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3W vs Driver off the tee


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If you're playing the somewhat standard New England tree lined course, actual deviation is going to be more important than percent deviation.

 

"Yeah, I'm trapped behind that tree but my deviation was only 12%."

 

There is obviously a line at which this is not true, or else you'd hit sand wedge off every tee. It has the smallest actual deviation.

 

On a serious note, the quibble isn't with what you actually hit. Do whatever you want. I'm simply saying hitting the ball 300 and 10 yards offline is much more accurate than hitting it 100 and 5 yards offline, regardless of the features of the course you happen to be playing.

is this serious? how is that even comparable lol

 

It's comparable by percent deviation, as has been discussed throughout this thread. You can't discuss distance and accuracy independently. The longer you hit the more inaccurate you get if accuracy is measured by how many fairways you hit. Since golfers miss in degrees, what actually matters is accuracy adjusted for distance. In the example above the pitching wedge is a significantly less accurate shot even though it looks more accurate.

at this point, I think you are joking with everyone......nobody cares about "degrees of miss".....its golf, not geometry. Are you in the fairway or not....when you hit the driver, does it hook/slice and put you in a bad spot vs the 3 wood which is much easier to control for a large number of players....are you in the fairway with your 3 wood? nobody cares about that other stuff......in your world, you hit a driver 320 into the rough behind a tree and somehow you are in a better spot than the guy who hits a 3 wood in the center of the fairway but has "only" hit it 280. because the % of deviation is lower with the driver, he has been more accurate.....its hilarious.
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Most days, I wonder why I even have a 3 wood. When I need to bomb it, I hit my driver, when I need to hit a conservative shot, I go easy on my driver, and if I NEED it in the fairway, I hit my 20 degr

If you're playing the somewhat standard New England tree lined course, actual deviation is going to be more important than percent deviation.

 

"Yeah, I'm trapped behind that tree but my deviation was only 12%."

 

There is obviously a line at which this is not true, or else you'd hit sand wedge off every tee. It has the smallest actual deviation.

 

On a serious note, the quibble isn't with what you actually hit. Do whatever you want. I'm simply saying hitting the ball 300 and 10 yards offline is much more accurate than hitting it 100 and 5 yards offline, regardless of the features of the course you happen to be playing.

is this serious? how is that even comparable lol

 

It's comparable by percent deviation, as has been discussed throughout this thread. You can't discuss distance and accuracy independently. The longer you hit the more inaccurate you get if accuracy is measured by how many fairways you hit. Since golfers miss in degrees, what actually matters is accuracy adjusted for distance. In the example above the pitching wedge is a significantly less accurate shot even though it looks more accurate.

at this point, I think you are joking with everyone......nobody cares about "degrees of miss".....its golf, not geometry. Are you in the fairway or not....when you hit the driver, does it hook/slice and put you in a bad spot vs the 3 wood which is much easier to control for a large number of players....are you in the fairway with your 3 wood? nobody cares about that other stuff......in your world, you hit a driver 320 into the rough behind a tree and somehow you are in a better spot than the guy who hits a 3 wood in the center of the fairway but has "only" hit it 280. because the % of deviation is lower with the driver, he has been more accurate.....its hilarious.

 

Anyone who uses a trackman cares a whole lot about degrees of miss. Its what your face angle and path combine to produce at impact.

 

We don't use "are you in the fairway or not" *when evaluating changes to our bags* because its dependent on: 1. you making the correct choice in club and 2. the course you are playing on.

 

If you happen to go play a course with super-tight fairways and then go play a course with super-wide fairways your accuracy doesn't change. You are still the same golfer. In order to accurately evaluate improvements to your swing or changes to your equipment, you have to factor out other variables. In this context, the two variables you have to factor out are the course you are playing ("hitting the fairway" is much harder some places than others) and what club you pull (your swing change might have made you significantly more accurate, but you might still need work on course management).

 

Obviously I don't think you are better off behind a tree. But I think there is a chance that the 320 golfer is more accurate than the 280 golfer and just happened to hit it to a bad spot on that particular hole.

 

In other words, an inaccurate result doesn't mean an inaccurate swing.

 

The only way to evaluate your actual accuracy (whether to evaluate swing changes or equipment changes) is the percent you miss your target line as a proportion of how far the ball traveled. If you don't at least take a brief look at it, your equipment change could be hurting you and you just happen to be playing a course that's not tight. Or your equipment change could have helped you a ton, but you just happen to be playing a tight course the first time you take it out. "Fairway" means a lot to your score in the short-term, but almost nothing to evaluating your swing or equipment. You have to factor out the course your playing and your course management to get a true sense of how accurate your swing and equipment are. The best metric for this is percent deviation.

 

EDIT:

I don't know why you are so rude in these posts. I don't think I've been anything but polite to you in (trying to) explain this.

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This is going to sound extremely odd. I never look at accuracy when I evaluate hitting a 3 wood or driver. I look at distance needed to hit the shot. When I play courses that allow me to hit the driver I hit it as much as I can simply because the additional distance off the tee is advantageous. If I am playing a course that is "tighter" it depends what "tighter" means, on whether or not I start hitting 3 woods. I think golf holes which have doglegs, for example, give you a reason to hit 3 woods simply because you might be laying up to a wide spot or a bend. Whereas, if you hit driver you hit it "through" the fairway. Even here though, I hit a draw so if I am playing a long dogleg left I will still hit driver.

 

This is pretty typical of my tee selection strategy as an example of my description above:

 

320 yard hole with water at 250 yards in front of the green: 4 iron

530 yard par 5 with trees down both sides "tight": still driver

400 yard dogleg right "tight": 3 wood

400 yard dogleg left "tight": driver

360 yard dogleg left "tight": hybrid

 

So as examples, unless there is some other variable such as out of bounds, fairway bunkers or so on, my decision on 3 wood vs driver off the box would be a decision of distance not which one I hit straighter. My thought would be if you hit either one of them crooked you might need to search for better fit on equipment because, IMHO both are need to play good golf.

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I didn't totally understand your posts above this one, Stuart, but I respect your opinion so if I missed something please let me know. I use to use two drivers, one of which was much more accurate than the other. However, I placed them into categories in my brain - my "accurate" driver and my "long" driver. There is a very high chance that my accurate driver was less accurate than my memory suggests and that my long driver was shorter than my memory suggests. No argument form me that I am not exempt from polarized memory.

