyhow, had 190 yards in and mistakenly chose 4 iron knowing I wasn't going to reach the pin. Unfortunately, I proceeded to put a crappy swing on the ball and only got 75yards and now on a downhill lie, still in the rough to an elevated tight left pin. Again, a poor choice in club ended short of the green and up and down for double. Up to 18, I was doing fine, then one mental mistake on top of another. Major brain-**** hole. It happens to all of us.

    Normally, club choice depends on how far I am from the green front, pin position, obstacles in between and if there's a bet. Typically, I take my medicine with a short iron of sorts and get up and down from there.

    I just tried the 4 iron second shot from a bad lie in the rough today. And similarly was still in the rough for my third. I should've just got back in the fairway somewhere and moved on.

    That day taught me a reminder that I subsequently have taken to play. Haven't let a brainfart define club choice and hit every fairway yesterday.

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  • Z1ggy16Z1ggy16  8373WRX Points: 950Members Posts: 8,373
    Joined:  #76

    Thick rough, as in rough so thick you barely can see the ball... I'm just wedging out.

    I saw many guys in the rough on #16 this past weekend probably take a PW or 9i, choke up and just hack at it as hard as they could, trying to get it as close to the green as possible. I'm guessing most of them had around 170-190 in. However, the harder you swing, the "harder" the grass will grab your hosel and the more shut your club face might get. That's why If I'm in fescue like HV3 was when he shanked one into the woods, I grip my club with the most grip pressure I physically can so try and avoid my ball going on a weird line. I'll usually switch to an interlocking grip, weaken my top hand a little bit and just try my very best to get club face on ball.

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  • pinestreetgolfpinestreetgolf  3511WRX Points: 308Members Posts: 3,511
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    On -, @BKN1964 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @BKN1964 said:

    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    I guess it depends on how you define a "stroke-costing hazard". As I mentioned before, and as was shown on TV over the weekend, even the best players in the world may not be physically able to hit a decent 5-iron from really nasty rough. Moving the ball 40 yards with your first slash in the cabbage, and remaining in the cabbage, is at least a full stroke, even if there's no hazard in sight. I do agree, you have to practice these shots, you need to learn what you can (and cannot) accomplish. With practice, you can learn techniques to improve your chances. But having learned that, you have to make a club selection that gives you the best chance of shooting the lowest score. Sometimes that will be sand wedge to the fairway, other times it will be hybrid to try to get it close to the green.

    An example from yesterday: My drive was less than 5 yards right of the fairway on a par 5. From there, the next shot needs to land somewhere in the middle of the dogleg right, or maybe a little farther back on the left side of the fairway so that you have an angle into the green. I thought "everyone says a hybrid will cut through the rough", so I took my hybrid and duffed it 50 yards, still in the rough on the right side, with trees blocking the whole way up the right. I had to take a PW from there to put it in position for a 100 yard approach shot. If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be.

    See, this is the type of thinking that, IMO (IMO you jackals!) leads to bad course management decisions.

    You say: "If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be."

    Why is it not an option that you duff the 7 too, and you are 20 yards behind where the duffed hybrid went to? Why is the 7 iron a magical club here where we can assume a good result?

    There are two things happening here.
    First, the risk fallacy. Our minds are conditioned to hate risk more than we like reward. A golf scorecard doesn't care. So, whenever a human takes a risk and it fails, we immediately blame the risk instead of ourselves i.e. it wasn't choosing hybrid that made you hit it 50 yards after fatting it, it was you making a terrible swing with the hybrid. However, that isn't how we think by default. We think "if only I hadn't taken the risk it would have worked out great" which is nonsense. There were any number of things that could have happened. A 7 iron doesn't guarentee you anything, and if you put a better swing on it with the hybrid you get a better result. The decision to take a risk is maybe maybe 20% of the equation, and you are giving it 100% - assuming everything would have worked out if you hadn't taken the risk, and assuming everything went bad Because of the risk (as opposed to you being bad at hitting balls out of crappy lies).
    Second, you are in a bad spot. Most of the result sets are bad from a bad spot. Everyone here is acting as if, if you're "smart", you can get out with par or bogey but most people can't make par or bogey by hitting out of horrible rough short but controlled, wedging from 100 on the green, and two-putting. Most people who can't hit a hybrid out of that stuff can't do that either. Its going to a double either way in almost all cases, so the best choice is almost always the riskiest one unless OB or water could send the analysis sideways. I think people here are drastically underestimating how much harder it is to hit three good shots in a row (controlled punch, good wedge onto green from distance, good putt) than one (hit it somewhere near the green out of the rough).

