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Course Management Basics


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> @elthrill said:

> awwwww.... the old "better to be long and crooked than short and straight"...because the PGA tour research says so. thats just not cleanly applicable to the average 18 handicap golfer. Please keep in mind some facts:

> 1.) the average weekend golfer is playing courses around 6500 yds, not the 7200 yards of the PGA tour.

> 2.) the PGA tour has galleries and spotters to find balls that go offline. YOUR course does not. So when you get wild off the tee, you lose a lot of balls. those come with real penalties, basically 1-2 shots per, if you are playing by the correct rules. Not to mention the absolute train wreck to pace of play and overall enjoyment.

> 3.)most amateurs that struggle getting their driver in play have a BIG miss with the driver. We're talking 50+ yards and its going to cost them 3-4 OBs a round. Thats **** tough to overcome.

> 4.) the common amateur miss is a slice or hook that doesnt travel that far. We're talking a 200 yard slice, vs a 180 yard 5 wood. This isnt Brooks or DJ trading a 340 yd power fade against a 275 yd 3 wood or 2 iron. again the reward doesnt warrant the risk.

> 5.) the average amateur is going to give up MAJOR strokes each time they play out of the trees or rough. Brooks and DJ can hit about any shot they want out of thick rough, YOU CAN'T.

>

> I know the strokes gained research says, get it down there as far as you can. It just depends on how wild you are with the driver. I think you need to hit or very nearly hit about 50% of fairways to use that strategy. If you can't do that, you need to club down and narrow your miss and keep the ball in play.

>

 

The avg drive for an amateur is what??? 220 yards? On a 370 yard hole that would leave them with 150 or a 7 or 6 iron. Hit 3 wood or hybrid 190 down there and they have to hit nearly the same club into the green. What will an 18 handicap or really any handicap for that matter be more accurate with.....a 3 or 4 iron or a 7 iron?

Driver: Callaway Epic 9* w/ Graphite Design Tour AD M9003
FWY: Taylormade Rocketballz Tp 14.5*
Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18*
Irons: Srixon Z765 3-5 iron, z965 6-PW, Project X
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58*: Cleveland CG14 1 dot
Putter: Taylormade Daytona Rossa with agsi.

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Here’s some very basic stuff.

 

Get on an outdoor launch monitor, take about 20 swings with the driver 10-15 with the 3-wood and the 10 with your next longest club off the tee. Throw out the really bad swings. Then get your average carry for the driver, 3-wood and the next longest club.

 

Get on Google Earth and map out the course. You will be surprised how what you think is the middle of the fairway on a course you’ve always played is off. And this is particularly helpful on trouble holes and courses you have never played before.

 

Basic principles in driving is to try and use the longest driving club that is feasible to hit for the hole, but take a conservative line with regards to bunkers, water, penalty areas, etc. There’s no need to hug trees and penalty areas in hopes of having a slightly shorter 2nd shot.

 

Wind in your face means more of a conservative line off the tee. Tailwind = more aggressive line off the tee.

 

If your second shot is likely to be longer than 175 yards, don’t be afraid to hit driver, but focus more on taking your ‘stock swing’, making good contact and finding the fairway. Scores rise dramatically for golfers once they are 175+ away and they are in the rough.

 

Normally better to hit the 3-wood up as far as you can to the hole on a par-5 than it is to lay-up. One caveat is back pin locations. You could put one in the bunker and have a bunker shot longer than 25+ yards. In that case you’re better off laying up to a money yardage if you don’t think you’ll avoid the bunker.

 

Approach shots….generally I would not aim at a flag that is less than 6 paces from the edge of the green on approaches from 100-150 yards and less than 8 paces on a shot from 150-200 yards.

 

Par-3’s over 175 yards long…more often than not you’re better off just trying to find the middle of the green, both directionally and distance wise.

 

Landing areas and greens that are more orthogonal in shape (closer to a right angle) are more difficult to hit, so be more conservative. Think of #12 at Augusta…right pin on Sunday. Should never shoot at that flag. Better to play more towards the middle of the green and towards the back fringe. Same goes for drives where the fairway landing area is more orthogonal in design.

 

 

 

 

 

RH

 

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> @ferrispgm said:

> The avg drive for an amateur is what??? 220 yards? On a 370 yard hole that would leave them with 150 or a 7 or 6 iron. Hit 3 wood or hybrid 190 down there and they have to hit nearly the same club into the green. What will an 18 handicap or really any handicap for that matter be more accurate with.....a 3 or 4 iron or a 7 iron?

This thought assumes that the amateur is hitting it 220 yards straight. Based on my game, the games of my buddies, and the games of people I've been paired up with, that's not a good assumption to make.