 

I brought it up because you specifically used the term 'crooked' and 'not crooked' to describe the difference between the shorter and longer drivers. To me that implies improvements to the lines (not just fairway hit). Many times you've made references or statements really, that a shorter club (whether 3wd or cut down driver) will not improve the line and that seemed inconsistent with your own experience.

 

That view is certainly not consistent with my experiences or what I've seen of others who have posted about their experience reducing playing lengths (tons of posts) or the experience of other fitters who have shared their experiences here in the forum.

 

I brought it up because a bunch of posters said that all that mattered was the fairway. I think we are talking about the same thing when we say "angular deviation" and "percent deviation", but if we are not then please correct me. I am talking about the amount, in percent, the ball deviates from the target line compared to the distance it travels i.e. "factoring out" distance from the accuracy equation because longer players will always be less accurate without averaging it out.

 

Could be similar but I dont' think it's the same. But IMO "percent deviation" is too vague by itself (percent of what?) and not really sure percentage is a good measure even if it were more specific. Percentage is a ratio of two numbers or of a value to a baseline. If I'm 5 or even 10 degrees offline (the actual angular deviation, not a percentage), what do I compare that 5 degrees to to get a ratio or percentage?

 

Again, you've helped me more than anyone on the site, so I hesitate to disagree. That said, it seems to me fairway hit counts also includes a third element - the course you happen to be playing. That is why I don't think "hitting the fairway" is a very good measure of accuracy. Its a lot easier on some courses than others. I don't understand it when you say that "fairways hit" is a stat combining accuracy with chosen start line. It seems to me the course has a huge say in it, no?

 

Don't worry, it doesnt' bother me if someone disagrees with me or challenges anything I say. If I can't properly support any points made, I probably shouldn't have shared them :-)

 

In this particular aspect, I dont' think we disagree all that much at least. Maybe you misunderstood what I meant by the the other factors contributing to the fairways hit stat. It's not just the start line but all the factors going into the decision the player makes when they choose their club and shot. So yes, the course (and specifically the players knowledge of the course) can play a big part. The "accuracy" of the club is about the ability to execute the chosen shot, the rest is more about how good the choice they made was.

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Another thing I failed to mention in my post above: I would also include the shot I want to hit into the green as an additional variable. I may for example want to hit a 3 wood instead of a driver simply because I want a 100 yard shot vs a 60 yard shot into a par 4.

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]at this point, I think you are joking with everyone......nobody cares about "degrees of miss".....its golf, not geometry.

 

You may not need to assign a number to it but you might care more then you think and you may even be thinking about it without being aware that you are. Think of it this way, you don't think the reason why you missed the fairway is important? Look at these two scenarios:

 

scenerio A - you miss the fairway because you hit the ball dead straight on the line you wanted but it went through the fairway into the rough because of a dog leg or into a hazard you were trying to lay up in front of, etc.. Maybe the distance wasn't as much as you thought, maybe the wind didn't have the expected effect, maybe the fairway was a lot harder and you go more roll out then you expected.

 

scenerio B - You miss the fairway because you hit the ball significantly offline - a decent push or pull or slice or hook (or any possible combination).

 

Do you really think of those two the same? Are they both going to have the same effect on choices you might make either later in the round or the next time you come back to play that hole?

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Another thing I failed to mention in my post above: I would also include the shot I want to hit into the green as an additional variable. I may for example want to hit a 3 wood instead of a driver simply because I want a 100 yard shot vs a 60 yard shot into a par 4.

 

Uh oh... buckle up :)

 

In Every Shot Counts, Broadie concludes, that laying up short of a green to a comfortable distance, such as 100 yards, doesn't generally lead to better scores than knocking the ball as close as possible.

 

I'll try to stick to the topic at hand...!

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Another thing I failed to mention in my post above: I would also include the shot I want to hit into the green as an additional variable. I may for example want to hit a 3 wood instead of a driver simply because I want a 100 yard shot vs a 60 yard shot into a par 4.

 

Uh oh... buckle up :)

 

In Every Shot Counts, Broadie concludes, that laying up short of a green to a comfortable distance, such as 100 yards, doesn't generally lead to better scores than knocking the ball as close as possible.

 

I'll try to stick to the topic at hand...!

 

Uh oh...buckle up. Don't really care what Broadie concludes. If you will read my earlier post you will see that is says, "When I play courses that allow me to hit the driver I hit it as much as I can simply because the additional distance off the tee is advantageous. " Now that said, there are "definitely times I would rather be 100 yards than 60 yards". Elevation changes, desired spin on shot, what club I get to hit from the desired distance, flag location, desired shot height. If you can't acknowledge that we can agree to disagree on strategy. And notice even Broadie adds a disclaimer by saying "generally" not "definitely"

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Titleist 15 degree TS3 w/ 75 Even Flow 6.5 
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Titleist 4 iron 718 T-MB w/ Modus 120X
Titleist 5-PW 718 CB's w/ Modus 120X
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I brought it up because you specifically used the term 'crooked' and 'not crooked' to describe the difference between the shorter and longer drivers. To me that implies improvements to the lines (not just fairway hit). Many times you've made references or statements really, that a shorter club (whether 3wd or cut down driver) will not improve the line and that seemed inconsistent with your own experience.

 

 

Correct. I was helped by cutting down my driver shaft. I currently play my G30 at 44.5" and a heavier head. But I didn't do it by counting fairways, but by calculating that I was *enough* closer to my target line that losing the yardage was worth it. I also agree we are saying very much the same thing.

 

I think a whole lot of people are helped by a shorter driver or club actually making them more accurate, but they should have the whole picture (IMO) before they make that decision. I posted because I thought a lot of the posters are looking at the wrong thing and potentically coming to incorrect conclusions about swing or gear. "Hitting the fairway" has just as much (if not more) to do with where you play and how well your brain works on the course than how long your driver shaft is. So, I think its a real bad way of measuring if your a candidate for it or if it is working.

 

For example, lets say 45" is 300 yards 30 yards average offline (10% miss).

 

If cutting the driver down to 44.5" simply reduces you to 280 yards and a 28 yard average offline miss, you arn't more accurate (still missing by 10%).

 

If cutting the driver down to 44.5" reduces you to 295 yards (better center contact) and a 15 yard average offline miss, you should obviously do it (much more accurate, adjusted for distance).