    The problem here is your interpretation of my use of the word "duff". That swing from the fairway would have been fine. Trying to muscle it out of the rough with my hybrid was the problem. My 7 iron likely would have put it somewhere close to where i referenced (based on past experience).

    I hear you, but I don't understand why you are blaming the hybrid instead of the swing you made with it. People tend to blame the decision as if the outcome was predetermined no matter how good a pass they made/make at the ball, which isn't true.

    Posted:
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    Vokey SM7 50, 55, 60 s300
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  • davep043davep043  4129WRX Points: 1,328Members Posts: 4,129
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    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @BKN1964 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @BKN1964 said:

    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    I guess it depends on how you define a "stroke-costing hazard". As I mentioned before, and as was shown on TV over the weekend, even the best players in the world may not be physically able to hit a decent 5-iron from really nasty rough. Moving the ball 40 yards with your first slash in the cabbage, and remaining in the cabbage, is at least a full stroke, even if there's no hazard in sight. I do agree, you have to practice these shots, you need to learn what you can (and cannot) accomplish. With practice, you can learn techniques to improve your chances. But having learned that, you have to make a club selection that gives you the best chance of shooting the lowest score. Sometimes that will be sand wedge to the fairway, other times it will be hybrid to try to get it close to the green.

    An example from yesterday: My drive was less than 5 yards right of the fairway on a par 5. From there, the next shot needs to land somewhere in the middle of the dogleg right, or maybe a little farther back on the left side of the fairway so that you have an angle into the green. I thought "everyone says a hybrid will cut through the rough", so I took my hybrid and duffed it 50 yards, still in the rough on the right side, with trees blocking the whole way up the right. I had to take a PW from there to put it in position for a 100 yard approach shot. If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be.

    See, this is the type of thinking that, IMO (IMO you jackals!) leads to bad course management decisions.

    You say: "If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be."

    Why is it not an option that you duff the 7 too, and you are 20 yards behind where the duffed hybrid went to? Why is the 7 iron a magical club here where we can assume a good result?

    There are two things happening here.
    First, the risk fallacy. Our minds are conditioned to hate risk more than we like reward. A golf scorecard doesn't care. So, whenever a human takes a risk and it fails, we immediately blame the risk instead of ourselves i.e. it wasn't choosing hybrid that made you hit it 50 yards after fatting it, it was you making a terrible swing with the hybrid. However, that isn't how we think by default. We think "if only I hadn't taken the risk it would have worked out great" which is nonsense. There were any number of things that could have happened. A 7 iron doesn't guarentee you anything, and if you put a better swing on it with the hybrid you get a better result. The decision to take a risk is maybe maybe 20% of the equation, and you are giving it 100% - assuming everything would have worked out if you hadn't taken the risk, and assuming everything went bad Because of the risk (as opposed to you being bad at hitting balls out of crappy lies).
    Second, you are in a bad spot. Most of the result sets are bad from a bad spot. Everyone here is acting as if, if you're "smart", you can get out with par or bogey but most people can't make par or bogey by hitting out of horrible rough short but controlled, wedging from 100 on the green, and two-putting. Most people who can't hit a hybrid out of that stuff can't do that either. Its going to a double either way in almost all cases, so the best choice is almost always the riskiest one unless OB or water could send the analysis sideways. I think people here are drastically underestimating how much harder it is to hit three good shots in a row (controlled punch, good wedge onto green from distance, good putt) than one (hit it somewhere near the green out of the rough).

    The problem here is your interpretation of my use of the word "duff". That swing from the fairway would have been fine. Trying to muscle it out of the rough with my hybrid was the problem. My 7 iron likely would have put it somewhere close to where i referenced (based on past experience).