A friend of mine cracked his driver and started teeing off with his hybrid (never owned a 3 wood). His scores dropped by a good 5-7 strokes almost immediately since he was in the fairway and not in the rough or the woods. So what did he do?

You guessed it... he ran out to Dick's, bought a new driver, and saw his scores climb back up with the OOB penalties.

 

 

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I find that for me, my course management improves dramatically playing for money. Doesn't have to be much. I play using a lot of the suggestions above when playing for a couple bucks. Playing for fun, I'll let it go a bit more. It also keeps my head in it after a bad shot or bad hole. You never know what everyone else is gonna shoot.

Playing for money is not everyone's bag. I would also suggest finding people to play with that practice good course management and play a fairly serious game ( not too serious or it isn't fun ). You'd be surprised at how much you pick up just playing with good players that make good decisions. Not all of it will relate to your game, but much of it will. I always play better when playing with good players. It's hard to grind out a number when everyone else your playing with is just beating balls and not really trying to score. I play with both types. I play hero golf with one group and try to post a score with the other.

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> @OrangeGravy said:

> I always play better when playing with good players. It's hard to grind out a number when everyone else your playing with is just beating balls and not really trying to score. I play with both types. I play hero golf with one group and try to post a score with the other.

 

I too find this true. And it’s nothing against high HC players or “hackers” but there’s something about playing against players equal to or better then you that I feel just elevates your game just that tiny bit. It’s hard to maintain a good pace and solid rhythm when you’re having to look for balls every other hole and waiting to hit your approach shot until they hit their 4th. But if anything, that sort of play can always teach you patience and trying to keep warmed up rather than being iced.

 

But truth be told I’d rather play with an 18 HC that maintained pace of play instead of a +1 that was slower than molasses in the middle of January.

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There is a guy on youtube that plays in the Thailand or the Phillipines a lot that touts the "stress-free golf." I wouldn't say that you necessarily learn a system or method to apply but watching him play it validates the thought process to stay within yourself and game and do not attempt things you are incapable of pulling off.

 

That being said the guy is a pretty darn good stick and hits his shots where he wants most of the time. Find a "go-to" shot that you _know_ will keep you in the short grass and ride it. If it is that hybrid, hit two hybrids into par four or shorter par five. I got where I could hit my 3I well off the tee. It was my safety blanket when my driver was giving me fits. Because I am pretty long anyway and got decent roll-out with the low ball flight I was still getting 230-260 at times with it. You can play with a drive that distance.

 

Don't take penalties. They destroy scores. Bogey golf is a 90. Mix a few pars or a bird in occasional and that is a respectable score IMO.

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1. Try to develop a reliable tee shot, it will start things off when you are in play after you leave the tee box. I embraced my fade so I aim left and ball ends up in the middle, most of the time.

 

Before I was able to fix my driving, I played with an older gentleman years ago. He drives it around 180 yards average. He kept on finding the fairway and I kept on losing it to the right. He broke 80 that date and we played the same tee at around 6000 yards total. That's when I realized how important it is to start the hole with a proper tee shot.

 

2. I almost always try to hit the middle of the green. When I started doing this, my life became less stressful on the course. I trust my putting enough from 40 feet and in.

 

3. I stopped doing hero shots. I punch out to using the safest route. Low % shots usually lead to double or worse for me.

 

4. I don't pressure myself to get par or better. I am a weekend golfer. I hate doubles. I am ok with bogeys. Pars would be my birdie and birdie would be my eagle.

 

Ever since I started doing these things, accepted my limitations, I always break 90 and sometimes when I get lucky with my short game, I break 80. Usually, I need 4 up and downs to break 80. That's means I am hitting around 6 - 7 greens in regulation or more depending on how long and hard the course is and staying away from OB or penalties or lost balls.

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> @xkilgorextroutx said:

> > @ferrispgm said:

> > The avg drive for an amateur is what??? 220 yards? On a 370 yard hole that would leave them with 150 or a 7 or 6 iron. Hit 3 wood or hybrid 190 down there and they have to hit nearly the same club into the green. What will an 18 handicap or really any handicap for that matter be more accurate with.....a 3 or 4 iron or a 7 iron?

> This thought assumes that the amateur is hitting it 220 yards straight. Based on my game, the games of my buddies, and the games of people I've been paired up with, that's not a good assumption to make.

> A friend of mine cracked his driver and started teeing off with his hybrid (never owned a 3 wood). His scores dropped by a good 5-7 strokes almost immediately since he was in the fairway and not in the rough or the woods. So what did he do?