 

Its the grey area that can fool you, and I think a whole lot of golfers go into the grey area - they are a little shorter and more accurate, but not *so much* more that its a no brainer (like in scenario 2). So lets say you cut it down to 280 yards, but your miss is now 25 yards offline.

 

You are "more accurate" (25 versus 28) in an absolute sense but you are less accurate in a percentage sense. Now the player has a decision to make. Nobody would dispute that getting longer makes you less accurate - the shortest hitters on tour are the most accurate, the longest the least accurate. When you adjust for distance the picture of "Accurate" changes and becomes more accurate (pun intended).

 

I just think "Fairway" is a horrible metric to use in evaluating anything, and its used constantly for some reason.

 

Another thing I failed to mention in my post above: I would also include the shot I want to hit into the green as an additional variable. I may for example want to hit a 3 wood instead of a driver simply because I want a 100 yard shot vs a 60 yard shot into a par 4.

 

Uh oh... buckle up :)

 

In Every Shot Counts, Broadie concludes, that laying up short of a green to a comfortable distance, such as 100 yards, doesn't generally lead to better scores than knocking the ball as close as possible.

 

I'll try to stick to the topic at hand...!

 

I saw it and ignored it. :) Plenty of discussion from me on this topic in the "should I ditch the 3 wood" thread. People confuse "comfort, high and pretty" with "low score". They'll hit a better feeling and sounding shot from 100 most likely, but it will end up further away from the hole. The average PGA pro is 55% better from 50 than 100, and a 20 cap its even more extreme. I don't understand why people who are trying to improve do things they are comfortable with. That seems like a good recipie for being the same. But, no reason to get into it here again. Some (most?) people value "being comfortable" ahead of scoring lower. You will never convince those people they are dead wrong and that, given enough time not laying up, they'll be just as comfortable from 50 and half as far!

 

This is going to sound extremely odd. I never look at accuracy when I evaluate hitting a 3 wood or driver. I look at distance needed to hit the shot. When I play courses that allow me to hit the driver I hit it as much as I can simply because the additional distance off the tee is advantageous. If I am playing a course that is "tighter" it depends what "tighter" means, on whether or not I start hitting 3 woods. I think golf holes which have doglegs, for example, give you a reason to hit 3 woods simply because you might be laying up to a wide spot or a bend. Whereas, if you hit driver you hit it "through" the fairway. Even here though, I hit a draw so if I am playing a long dogleg left I will still hit driver.

 

This is pretty typical of my tee selection strategy as an example of my description above:

 

320 yard hole with water at 250 yards in front of the green: 4 iron

530 yard par 5 with trees down both sides "tight": still driver

400 yard dogleg right "tight": 3 wood

400 yard dogleg left "tight": driver

360 yard dogleg left "tight": hybrid

 

So as examples, unless there is some other variable such as out of bounds, fairway bunkers or so on, my decision on 3 wood vs driver off the box would be a decision of distance not which one I hit straighter. My thought would be if you hit either one of them crooked you might need to search for better fit on equipment because, IMHO both are need to play good golf.

 

The point is that this is a false dichotomy. Distance and accuracy are intertwined so tightly that you can't evaluate one without the other. Both are absolutely needed, but without thinking about it you are choosing based on both distance AND accuracy. You hit the hybrid "Straighter" *Because* it travels less far and it has more loft. Picking a hybrid "based on distance" is also an accuracy decision. If it was possible for you to catch a flyer off the tee and hit your hybrid 310, you wouldn't hit it as often because it could go way offline. But a 250 3 hybrid off the tee can only go so far left or right. Inherent in a distance decision is an accuracy decision and vice versa. That's what I'm saying. You can't evaluate "accuracy" by the fairway or by simply how far off the target line you go. You have to factor in distance because it is a fact of physics that when we measure golf impact we measure in degrees and the further the ball travels the more offline it will go given the same number of degrees off at impact.

 

Everyone talks about the old guy at their club who hits it up the middle all the time but chances are he's not very accurate at all. He's just short. In choosing equipment (and evaluating/choosing whether to) cut down your driver, you have to evaluate your accuracy in terms of the percent you miss the target line as a proportion of your distance. "i'm in the fairway more" doesn't actually mean anything. Incidentally, I believe this is the reason that a whole lot of people have games that don't travel well. They optimize their equipment for their home course without even realizing it because they use things like "fairways hit". Then they go to a tight/wide course and their inaccurate/short.

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Bridgestone j40 DPC 6-PW x100

Vokey sm5 50/12F 56/10S x100

Taylormade Spider X

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I brought it up because you specifically used the term 'crooked' and 'not crooked' to describe the difference between the shorter and longer drivers. To me that implies improvements to the lines (not just fairway hit). Many times you've made references or statements really, that a shorter club (whether 3wd or cut down driver) will not improve the line and that seemed inconsistent with your own experience.

 

 

Correct. I was helped by cutting down my driver shaft. I currently play my G30 at 44.5" and a heavier head. But I didn't do it by counting fairways, but by calculating that I was *enough* closer to my target line that losing the yardage was worth it. I also agree we are saying very much the same thing.

 

I think a whole lot of people are helped by a shorter driver or club actually making them more accurate, but they should have the whole picture (IMO) before they make that decision. I posted because I thought a lot of the posters are looking at the wrong thing and potentically coming to incorrect conclusions about swing or gear. "Hitting the fairway" has just as much (if not more) to do with where you play and how well your brain works on the course than how long your driver shaft is. So, I think its a real bad way of measuring if your a candidate for it or if it is working.

 

For example, lets say 45" is 300 yards 30 yards average offline (10% miss).

 

If cutting the driver down to 44.5" simply reduces you to 280 yards and a 28 yard average offline miss, you arn't more accurate (still missing by 10%).

 

If cutting the driver down to 44.5" reduces you to 295 yards (better center contact) and a 15 yard average offline miss, you should obviously do it (much more accurate, adjusted for distance).

 

Its the grey area that can fool you, and I think a whole lot of golfers go into the grey area - they are a little shorter and more accurate, but not *so much* more that its a no brainer (like in scenario 2). So lets say you cut it down to 280 yards, but your miss is now 25 yards offline.