    I hear you, but I don't understand why you are blaming the hybrid instead of the swing you made with it. People tend to blame the decision as if the outcome was predetermined no matter how good a pass they made/make at the ball, which isn't true.

    Again, this goes back to experience, whether its gained through practice or by trying things during a round. Its important to understand the probability of hitting a good shot, a mediocre shot, and a poor shot. In some situations, there is a very high probability of hitting a poor shot with a longer club, a higher probability of hitting a good shot with a shorter club. If I believe my probability of getting into acceptable position with the long club is less than 60 or 70%, I'm going to look seriously at taking a shorter club. That's not blaming the club, or blaming the risk, that's assessing the risk appropriately given the lie. Its evaluating the shades of gray.

    Posted:
  • jjfcpajjfcpa Driver - Tour Edge EXS 10.5 Omaha, NE 644WRX Points: 202Members Posts: 644
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    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @jjfcpa said:

    I am the OP. There's rough and then there's thick rough. Deep, narly stuff that is at least above the tops of your shoes. That's the kind of stuff that, unless you get a perfect swing, will not make contact with the ball... especially when the ball has settled to the very bottom of the rough, as was the case with me.

    It's difficult to practice this kind of shot because this was a case where the ground had a slight drop off and the grass cutters made an imperfect pass when cutting the grass. If my ball had settled just another 10 yards ahead or to the left, it would have been a very playable shot out of the rough. In this case, no way could you get the club on the ball without getting grass in between. I think the club to play would have been either a wedge or 9 iron.

    Right, I mean, we can always come up with scenarios that buck the trend - there is, of course, some rough that you literally cannot hit out of. But "trust me, the rough was awful, i had no choice but to punch out" doesn't make for a very interesting discussion.

    A worse discussion is I hit a 5 iron out of very thick rough and went 40 yards. Of course, you have to consider the risk and rewards when choosing your club for whatever shot, but I'm not sure how much practice you want to spend on a shot that happens maybe 1 in a 100 shots if even that many. Even if you did practice it a few times or 50 times, if it only happens once ever 5 - 10 rounds, that practice probably won't help much.

    Good course management means assessing the risk based on your abilities and the possibilities of making a rewarding shot. In this case, and I venture to say most of the discussion in this thread, would be to get the ball where the risk is less and the reward is more.

    Based on what we saw in the PGA Championship, I wonder if he would have used the hybrid out of the thick rough if he was going to play that shot a second time???

    Posted:
  • pinestreetgolfpinestreetgolf  3511WRX Points: 308Members Posts: 3,511
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    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @BKN1964 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @BKN1964 said:

    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    I guess it depends on how you define a "stroke-costing hazard". As I mentioned before, and as was shown on TV over the weekend, even the best players in the world may not be physically able to hit a decent 5-iron from really nasty rough. Moving the ball 40 yards with your first slash in the cabbage, and remaining in the cabbage, is at least a full stroke, even if there's no hazard in sight. I do agree, you have to practice these shots, you need to learn what you can (and cannot) accomplish. With practice, you can learn techniques to improve your chances. But having learned that, you have to make a club selection that gives you the best chance of shooting the lowest score. Sometimes that will be sand wedge to the fairway, other times it will be hybrid to try to get it close to the green.

    An example from yesterday: My drive was less than 5 yards right of the fairway on a par 5. From there, the next shot needs to land somewhere in the middle of the dogleg right, or maybe a little farther back on the left side of the fairway so that you have an angle into the green. I thought "everyone says a hybrid will cut through the rough", so I took my hybrid and duffed it 50 yards, still in the rough on the right side, with trees blocking the whole way up the right. I had to take a PW from there to put it in position for a 100 yard approach shot. If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be.

    See, this is the type of thinking that, IMO (IMO you jackals!) leads to bad course management decisions.

    You say: "If I had hit a 7 iron to the middle or left side of the fairway, I could have had a decent approach shot to the green, even if farther back than I wanted to be."