> You guessed it... he ran out to Dick's, bought a new driver, and saw his scores climb back up with the OOB penalties.

>

>

 

Now you are talking extremes. Sure, if half of your drives go OB, into the woods, or into a hazard then yes, using a shorter club will help. I know it's not a good assumption that they drive it straight. I get paired with different people every weekend and most don't break 90. I also see those same people dropping down to 3 wood or hybrid to hit the fairway and then have too far to get into the green, try to kill it and chunk the next one, skull the 3rd over the green, flub the chip and make double. Having less club into the green makes the game easier....period. That's one of the few things true for everyone who plays.

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FWY: Taylormade Rocketballz Tp 14.5*
Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18*
Irons: Srixon Z765 3-5 iron, z965 6-PW, Project X
54*: Titleist SM6 S grind black finish
58*: Cleveland CG14 1 dot
Putter: Taylormade Daytona Rossa with agsi.

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> @ferrispgm said:

> > @xkilgorextroutx said:

> > > @ferrispgm said:

> > > The avg drive for an amateur is what??? 220 yards? On a 370 yard hole that would leave them with 150 or a 7 or 6 iron. Hit 3 wood or hybrid 190 down there and they have to hit nearly the same club into the green. What will an 18 handicap or really any handicap for that matter be more accurate with.....a 3 or 4 iron or a 7 iron?

> > This thought assumes that the amateur is hitting it 220 yards straight. Based on my game, the games of my buddies, and the games of people I've been paired up with, that's not a good assumption to make.

> > A friend of mine cracked his driver and started teeing off with his hybrid (never owned a 3 wood). His scores dropped by a good 5-7 strokes almost immediately since he was in the fairway and not in the rough or the woods. So what did he do?

> > You guessed it... he ran out to Dick's, bought a new driver, and saw his scores climb back up with the OOB penalties.

> >

> >

>

> Now you are talking extremes. Sure, if half of your drives go OB, into the woods, or into a hazard then yes, using a shorter club will help. I know it's not a good assumption that they drive it straight. I get paired with different people every weekend and most don't break 90. I also see those same people dropping down to 3 wood or hybrid to hit the fairway and then have too far to get into the green, try to kill it and chunk the next one, skull the 3rd over the green, flub the chip and make double. Having less club into the green makes the game easier....period. That's one of the few things true for everyone who plays.

 

It has taken me 20 years, give or take, to get this point through to my father. He either gets it now, or is just humoring me because he wants me to shut up about it!!!

Almost no one who is that wildly inaccurate with their driver is that magically accurate with their 3w/hy/DI. If you are, it is most likely a very poorly fit driver that is the culprit, and if it isn't, and it's truly mental, then pull a Stenson/Mickelson and get yourself a Phrankenwood built and rock it!

 

All that said, I am not a ballstriker. I hit balls off the planet, with ALL 13 of my full swing clubs. And yet, I lose -.11 strokes every time I hit driver, -.21 stokes every time I hit DI, and -.31 strokes every time I hit FW off the tee. I score better when I hit driver, or more accurately, I score better on holes where I can hit driver. So, I have made every effort to figure out how to hit driver on more holes!

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> @elthrill said:

> awwwww.... the old "better to be long and crooked than short and straight"...because the PGA tour research says so. thats just not cleanly applicable to the average 18 handicap golfer. Please keep in mind some facts:

> 1.) the average weekend golfer is playing courses around 6500 yds, not the 7200 yards of the PGA tour.

> 2.) the PGA tour has galleries and spotters to find balls that go offline. YOUR course does not. So when you get wild off the tee, you lose a lot of balls. those come with real penalties, basically 1-2 shots per, if you are playing by the correct rules. Not to mention the absolute train wreck to pace of play and overall enjoyment.

> 3.)most amateurs that struggle getting their driver in play have a BIG miss with the driver. We're talking 50+ yards and its going to cost them 3-4 OBs a round. Thats **** tough to overcome.

> 4.) the common amateur miss is a slice or hook that doesnt travel that far. We're talking a 200 yard slice, vs a 180 yard 5 wood. This isnt Brooks or DJ trading a 340 yd power fade against a 275 yd 3 wood or 2 iron. again the reward doesnt warrant the risk.

> 5.) the average amateur is going to give up MAJOR strokes each time they play out of the trees or rough. Brooks and DJ can hit about any shot they want out of thick rough, YOU CAN'T.

>

> I know the strokes gained research says, get it down there as far as you can. It just depends on how wild you are with the driver. I think you need to hit or very nearly hit about 50% of fairways to use that strategy. If you can't do that, you need to club down and narrow your miss and keep the ball in play.