 

You are "more accurate" (25 versus 28) in an absolute sense but you are less accurate in a percentage sense. Now the player has a decision to make. Nobody would dispute that getting longer makes you less accurate - the shortest hitters on tour are the most accurate, the longest the least accurate. When you adjust for distance the picture of "Accurate" changes and becomes more accurate (pun intended).

 

I just think "Fairway" is a horrible metric to use in evaluating anything, and its used constantly for some reason.

 

Another thing I failed to mention in my post above: I would also include the shot I want to hit into the green as an additional variable. I may for example want to hit a 3 wood instead of a driver simply because I want a 100 yard shot vs a 60 yard shot into a par 4.

 

Uh oh... buckle up :)

 

In Every Shot Counts, Broadie concludes, that laying up short of a green to a comfortable distance, such as 100 yards, doesn't generally lead to better scores than knocking the ball as close as possible.

 

I'll try to stick to the topic at hand...!

 

I saw it and ignored it. :) Plenty of discussion from me on this topic in the "should I ditch the 3 wood" thread. People confuse "comfort, high and pretty" with "low score". They'll hit a better feeling and sounding shot from 100 most likely, but it will end up further away from the hole. The average PGA pro is 55% better from 50 than 100, and a 20 cap its even more extreme. I don't understand why people who are trying to improve do things they are comfortable with. That seems like a good recipie for being the same. But, no reason to get into it here again. Some (most?) people value "being comfortable" ahead of scoring lower. You will never convince those people they are dead wrong and that, given enough time not laying up, they'll be just as comfortable from 50 and half as far!

 

This is going to sound extremely odd. I never look at accuracy when I evaluate hitting a 3 wood or driver. I look at distance needed to hit the shot. When I play courses that allow me to hit the driver I hit it as much as I can simply because the additional distance off the tee is advantageous. If I am playing a course that is "tighter" it depends what "tighter" means, on whether or not I start hitting 3 woods. I think golf holes which have doglegs, for example, give you a reason to hit 3 woods simply because you might be laying up to a wide spot or a bend. Whereas, if you hit driver you hit it "through" the fairway. Even here though, I hit a draw so if I am playing a long dogleg left I will still hit driver.

 

This is pretty typical of my tee selection strategy as an example of my description above:

 

320 yard hole with water at 250 yards in front of the green: 4 iron

530 yard par 5 with trees down both sides "tight": still driver

400 yard dogleg right "tight": 3 wood

400 yard dogleg left "tight": driver

360 yard dogleg left "tight": hybrid

 

So as examples, unless there is some other variable such as out of bounds, fairway bunkers or so on, my decision on 3 wood vs driver off the box would be a decision of distance not which one I hit straighter. My thought would be if you hit either one of them crooked you might need to search for better fit on equipment because, IMHO both are need to play good golf.

 

The point is that this is a false dichotomy. Distance and accuracy are intertwined so tightly that you can't evaluate one without the other. Both are absolutely needed, but without thinking about it you are choosing based on both distance AND accuracy. You hit the hybrid "Straighter" *Because* it travels less far and it has more loft. Picking a hybrid "based on distance" is also an accuracy decision. If it was possible for you to catch a flyer off the tee and hit your hybrid 310, you wouldn't hit it as often because it could go way offline. But a 250 3 hybrid off the tee can only go so far left or right. Inherent in a distance decision is an accuracy decision and vice versa. That's what I'm saying. You can't evaluate "accuracy" by the fairway or by simply how far off the target line you go. You have to factor in distance because it is a fact of physics that when we measure golf impact we measure in degrees and the further the ball travels the more offline it will go given the same number of degrees off at impact.

 

Everyone talks about the old guy at their club who hits it up the middle all the time but chances are he's not very accurate at all. He's just short. In choosing equipment (and evaluating/choosing whether to) cut down your driver, you have to evaluate your accuracy in terms of the percent you miss the target line as a proportion of your distance. "i'm in the fairway more" doesn't actually mean anything. Incidentally, I believe this is the reason that a whole lot of people have games that don't travel well. They optimize their equipment for their home course without even realizing it because they use things like "fairways hit". Then they go to a tight/wide course and their inaccurate/short.

 

Agreed!

Titleist 8.5 degree TS3 w/ 65 Even Flow 6.5
Titleist 15 degree TS3 w/ 75 Even Flow 6.5 
Titleist 2 iron 718 T-MB w/ Project X PXi 6.5
Titleist 4 iron 718 T-MB w/ Modus 120X
Titleist 5-PW 718 CB's w/ Modus 120X
Titleist Vokey SM7 52, 56, 50 degree w/ Modus 120X
Odyssey O Works Black 2M CS w/ Stability EI-GJ-1.0 34 7/8 inches 

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Another thing I failed to mention in my post above: I would also include the shot I want to hit into the green as an additional variable. I may for example want to hit a 3 wood instead of a driver simply because I want a 100 yard shot vs a 60 yard shot into a par 4.

 

Uh oh... buckle up :)

 

In Every Shot Counts, Broadie concludes, that laying up short of a green to a comfortable distance, such as 100 yards, doesn't generally lead to better scores than knocking the ball as close as possible.

 

I'll try to stick to the topic at hand...!

 

Uh oh...buckle up. Don't really care what Broadie concludes. If you will read my earlier post you will see that is says, "When I play courses that allow me to hit the driver I hit it as much as I can simply because the additional distance off the tee is advantageous. " Now that said, there are "definitely times I would rather be 100 yards than 60 yards". Elevation changes, desired spin on shot, what club I get to hit from the desired distance, flag location, desired shot height. If you can't acknowledge that we can agree to disagree on strategy. And notice even Broadie adds a disclaimer by saying "generally" not "definitely"

 

I was just having a little fun (based on prior threads I've seen you post in), hence the smiley. We haven't interacted a ton on here, but I hope we get to. You'll notice I'm a pretty polite person.

 

I've read the book and 100% agree with your assessment that it's a general rule and there are situations where hitting a stock 100 yard wedge shot is highly preferred over other options.

 

'Twas just bringing some levity.

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saw it and ignored it. :) Plenty of discussion from me on this topic in the "should I ditch the 3 wood" thread. People confuse "comfort, high and pretty" with "low score". They'll hit a better feeling and sounding shot from 100 most likely, but it will end up further away from the hole. The average PGA pro is 55% better from 50 than 100, and a 20 cap its even more extreme. I don't understand why people who are trying to improve do things they are comfortable with. That seems like a good recipie for being the same. But, no reason to get into it here again. Some (most?) people value "being comfortable" ahead of scoring lower. You will never convince those people they are dead wrong and that, given enough time not laying up, they'll be just as comfortable from 50 and half as far!