    Why is it not an option that you duff the 7 too, and you are 20 yards behind where the duffed hybrid went to? Why is the 7 iron a magical club here where we can assume a good result?

    There are two things happening here.
    First, the risk fallacy. Our minds are conditioned to hate risk more than we like reward. A golf scorecard doesn't care. So, whenever a human takes a risk and it fails, we immediately blame the risk instead of ourselves i.e. it wasn't choosing hybrid that made you hit it 50 yards after fatting it, it was you making a terrible swing with the hybrid. However, that isn't how we think by default. We think "if only I hadn't taken the risk it would have worked out great" which is nonsense. There were any number of things that could have happened. A 7 iron doesn't guarentee you anything, and if you put a better swing on it with the hybrid you get a better result. The decision to take a risk is maybe maybe 20% of the equation, and you are giving it 100% - assuming everything would have worked out if you hadn't taken the risk, and assuming everything went bad Because of the risk (as opposed to you being bad at hitting balls out of crappy lies).
    Second, you are in a bad spot. Most of the result sets are bad from a bad spot. Everyone here is acting as if, if you're "smart", you can get out with par or bogey but most people can't make par or bogey by hitting out of horrible rough short but controlled, wedging from 100 on the green, and two-putting. Most people who can't hit a hybrid out of that stuff can't do that either. Its going to a double either way in almost all cases, so the best choice is almost always the riskiest one unless OB or water could send the analysis sideways. I think people here are drastically underestimating how much harder it is to hit three good shots in a row (controlled punch, good wedge onto green from distance, good putt) than one (hit it somewhere near the green out of the rough).

    The problem here is your interpretation of my use of the word "duff". That swing from the fairway would have been fine. Trying to muscle it out of the rough with my hybrid was the problem. My 7 iron likely would have put it somewhere close to where i referenced (based on past experience).

    I hear you, but I don't understand why you are blaming the hybrid instead of the swing you made with it. People tend to blame the decision as if the outcome was predetermined no matter how good a pass they made/make at the ball, which isn't true.

    Again, this goes back to experience, whether its gained through practice or by trying things during a round. Its important to understand the probability of hitting a good shot, a mediocre shot, and a poor shot. In some situations, there is a very high probability of hitting a poor shot with a longer club, a higher probability of hitting a good shot with a shorter club. If I believe my probability of getting into acceptable position with the long club is less than 60 or 70%, I'm going to look seriously at taking a shorter club. That's not blaming the club, or blaming the risk, that's assessing the risk appropriately given the lie. Its evaluating the shades of gray.

    Sure, but you are still making a similar mistake. We don't care about that one shot. We care about the score, on average, over time, on the hole.

    There is no argument that hitting a high lofted iron out into the fairway won't make you look stupid and won't make you feel bad about yourself. But as Harvey Penick said: "if you are here to get better at golf you're gonna look stupid. If your goal is not to look stupid than we should just stand here." That's the issue. Yes, you will "hit a better shot" laying up way back with a higher lofted club. That is always true. But then you have to finish the hole.

    My contention is that, for most players, they DRASTICALLY over-estimate their ability to turn 3 shots into 2 from 100 yards and DRASTICALLY under-estimate their ability to get down in the same number 50 yards further up in the same rough. Knocking it out shorter will result in a "better shot" if you only look at that one shot but you will likely double the hole. At least hitting at it gives you a chance at a par. If I gave everyone reading this a chance to get up and down from, say 110 in the fairway there is almost nobody who would break 15%. You are overvaluing the shot itself and undervaluing the experience, practice and the few times it works.

    IMO, of course.

    Posted:
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  • pinestreetgolfpinestreetgolf  3511WRX Points: 308Members Posts: 3,511
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    On -, @jjfcpa said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @jjfcpa said:

    I am the OP. There's rough and then there's thick rough. Deep, narly stuff that is at least above the tops of your shoes. That's the kind of stuff that, unless you get a perfect swing, will not make contact with the ball... especially when the ball has settled to the very bottom of the rough, as was the case with me.