>

 

The original Strokes Gained dataset was gathered using amateur data (200,000+ golf shots IIRC). Lot's of folks discount it, but it's pretty clear they have not read up on the method in it's entirety. It absolutely says hit it as far as you can...assuming you can find it. The average person blasting 3-4 shots OB a round is not the golfer who read the book

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> @ferrispgm said:

> Now you are talking extremes. Sure, if half of your drives go OB, into the woods, or into a hazard then yes, using a shorter club will help. I know it's not a good assumption that they drive it straight. I get paired with different people every weekend and most don't break 90. I also see those same people dropping down to 3 wood or hybrid to hit the fairway and then have too far to get into the green, try to kill it and chunk the next one, skull the 3rd over the green, flub the chip and make double. Having less club into the green makes the game easier....period. That's one of the few things true for everyone who plays.

 

You have a point. My recent stonkingly good round (nearly broke 80 and I'm a 22) might have been because my swing was on point that day. As a consequence I began to really go for it at every opportunity. No more playing it safe, just send the ball as far as I could. I remember developing this weird feeling of - I dunno - _invincibility_. Like, whatever happened, it wouldn't matter because I would be so close to the hole that it wouldn't matter anyway.

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> @andrue said:

> > @ferrispgm said:

> > Now you are talking extremes. Sure, if half of your drives go OB, into the woods, or into a hazard then yes, using a shorter club will help. I know it's not a good assumption that they drive it straight. I get paired with different people every weekend and most don't break 90. I also see those same people dropping down to 3 wood or hybrid to hit the fairway and then have too far to get into the green, try to kill it and chunk the next one, skull the 3rd over the green, flub the chip and make double. Having less club into the green makes the game easier....period. That's one of the few things true for everyone who plays.

>

> You have a point. My recent stonkingly good round (nearly broke 80 and I'm a 22) might have been because my swing was on point that day. As a consequence I began to really go for it at every opportunity. No more playing it safe, just send the ball as far as I could. I remember developing this weird feeling of - I dunno - _invincibility_. Like, whatever happened, it wouldn't matter because I would be so close to the hole that it wouldn't matter anyway.

 

This post right here is the confounding thing about course management that I still don’t understand, and no-one can really explain it to me. When I’m hitting it well it doesn’t really matter what I hit off the tee...it’s finding the fairway. And when I’m struggling, it all struggles...even irons off the tee.

 

I’m a strong believer in the SG methodology and I try to use as much club as possible without bringing in too much trouble. And I try to be mindful of the hazards and OB to avoid automatic double bogeys. I swing away from trouble, and make sure that a straight shot never gets me into trouble.

 

Yet I’m still struggling off the tee. Everyone says that you have to avoid doubles or worse, which of course makes sense. Except that nobody plans to hit doubles...they just happen. And I guess if I’ve convinced myself that I play as smartly as possible, the only thing left to fix is my swing.

 

The game is confounding, Jerry, confounding...

 

 

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> @LeftDaddy said:

> > @andrue said:

> > > @ferrispgm said:

> > > Now you are talking extremes. Sure, if half of your drives go OB, into the woods, or into a hazard then yes, using a shorter club will help. I know it's not a good assumption that they drive it straight. I get paired with different people every weekend and most don't break 90. I also see those same people dropping down to 3 wood or hybrid to hit the fairway and then have too far to get into the green, try to kill it and chunk the next one, skull the 3rd over the green, flub the chip and make double. Having less club into the green makes the game easier....period. That's one of the few things true for everyone who plays.

> >

> > You have a point. My recent stonkingly good round (nearly broke 80 and I'm a 22) might have been because my swing was on point that day. As a consequence I began to really go for it at every opportunity. No more playing it safe, just send the ball as far as I could. I remember developing this weird feeling of - I dunno - _invincibility_. Like, whatever happened, it wouldn't matter because I would be so close to the hole that it wouldn't matter anyway.

>

> This post right here is the confounding thing about course management that I still don’t understand, and no-one can really explain it to me. When I’m hitting it well it doesn’t really matter what I hit off the tee...it’s finding the fairway. And when I’m struggling, it all struggles...even irons off the tee.

>

> I’m a strong believer in the SG methodology and I try to use as much club as possible without bringing in too much trouble. And I try to be mindful of the hazards and OB to avoid automatic double bogeys. I swing away from trouble, and make sure that a straight shot never gets me into trouble.

>

> Yet I’m still struggling off the tee. Everyone says that you have to avoid doubles or worse, which of course makes sense. Except that nobody plans to hit doubles...they just happen. And I guess if I’ve convinced myself that I play as smartly as possible, the only thing left to fix is my swing.