 

Partially agree with this. It is common sense that a PGA pro is 55% better from 50 than 100, and a 20 cap its even more extreme. My point is that doesn't mean on "every" particular shot you will be better off from 50 yards. It means given the "odds" on most shots you will be better. I may have a 50 yard shot that is almost impossible and from 100 yards its easier simply because of bite and spin. However, I agree with both you and rawdog that given most cases the 50 yard shot is easier for ANYBODY.

Titleist 8.5 degree TS3 w/ 65 Even Flow 6.5
Titleist 15 degree TS3 w/ 75 Even Flow 6.5 
Titleist 2 iron 718 T-MB w/ Project X PXi 6.5
Titleist 4 iron 718 T-MB w/ Modus 120X
Titleist 5-PW 718 CB's w/ Modus 120X
Titleist Vokey SM7 52, 56, 50 degree w/ Modus 120X
Odyssey O Works Black 2M CS w/ Stability EI-GJ-1.0 34 7/8 inches 

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Anyone who uses a trackman cares a whole lot about degrees of miss. Its what your face angle and path combine to produce at impact.

 

We don't use "are you in the fairway or not" *when evaluating changes to our bags* because its dependent on: 1. you making the correct choice in club and 2. the course you are playing on.

 

If you happen to go play a course with super-tight fairways and then go play a course with super-wide fairways your accuracy doesn't change. You are still the same golfer. In order to accurately evaluate improvements to your swing or changes to your equipment, you have to factor out other variables. In this context, the two variables you have to factor out are the course you are playing ("hitting the fairway" is much harder some places than others) and what club you pull (your swing change might have made you significantly more accurate, but you might still need work on course management).

 

Obviously I don't think you are better off behind a tree. But I think there is a chance that the 320 golfer is more accurate than the 280 golfer and just happened to hit it to a bad spot on that particular hole.

 

In other words, an inaccurate result doesn't mean an inaccurate swing.

 

The only way to evaluate your actual accuracy (whether to evaluate swing changes or equipment changes) is the percent you miss your target line as a proportion of how far the ball traveled. If you don't at least take a brief look at it, your equipment change could be hurting you and you just happen to be playing a course that's not tight. Or your equipment change could have helped you a ton, but you just happen to be playing a tight course the first time you take it out. "Fairway" means a lot to your score in the short-term, but almost nothing to evaluating your swing or equipment. You have to factor out the course your playing and your course management to get a true sense of how accurate your swing and equipment are. The best metric for this is percent deviation.

 

EDIT:

I don't know why you are so rude in these posts. I don't think I've been anything but polite to you in (trying to) explain this.

once again, you are trying to make an argument that nobody is discussing and has nothing to do with the original post......don't take it as rude, take it as passion. I don't mean to come off rude while typing. so excuse me for that. My bad. Its just you keep taking this in a direction that makes no sense to the average golfer who is much more accurate with his/her 3 wood over a huge driver.... And it not "THE ONLY WAY" to evaluate accuracy.....how about "I hit 10 into the woods with my driver" vs " I hit 10 fairways with my 3 wood.."......that's a real test.........worrying about % deviation is secondary because NOBODY in swing evaluation EVER discusses anything like this unless you are tiger woods. 99.99% of the amateur golfers out there will say. "i hit my 3 wood straighter and its easier to control" If i ever play with a guy who is talking about his 2% deviation after he has played from the rough all day and I beat him by 7 shots, i would say "you should hit the 3 wood off the tee once in a while. You hit that much straighter". If he comes back with "My accuracy rate is much better than yours and you are fooling yourself to think you are more accurate playing from the fairway all day".....id have to think at that point i need another playing partner
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I think a whole lot of people are helped by a shorter driver or club actually making them more accurate, but they should have the whole picture (IMO) before they make that decision. I posted because I thought a lot of the posters are looking at the wrong thing and potentically coming to incorrect conclusions about swing or gear.

 

That may have been your intent, but that's not how it's been coming out.

 

 

For example, lets say 45" is 300 yards 30 yards average offline (10% miss).

 

If cutting the driver down to 44.5" simply reduces you to 280 yards and a 28 yard average offline miss, you arn't more accurate (still missing by 10%).

 

If cutting the driver down to 44.5" reduces you to 295 yards (better center contact) and a 15 yard average offline miss, you should obviously do it (much more accurate, adjusted for distance).

 

While I agree with the concept you are trying to convey, it's a lot more obvious then you seem to think you don't need to do any much math to figure it out. Anyone watching the ball flight off the tee will get the exact same info. That particular ratio is purely a function of the angular deviation I mentioned - which is what one can clearly see off of the tee. The first two are 5.7 degrees off line, the last is 2.9 degrees off line.

 

 

I just think "Fairway" is a horrible metric to use in evaluating anything, and its used constantly for some reason.

 

Metrics are all about what you want to get out of them. If your goal when you play is to always get the ball in the fairway off the tee (par 3's excepted of course), then it's a great metric to monitor your success with that particular goal. If you don't care about hitting the fairways and more concerned about something else, then you are right, it probably wont be very good. Personally I'll look at it - but not really as an absolute number. I do look at how it trends on the courses I play on a regular basis. Over time, how it trends is going to be a pretty good indicator of the status of my game off the tee (which is usually what needs the most work).

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Metrics are all about what you want to get out of them. If your goal when you play is to always get the ball in the fairway off the tee (par 3's excepted of course), then it's a great metric to monitor your success with that particular goal. If you don't care about hitting the fairways and more concerned about something else, then you are right, it probably wont be very good. Personally I'll look at it - but not really as an absolute number. I do look at how it trends on the courses I play on a regular basis. Over time, how it trends is going to be a pretty good indicator of the status of my game off the tee (which is usually what needs the most work).

 

In case anyone is interested, I came across this thread last night:

 

http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1507374-zero-fairways-hit-in-a-round/

 

"Hit Zero Fairways in a Round"

 

Lots of discussion about the (lack of?) value in the FIR metric. Anecdotal evidence of scoring not correlating with FIRs.