    It's difficult to practice this kind of shot because this was a case where the ground had a slight drop off and the grass cutters made an imperfect pass when cutting the grass. If my ball had settled just another 10 yards ahead or to the left, it would have been a very playable shot out of the rough. In this case, no way could you get the club on the ball without getting grass in between. I think the club to play would have been either a wedge or 9 iron.

    Right, I mean, we can always come up with scenarios that buck the trend - there is, of course, some rough that you literally cannot hit out of. But "trust me, the rough was awful, i had no choice but to punch out" doesn't make for a very interesting discussion.

    A worse discussion is I hit a 5 iron out of very thick rough and went 40 yards. Of course, you have to consider the risk and rewards when choosing your club for whatever shot, but I'm not sure how much practice you want to spend on a shot that happens maybe 1 in a 100 shots if even that many. Even if you did practice it a few times or 50 times, if it only happens once ever 5 - 10 rounds, that practice probably won't help much.

    Good course management means assessing the risk based on your abilities and the possibilities of making a rewarding shot. In this case, and I venture to say most of the discussion in this thread, would be to get the ball where the risk is less and the reward is more.

    Based on what we saw in the PGA Championship, I wonder if he would have used the hybrid out of the thick rough if he was going to play that shot a second time???

    Yeah, but that doesn't make sense man. It doesn't matter how many times you have the shot it matters the effect that shot can have on your score. How often do you practice tap-ins? I hope the answer is an hour a day, because you have a TON of them.

    If your course has rough as gnarly as you are describing then its like water. You should be practicing out of there constantly. I play a tree-lined course, and a lot of my practice time is spent hitting low curves because two holes that are long and tight generally determine my score.

    Posted:
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  • Zengolfer36Zengolfer36 Columbus, OH 181WRX Points: 132Members Posts: 181
    Joined:  #82

    It would go with a short iron or wedge, something that I know that I can get up and out of the rough and at least advance it into the fairway.
    Sometimes its better to take your medicine than to try to be a hero.

    Posted:
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  • jbrunkjbrunk Central Illinois 657WRX Points: 127Members Posts: 657
    Joined:  edited May 21, 2019 12:33am #83

    Just to put some numbers to this discussion; PGA scoring averages:

    200 yds to gain, Rough: 3.42 strokes
    100 yds, Fairway: 2.80 strokes
    43 yds, Rough: 2.80 strokes

    So from a strategy point of view, I’m really not sure how to apply this information. Should we simply try to get it as far as possible without bringing rough into play? Or if you can confidently get it inside 40y, go for it? For myself, in 2018 my strokes gained averages were somewhat similar on each of these types of shots. Virtually no difference between the 100y F and 43y R scenarios.

    190-210 y, Rough (10 attempts): -0.192 SG
    95-105 y, Fairway (12 attempts): -0.207 SG
    40-45y, Rough (20 attempts): -0.216 SG

    For the record, I didn’t wedge out once, mostly used 5W. And the stats don’t distinguish between deep and light rough (which is something of a problem with the whole strokes gained thing; scoring averages don’t take into account the full difficulty of every situation).

    Anyway, I’m sure Pinestreet will have something to say about how I’m using strokes gained, lol.

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  • pinestreetgolfpinestreetgolf  3511WRX Points: 308Members Posts: 3,511
    Joined:  edited May 21, 2019 3:42am #84

    On -, @jbrunk said:

    Just to put some numbers to this discussion; PGA scoring averages:

    200 yds to gain, Rough: 3.42 strokes
    100 yds, Fairway: 2.80 strokes
    43 yds, Rough: 2.80 strokes

    So from a strategy point of view, I’m really not sure how to apply this information. Should we simply try to get it as far as possible without bringing rough into play? Or if you can confidently get it inside 40y, go for it? For myself, in 2018 my strokes gained averages were somewhat similar on each of these types of shots. Virtually no difference between the 100y F and 43y R scenarios.

    190-210 y, Rough (10 attempts): -0.192 SG
    95-105 y, Fairway (12 attempts): -0.207 SG
    40-45y, Rough (20 attempts): -0.216 SG

    For the record, I didn’t wedge out once, mostly used 5W. And the stats don’t distinguish between deep and light rough (which is something of a problem with the whole strokes gained thing; scoring averages don’t take into account the full difficulty of every situation).

    Anyway, I’m sure Pinestreet will have something to say about how I’m using strokes gained, lol.

    Right, so if you punch out to 100 then average 2.80 from there you average 3.80 which is higher than 3.42. The pros should hit at the green every single time. The duff and the punch out are roughly equal (3.8 to 3.8).

    You can't use data with 10, 12 and 20 attempts. Its useless

    Basically my point is this:
    Guy hits hybrid from deep rough onto the green from 200: "What a shot! C'mon!! Lets Go!!"
    Guy hits hybrid from deep rough into water with a 30 yard shank from 200: "I'm an idiot, I should have never hit that hybrid"
    Its always the shot / swing when it goes well and the decision when it goes badly. Nobody you have ever played with has ever said "Yes! What a decision! Consider a punch but swung away!! I'm smart AF!" Nobody ever yells that. They yell about the swing when its good and the decision when its bad. Which makes no sense whatsoever.

    Humans blame the risk when risky things go bad and themselves when safe things go bad. Is it always the right move? No. But it the right decision much more often than three pages of "punch out bro, be smart" would indicate.

    Posted:
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  • BKN1964BKN1964  1046WRX Points: 138Members Posts: 1,046
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    I remember watching Martin Hall talking about playing out of the rough during one of his lesson shows on the Golf Channel: "The worse the lie, the higher the loft. I'll say it again. The worse the lie, the higher the loft."

    I can't begin to tell you how many times I've unsuccessfully tried to hit a fairway wood, hybrid, or long iron out of some of the punishing rough here in the Kentucky/Ohio/Indiana area. One time after trying with a 3 wood, my friend said "They're called 'fairway woods' for a reason."

    I also have vivid memories of playing a tournament a year or so back at a course in Kentucky where the rough hadn't been cut in several days. I successfully hit my 7 iron out of it just about every time, usually advancing it far enough that it was an easy pitch to the green from where it ended up on par 4's, or reasonable shots from the fairway on par 5's. I found out later I was leading my flight by several strokes until I completely fell apart on the last few holes, which had nothing to do with hitting out of the rough.

    Posted:
  • davep043davep043  4129WRX Points: 1,328Members Posts: 4,129
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    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    Sure, but you are still making a similar mistake. We don't care about that one shot. We care about the score, on average, over time, on the hole.

    I'm doing my best to make a decision that will give me the lowest score on that hole, from that position. I'm always trying to get as close to the hole as I can, while limiting risk to an acceptable level. For a long iron from really deep rough, given 100 tries from an identical range, my results are going to be very widely variable, much more varied than the same club from a decent lie. The 30-yard grounder, staying in heavy rough, is a definite possibility when in really deep rough, where its not for a normal lie. I have to take the entire potential distribution into account when I make a choice, along with my likely scores from my ending position. If I have a reasonable chance to get to 50 yards, I will, I don't automatically lay back to 100. Its always as close as reasonably possible, taking into account the risks balanced against the possible rewards.

    Posted:
  • North ButteNorth Butte  11741WRX Points: 1,538Members Posts: 11,741
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    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    Sure, but you are still making a similar mistake. We don't care about that one shot. We care about the score, on average, over time, on the hole.

    I'm doing my best to make a decision that will give me the lowest score on that hole, from that position. I'm always trying to get as close to the hole as I can, while limiting risk to an acceptable level. For a long iron from really deep rough, given 100 tries from an identical range, my results are going to be very widely variable, much more varied than the same club from a decent lie. The 30-yard grounder, staying in heavy rough, is a definite possibility when in really deep rough, where its not for a normal lie. I have to take the entire potential distribution into account when I make a choice, along with my likely scores from my ending position. If I have a reasonable chance to get to 50 yards, I will, I don't automatically lay back to 100. Its always as close as reasonably possible, taking into account the risks balanced against the possible rewards.

    There are two sets of questions in play.

    The direct questions are:
    1) What is my distribution of possible outcomes from this shot with each club option?
    2) What are the scoring implications (on average) for each of those possible outcomes?