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It's comparable by percent deviation, as has been discussed throughout this thread. You can't discuss distance and accuracy independently. The longer you hit the more inaccurate you get if accuracy is measured by how many fairways you hit. Since golfers miss in degrees, what actually matters is accuracy adjusted for distance. In the example above the pitching wedge is a significantly less accurate shot even though it looks more accurate.

at this point, I think you are joking with everyone......nobody cares about "degrees of miss".....its golf, not geometry. Are you in the fairway or not....when you hit the driver, does it hook/slice and put you in a bad spot vs the 3 wood which is much easier to control for a large number of players....are you in the fairway with your 3 wood? nobody cares about that other stuff......in your world, you hit a driver 320 into the rough behind a tree and somehow you are in a better spot than the guy who hits a 3 wood in the center of the fairway but has "only" hit it 280. because the % of deviation is lower with the driver, he has been more accurate.....its hilarious.

 

Anyone who uses a trackman cares a whole lot about degrees of miss. Its what your face angle and path combine to produce at impact.

 

We don't use "are you in the fairway or not" *when evaluating changes to our bags* because its dependent on: 1. you making the correct choice in club and 2. the course you are playing on.

 

If you happen to go play a course with super-tight fairways and then go play a course with super-wide fairways your accuracy doesn't change. You are still the same golfer. In order to accurately evaluate improvements to your swing or changes to your equipment, you have to factor out other variables. In this context, the two variables you have to factor out are the course you are playing ("hitting the fairway" is much harder some places than others) and what club you pull (your swing change might have made you significantly more accurate, but you might still need work on course management).

 

Obviously I don't think you are better off behind a tree. But I think there is a chance that the 320 golfer is more accurate than the 280 golfer and just happened to hit it to a bad spot on that particular hole.

 

In other words, an inaccurate result doesn't mean an inaccurate swing.

 

The only way to evaluate your actual accuracy (whether to evaluate swing changes or equipment changes) is the percent you miss your target line as a proportion of how far the ball traveled. If you don't at least take a brief look at it, your equipment change could be hurting you and you just happen to be playing a course that's not tight. Or your equipment change could have helped you a ton, but you just happen to be playing a tight course the first time you take it out. "Fairway" means a lot to your score in the short-term, but almost nothing to evaluating your swing or equipment. You have to factor out the course your playing and your course management to get a true sense of how accurate your swing and equipment are. The best metric for this is percent deviation.

 

EDIT:

I don't know why you are so rude in these posts. I don't think I've been anything but polite to you in (trying to) explain this.

 

Okay, I just got back from my daily 100 ball lunch break. I made a point of hitting 15 balls each with the driver (250 carry), 3w (235 carry) and 7w (210 carry). I made careful note of my dispersion with each club. Using Google Earth, my driver dispersion was 35 yds, 3w was 34 yds and 7w was 30 yds. That was widest to widest. Of the shots close to center (15' either side) out of the 15: Driver 9, 3w 10 and 7w 12. So, yes my dispersion was very similar with each club, but my percentage of shots close to line was higher with the higher lofted (read shorter) club. I will do my best to apply that to by clubbing decisions on my post-work 9 today.

 

BT

Bag 1

Cobra King LTD Pro 9.5* HZRDUS Black 7 6.0 @ 44.5"
King LTD 14.5 - Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 43"
F6 5-7 @ 17.5 - Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 41.5"
Mizuno MP5 4-PW - Aldila RIP Tour 115 R
Mizuno MP-T5 52, 56 & 60 - TT Wedge
Grips - Grip Master Master Perforated Midsize

Bag 2
F7 9.5* - Aldila Copperhead 70TX @ 44.5
King LTD Blk 14.5* - Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 43
King LTD Blk 19* - Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 41.5
Mizuno MP15 4-pw - Aldila RIP Tour 115 R
Mizuno MP-T5 Black 52, 56 & 60 - TT Wedge
Grips - Grip Master Classic Wrap Midsize

Bag 3
Mizuno ST190 9.5* - Diamana "Flowerband" Whiteboard 73 S @ 44.5"
Mizuno ST190 14.5* - Aldila RIP Phenom 80 S @ 43"
Epic Flash Heavenwood 19* - Aldila RIP Phenom 80 S @ 42" 
Mizuno MP25 4-pw - Recoil Proto 125 F4
Mizuno MP-T5 Satin 52, 56, & 60 TT Wedge
Grips - Grip Master Roo Midsize





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T or F?

1. Being longer is typically better than being short

2. Fairway is better than rough at the same distance

3. Fairways are over rated

4. Some people actually hit a shorter club straighter in terms of "degrees offline"

5. Assuming the "degrees offline" are the same, a longer club will have a wider dispersion thus potentially bringing more penalties into play on tight holes.

6. Avoiding penalties is key for scoring for most golfers

7. All of these factors should influence club selection

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T or F?

1. Being longer is typically better than being short

2. Fairway is better than rough at the same distance

3. Fairways are over rated

4. Some people actually hit a shorter club straighter in terms of "degrees offline"

5. Assuming the "degrees offline" are the same, a longer club will have a wider dispersion thus potentially bringing more penalties into play on tight holes.

6. Avoiding penalties is key for scoring for most golfers

7. All of these factors should influence club selection

1. that's what she said

2.T

3.F

4.LOL

5.T

6.ummm yea

7. F

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I went through testing this a few months ago and I personally I think I am more consistent with my driver than a 3 wood off the tee. Mainly due to the size of the head rather than the length of the shaft. I will tend to mis-hit both equally and at least with my driver I will still be down there a good distance compared to the same mishit with my fairway wood. My driver miss-hits are (most of the time) still in play.

 

I will only use the 3 or 5 wood off the tee If i know there is trouble that my driver may reach. Other wise driver all day from the tee and the woods from the fairway.

Callaway - Rogue Dr 9°, w/aldila synergy 60g

Srixon - ZU85 (18°) 2 Iron, w/UST Recoil F4 S 90g

Ping - G400 (17.5°) 5 Wood, w/alta cb blk 64g

Srixon - ZU85 (23°) 4 Iron, w/DG S300 

Srixon - Z765 5-9 Iron (+2° loft), w/DG S300 

Titleist - Vokey SM6 48°F & SM8 52°F, 56°S & 60°M w/DG  

Seemore - Nashville z3c black w/all black stepped shaft,

Srixon - Z Star

 

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Have you ever tried playing this Game: So this practice round you have to hit your 3 wood off every tee (not par 3s of course) and keep track of your stats (i use game golf) and your next practice round you have to use you driver and next a driving iron / long iron etc.