    The meta-questions are:
    1) Do I have enough information to get a decent estimate of the distribution of possible outcomes with each club option?
    2a) How will my execution of this shot be affected by the uncertainty in my mind regarding outcomes?
    2b) Will an unfavorable outcome of this shot affect my ability to execute the next shot?

    My suggestion is, for most amateur golfers, knowledge of the true shot-outcome probabilities given all the factors affecting a shot in "rough" is fragmentary at best, wishful thinking at worst. So in a lot of cases the answer to meta-question 1 is a resounding NO.

    I'd also suggest unless you have a stronger mental game than 99% of non-professional golfers there is a distinct possibility that uncertainty about the outcome will affect your performance on the shot (with doubt in your mind) and potentially the frustration of a bad outcome will affect your execution on the next shot (and the next after that, perhaps).

    Remember this scene from The Matrix?

    Oracle: I'd ask you to sit down, but you're not going to anyway. And don't worry about the vase.
    Neo: What vase? [Neo knocks over a vase with his elbow. It falls down and breaks.]
    Oracle: That vase.
    Neo: I'm sorry.
    Oracle: I said don't worry about it. I'll get one of my kids to fix it.
    Neo: How did you know?
    Oracle: Ohhh, what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?... You're cuter than I thought. I can see why she likes you.
    Neo: Who?
    Oracle: Not too bright, though.

    Posted:
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    every 6 hours.
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    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
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  • FlyingLaw1FlyingLaw1 MO 880WRX Points: 143Members Posts: 880
    Joined:  edited May 21, 2019 1:51pm #88

    For me it really kinda depends. Right now with all the rain we've gotten the fescue rough around here is insane. You can lose your ball after watching it all the way to the ground...Trying to hit out of it is very difficult. If I have a bad lie its probably gonna be a hack out with a wedge. If I have a pretty good lie I may try to hit up to an 8 iron. Nothing more than that though.

    If it's summer and the fescue is dry its not all that hard so if it's a good lie I've hit up to 3 wood out of it.

    Posted:
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  • North ButteNorth Butte  11741WRX Points: 1,538Members Posts: 11,741
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    As a long-term Bogey Golfer who only plays about 3x a week, I've learned to accept that in real time under real conditions there are a lot of situations where the optimum scoring strategy is not knowable. So I think it's important to have some fallback default plan for dealing with highly uncertain shots.

    For instance in a fairway bunker with a high lip, I simply can not reliably assess whether a 6-iron might get up quickly enough or if I should use a 7-iron to be sure. Or whether the reward of getting up near the green by hitting a hybrid on average balances out against the risk of catching that hybrid fat or thin and leaving it buried under the lip. So my simple heuristic is this. Good lie with no meaningful lip in front of me? Hit a club that will reach at least the front of the green. Dodgy lie or a lip to contend with? Advance it 90 yards with a GW.

    For shots from long rough, here's the plan. Is the lie bad enough that I can't see at least half of the back side of the ball? Aim for the widest part of the fairway, play it back in my stance and hit down steeply on an 8-iron. Is the lie so bad I can't see the ball until I'm standing directly over it? Chop it out with the lob wedge and aim for the nearest short grass, even if it's backward. Can I see most of the ball above the rough? Go ahead and play a long club but not one that will reach trouble (water, sand, trees, OB) if it comes out offline.

    Some people would no doubt label this as weak-minded or leaving potential strokes on the table. But any shot with a high degree of uncertainty has the potential to start a cascade of decisions that don't pay off, leading to one bad shot followed by a worse one then another one worse still. Pursuing a theoretical 0.2 stroke long-term advantage is all fine as long as that pursuit doesn't involve guessing correctly at outcomes that a weekend golfer is simply not equipped to assess.

    Posted:
    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • jjfcpajjfcpa Driver - Tour Edge EXS 10.5 Omaha, NE 644WRX Points: 202Members Posts: 644
    Joined:  #90

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @jjfcpa said:

    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    On -, @jjfcpa said:

    I am the OP. There's rough and then there's thick rough. Deep, narly stuff that is at least above the tops of your shoes. That's the kind of stuff that, unless you get a perfect swing, will not make contact with the ball... especially when the ball has settled to the very bottom of the rough, as was the case with me.