 

I have done this a few time and my driver just edged it but the scores were surprising very similar. I only lost shots on some of the longer par 4s by having to hit say a 6 iron or more into the green rather than say a 9 iron. My greens hit % is substantially better with a 9 than it is with a 6.

 

Anyone else do this and what results have you had??

Callaway - Rogue Dr 9°, w/aldila synergy 60g

Srixon - ZU85 (18°) 2 Iron, w/UST Recoil F4 S 90g

Ping - G400 (17.5°) 5 Wood, w/alta cb blk 64g

Srixon - ZU85 (23°) 4 Iron, w/DG S300 

Srixon - Z765 5-9 Iron (+2° loft), w/DG S300 

Titleist - Vokey SM6 48°F & SM8 52°F, 56°S & 60°M w/DG  

Seemore - Nashville z3c black w/all black stepped shaft,

Srixon - Z Star

 

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For ME I feel much more confident with driver than fairway wood. Sometimes I wonder why I even carry one as most times I end up hitting hybrid into par 5's and on short holes anyway.

 

Same for me..

 

Love my driver.. Only time fairway wood comes out is for 2nd shot on par 5.. Now that I think about it, I think I'm going to pull out my 3 wood..

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If your scatter pattern is wide and deep, then going for the 'fat of the fairway' makes the most sense. I play mostly on a short course with most holes being doglegs and there's a lot of trees. 230 off the tee is plenty monstrous for this layout and when you plunk one into the trees you feel like a bit of jamoke for not laying back. I don't even need a four wood there, which is very liberating. MtlJeff might compare that feeling to the feeling I get when I'm walking around my cabin naked, not even wearing my bra. Once again, I resent these crass insinuations and insist that Mtl strongly consider re-integrating himself into the 13.5 degrees of the golfing world, in a more user-friendly way, leaving behind the hurtful sarcasm that makes me all feel bloated and cranky.

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I went through testing this a few months ago and I personally I think I am more consistent with my driver than a 3 wood off the tee. Mainly due to the size of the head rather than the length of the shaft. I will tend to mis-hit both equally and at least with my driver I will still be down there a good distance compared to the same mishit with my fairway wood. My driver miss-hits are (most of the time) still in play.

 

I will only use the 3 or 5 wood off the tee If i know there is trouble that my driver may reach. Other wise driver all day from the tee and the woods from the fairway.

Absolutely, with the caveat that if the fairway pinches in at the landing distance of your average driver, then you've got to rethink.
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The point is that this is a false dichotomy. Distance and accuracy are intertwined so tightly that you can't evaluate one without the other. Both are absolutely needed, but without thinking about it you are choosing based on both distance AND accuracy. You hit the hybrid "Straighter" *Because* it travels less far and it has more loft. Picking a hybrid "based on distance" is also an accuracy decision. If it was possible for you to catch a flyer off the tee and hit your hybrid 310, you wouldn't hit it as often because it could go way offline. But a 250 3 hybrid off the tee can only go so far left or right. Inherent in a distance decision is an accuracy decision and vice versa. That's what I'm saying. You can't evaluate "accuracy" by the fairway or by simply how far off the target line you go. You have to factor in distance because it is a fact of physics that when we measure golf impact we measure in degrees and the further the ball travels the more offline it will go given the same number of degrees off at impact.

 

Everyone talks about the old guy at their club who hits it up the middle all the time but chances are he's not very accurate at all. He's just short. In choosing equipment (and evaluating/choosing whether to) cut down your driver, you have to evaluate your accuracy in terms of the percent you miss the target line as a proportion of your distance. "i'm in the fairway more" doesn't actually mean anything. Incidentally, I believe this is the reason that a whole lot of people have games that don't travel well. They optimize their equipment for their home course without even realizing it because they use things like "fairways hit". Then they go to a tight/wide course and their inaccurate/short.

 

 

Agreed!

"the old guy" dam......ageism

 

He's in the middle of the fairway, but he isn't accurate......gotta love it.....

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The point is that this is a false dichotomy. Distance and accuracy are intertwined so tightly that you can't evaluate one without the other. Both are absolutely needed, but without thinking about it you are choosing based on both distance AND accuracy. You hit the hybrid "Straighter" *Because* it travels less far and it has more loft. Picking a hybrid "based on distance" is also an accuracy decision. If it was possible for you to catch a flyer off the tee and hit your hybrid 310, you wouldn't hit it as often because it could go way offline. But a 250 3 hybrid off the tee can only go so far left or right. Inherent in a distance decision is an accuracy decision and vice versa. That's what I'm saying. You can't evaluate "accuracy" by the fairway or by simply how far off the target line you go. You have to factor in distance because it is a fact of physics that when we measure golf impact we measure in degrees and the further the ball travels the more offline it will go given the same number of degrees off at impact.

 

Everyone talks about the old guy at their club who hits it up the middle all the time but chances are he's not very accurate at all. He's just short. In choosing equipment (and evaluating/choosing whether to) cut down your driver, you have to evaluate your accuracy in terms of the percent you miss the target line as a proportion of your distance. "i'm in the fairway more" doesn't actually mean anything. Incidentally, I believe this is the reason that a whole lot of people have games that don't travel well. They optimize their equipment for their home course without even realizing it because they use things like "fairways hit". Then they go to a tight/wide course and their inaccurate/short.

 

 

Agreed!

"the old guy" dam......ageism

 

He's in the middle of the fairway, but he isn't accurate......gotta love it.....

 

I didn't say he isn't, I said he might not be. That isn't the same thing. Seriously man, this is how physics works.

 

If a fairway is 40 yards wide and a golfer drives the ball 200 yards it is virtually impossible for them to miss the fairway. They would have to have over a 20% miss (20 yards either side). Its almost impossible to swing that badly unless you try. Since we measure clubface in degrees, the longer the golfer hits it the more offline he will be given the same face angle at impact. The golfer in the example above who drives it 200 into a 40 yard wide fairway can be somewhere around 14* open or close at impact and still hit the fairway. A golfer who drives it 250 has to be at 5* open or closed.

 

So yes, as strange as it sounds, people in the fairway all the time arn't necessarily accurate. As they get shorter they don't need to be as accurate and they can still hit the fairway. This is why this game is difficult - its counter-intuitive.