    It's difficult to practice this kind of shot because this was a case where the ground had a slight drop off and the grass cutters made an imperfect pass when cutting the grass. If my ball had settled just another 10 yards ahead or to the left, it would have been a very playable shot out of the rough. In this case, no way could you get the club on the ball without getting grass in between. I think the club to play would have been either a wedge or 9 iron.

    Right, I mean, we can always come up with scenarios that buck the trend - there is, of course, some rough that you literally cannot hit out of. But "trust me, the rough was awful, i had no choice but to punch out" doesn't make for a very interesting discussion.

    A worse discussion is I hit a 5 iron out of very thick rough and went 40 yards. Of course, you have to consider the risk and rewards when choosing your club for whatever shot, but I'm not sure how much practice you want to spend on a shot that happens maybe 1 in a 100 shots if even that many. Even if you did practice it a few times or 50 times, if it only happens once ever 5 - 10 rounds, that practice probably won't help much.

    Good course management means assessing the risk based on your abilities and the possibilities of making a rewarding shot. In this case, and I venture to say most of the discussion in this thread, would be to get the ball where the risk is less and the reward is more.

    Based on what we saw in the PGA Championship, I wonder if he would have used the hybrid out of the thick rough if he was going to play that shot a second time???

    Yeah, but that doesn't make sense man. It doesn't matter how many times you have the shot it matters the effect that shot can have on your score. How often do you practice tap-ins? I hope the answer is an hour a day, because you have a TON of them.

    If your course has rough as gnarly as you are describing then its like water. You should be practicing out of there constantly. I play a tree-lined course, and a lot of my practice time is spent hitting low curves because two holes that are long and tight generally determine my score.

    I'm the type of person that seldom plays the same course twice in a month. We move around a lot. This particular "ball in rough" situation was one that I had never encountered on this particular course. In fact, I haven't played this course since last fall.

    And yes, I spend 60-70% of my time on the short game. Since I'm not a long hitter, I have to rely on my short game skills to salvage those times when I can't get a GIR.

    While I end up in the trees sometimes, I don't practice hitting out of there that much because I have to prioritize my limited practice time so that it can do me the most good.

    Posted:
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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolina 28931WRX Points: 5,421Members Posts: 28,931
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    On -, @pinestreetgolf said:

    These answers strike me as off. Do you ever practice this shot? It seems to me going out there at 7 or whenever, dropping 20 shag balls in the deep rough, and practicing blasting them out up by the green somewhere would be pretty useful. Is the thread saying that people should just give up on ever being able to get the ball in the green complex from deep rough? Or just that you should do that now but try to get better at it?

    If someone is weak from a fairway bunker nobody tells them to hit it to 100 yards. They (correctly) tell them to get better. Why is this different? Not all rough is created equal, but with some practice you can learn how to get super-steep and hit bullets that give you a short game shot.

    Hitting to 100 doesn't guarantee you anything. You'll probably make bogey and sometimes double. If we compare the rate at which the average player can get up and down in 3 from 100 and the rate at which the average player can get up and down in 4 from deep rough without punching out I would be willing to bet hitting the ball hard wins over laying up every time. Will there be nightmares from the deep rough? Of course. But there can also be nightmares from 100. This Saturday I was on a roll and had 99 into a green. I flew it, hit an awful chip and three-putted. 100 yards isn't a synonym for par, especially for weaker players.

    Get used to the idea that course management isn't another word for being conservative. Good players end up near the green in regulation. Bad players end up praying for 5s from distance.

    The problem is that its hugely psychological. The only way to blast it out is to swing full-out without scooping, which is very difficult without confidence, which is impossible without practice.

    If you have a clear view of the green and there is not a stroke-costing hazard you have to carry you should be hitting at the green. Period.

    We agree on that. You can practice this shot and if you have any strength at all advance the ball up near the green. Problem is most players just rare back and flip hard at it. You actually need to turn hard and hold on while aiming left. This adds loft and holds the face square.

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