 

If you chopped 50 yards off my driving distance tomorrow, I'd get about 30% more accurate and hit about 35% more fairways simply because I can't go far enough to get out of the fairway. Look at the diagram I drew earlier in the thread. 1 is just as inaccurate as 4 (its the same line) but he's in the fairway because he's short. Don't be that guy.

 

If you drive your car forward ten yards and don't get in an accident, you can't conclude from that you are a safe driver. You didn't go far enough to get into trouble. A golf ball that travels shorter has to be hit much worse to go out of the fairway than a golf ball that travels farther.

 

 

 

This is how a golf ball flies. Its a vector. The angle at the start determines the path to the end. If the fairway happens to end about two centimeters left the guy who hit it 200 is in the fairway and the guy who hit it 250 isn't. However, they are identically accurate - the ball is traveling on the same vector from impact with club to impact with ground. If you can't hit it more than X mph you can't go more than a centimeter left or right (in the drawing). If you can't go more than a centimeter left or right you can't help BUT hit the fairway.

 

So, as mocking as you want to be, you can be dead in the middle of the fairway and have made a hideously inaccurate swing if (1) your aim stinks or (2) you are very slow. A golfer who hits the fairway all the time and that hits a lot of mid-irons is likely shooting significantly worse than he could if he worked on his driver speed. Please note "likely" is not a typo for "definitely".

 

The Physics Classroom as a good discussion of how this works (and is a good resource in general):

 

http://www.physicscl...s-and-Direction

 

In the context of this discussion, the key is to make sure cutting down your driver is actually changing the vector, not simply moving you backwards along the same one. If you just move back along the same vector you are only more accurate if you happen to play a course where the fairway ends at the place your shorter driver now lands you (i.e. not likely at all).

 

EDIT:

I realize path throws a monkey wrench into it, but this is basically correct for this discussion IMO.

Ping G30 driver 3h 4h 5h stock stiff shafts

Bridgestone j40 DPC 6-PW x100

Vokey sm5 50/12F 56/10S x100

Taylormade Spider X

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I understand this concept completely. I still don't understand why you care so much about "accuracy" in the way you define it. At the same directional accuracy, the longer miss will be worse. If I hit a 3 hybrid off the tee and I'm in the primary rough and my playing partner is 60 yards further on the same line, in the woods, never to see his Pro V1 again, do I say, "yeah but your vector angle was just as good." Why not think in terms of functional accuracy? The wider your dispersion and the tighter the course the more a shorter hit brings less trouble into play. Are some shorter hitters more "accurate" (not really in term of their directional angle) as a function of being short? Sure. But they can score that way. Jim Furyk sure has made a lot of $$$ with his "no more accurate" swing.

 

At the end of the day I only care where my ball ends up and my objectives is order are 1. absolutely no penalties, and then 2. as long as I can be without penalty and then 3. In the fairway. I prefer all three. I don't bring a protractor with me to the course.

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I understand this concept completely. I still don't understand why you care so much about "accuracy" in the way you define it. At the same directional accuracy, the longer miss will be worse. If I hit a 3 hybrid off the tee and I'm in the primary rough and my playing partner is 60 yards further on the same line, in the woods, never to see his Pro V1 again, do I say, "yeah but your vector angle was just as good." Why not think in terms of functional accuracy? The wider your dispersion and the tighter the course the more a shorter hit brings less trouble into play. Are some shorter hitters more "accurate" (not really in term of their directional angle) as a function of being short? Sure. But they can score that way. Jim Furyk sure has made a lot of $$$ with his "no more accurate" swing.

 

At the end of the day I only care where my ball ends up and my objectives is order are 1. absolutely no penalties, and then 2. as long as I can be without penalty and then 3. In the fairway. I prefer all three. I don't bring a protractor with me to the course.

 

Because I'm not evaluating a ball on the course. I'm evaluating a piece of equipment. I totally agree (and I've said this three or four times) that saying "yeah, I'm in the woods but I had a better, longer vector" is really stupid.

 

However, this thread is about selecting and modifying equipment to become more accurate. You arn't evaluating where your ball is in that context, you are evaluating how tight your vector is to the target line. Your argument is akin to playing a home course with massive greens and then selecting irons with huge dispersion (or just ignoring dispersion) and telling me their fine because you are on the green. It doesn't matter that your course happens to have huge greens. You should factor that out when picking irons and pick the ones with the tighest dispersion. Nobody would say "well, these irons are pretty inaccurate, but who cares because i'll be on the green anyway". Same holds true with the fairway.

 

"Fairway" means different things on different courses. When you are selecting a piece of equipment (such as whether to cut down a driver) you want to evaluate your accuracy *in the abstract* not with regard to a partciular course or hole. This is what you do with every single other equipment choice but "fairways". You don't putt with a chipper because your home course has a ton of burnt-out spots, and you shouldn't cut your driver down if the course you happen to be playing on the day you evaluate your cut down driver is wide. Whether or not you hit the fairway has just as much to do with the difficulty (or lack thereof) of the hole as you and you need to factor it out to make optimal equipment decisions.

 

Obviously I'm not suggesting its better to be OB and longer on the same vector when evaluating performance on a particular hole. It is better, however, when selecting equipment. In other words, you want to know how accurate your equipment is helping/hurting you *without any other variables* (like the course you happen to be playing on).

 

I'm looking at it in terms of an entire season or more with a club in the bag, not a particular hole with a fairway that might happen to run out at a certain yardage. As I said earlier, I think this is a major reason most people's games don't travel well - they use metrics like "fairway" (which change course to course) instead of an objective, independant accuracy measurement.

 

We haven't even touched on how important this is to selecting what to work on in practice.

 

EDIT:

You don't need to "bring a protractor" to the course. There are a ton of golf GPS apps that do this for you.

Ping G30 driver 3h 4h 5h stock stiff shafts

Bridgestone j40 DPC 6-PW x100

Vokey sm5 50/12F 56/10S x100

Taylormade Spider X

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3w is a hook machine for me. I'm better off hitting a 3h if I need accuracy and not much distance. My 3h is good for 225 off the tee and it won't end up in the wrong zip code left like my 3w.

 

Like another posted said, I trust my driver but there are 2 or 3 holes on my course where a driver leaves with that uncomfortable 40-60 yard range that I cannot seem to figure out.

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