>

> The game is confounding, Jerry, confounding...

>

>

 

Not trying to sound rude but if that's the case then the solution is to fix your swing. The best course management in the world is only going to help so much if your swing produces very inconsistent results. The better your swing, the smaller the misses, the fewer big numbers, etc.

Driver: Callaway Epic 9* w/ Graphite Design Tour AD M9003
FWY: Taylormade Rocketballz Tp 14.5*
Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18*
Irons: Srixon Z765 3-5 iron, z965 6-PW, Project X
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58*: Cleveland CG14 1 dot
Putter: Taylormade Daytona Rossa with agsi.

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> @ferrispgm said:

> > @LeftDaddy said:

> > > @andrue said:

> > > > @ferrispgm said:

> > > > Now you are talking extremes. Sure, if half of your drives go OB, into the woods, or into a hazard then yes, using a shorter club will help. I know it's not a good assumption that they drive it straight. I get paired with different people every weekend and most don't break 90. I also see those same people dropping down to 3 wood or hybrid to hit the fairway and then have too far to get into the green, try to kill it and chunk the next one, skull the 3rd over the green, flub the chip and make double. Having less club into the green makes the game easier....period. That's one of the few things true for everyone who plays.

> > >

> > > You have a point. My recent stonkingly good round (nearly broke 80 and I'm a 22) might have been because my swing was on point that day. As a consequence I began to really go for it at every opportunity. No more playing it safe, just send the ball as far as I could. I remember developing this weird feeling of - I dunno - _invincibility_. Like, whatever happened, it wouldn't matter because I would be so close to the hole that it wouldn't matter anyway.

> >

> > This post right here is the confounding thing about course management that I still don’t understand, and no-one can really explain it to me. When I’m hitting it well it doesn’t really matter what I hit off the tee...it’s finding the fairway. And when I’m struggling, it all struggles...even irons off the tee.

> >

> > I’m a strong believer in the SG methodology and I try to use as much club as possible without bringing in too much trouble. And I try to be mindful of the hazards and OB to avoid automatic double bogeys. I swing away from trouble, and make sure that a straight shot never gets me into trouble.

> >

> > Yet I’m still struggling off the tee. Everyone says that you have to avoid doubles or worse, which of course makes sense. Except that nobody plans to hit doubles...they just happen. And I guess if I’ve convinced myself that I play as smartly as possible, the only thing left to fix is my swing.

> >

> > The game is confounding, Jerry, confounding...

> >

> >

>

> Not trying to sound rude but if that's the case then the solution is to fix your swing. The best course management in the world is only going to help so much if your swing produces very inconsistent results. The better your swing, the smaller the misses, the fewer big numbers, etc.

 

Agreed. If you don't have a consistent miss and relatively consistent contact, one can't really expect to manage the course in such a manner that you will dramatically improve. If you can get off the tee, get it around the green, get on the putting surface, double isn't really in play. Course management can't save foul balls and wasted shots.

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> @andrue said:

> > @ferrispgm said:

> > Now you are talking extremes. Sure, if half of your drives go OB, into the woods, or into a hazard then yes, using a shorter club will help. I know it's not a good assumption that they drive it straight. I get paired with different people every weekend and most don't break 90. I also see those same people dropping down to 3 wood or hybrid to hit the fairway and then have too far to get into the green, try to kill it and chunk the next one, skull the 3rd over the green, flub the chip and make double. Having less club into the green makes the game easier....period. That's one of the few things true for everyone who plays.

>

> You have a point. My recent stonkingly good round (nearly broke 80 and I'm a 22) might have been because my swing was on point that day. As a consequence I began to really go for it at every opportunity. No more playing it safe, just send the ball as far as I could. I remember developing this weird feeling of - I dunno - _invincibility_. Like, whatever happened, it wouldn't matter because I would be so close to the hole that it wouldn't matter anyway.

 

^^^This is the mindset you must have if you want to leave the ranks of the "high handicapper". And you have proven you can do it. I'd suggest you reconsider your 3 shot approach to 350 plus par fours. Leaving your comfort zone will open up new opportunities and you'll start getting on in regulation (or much closer to the hole in 3) more often.

 

There may be times where you still go to the "three to get on approach" on long par fours, but that should become hole/shot/match specific and not your default mode.

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I’ve played with very few players that know their ACTUAL carry yardages with their clubs.

Try your best to play the same ball to get consistent feedback.

Learn the yardage every club carries (not rolls out to). This is not you MAX yardage, more the yardage the majority of your successful shots carry.

 

When you practice, even when working on swing mechanics, have your carry number in your thoughts. I know not every shot is what we want, but having a consistent pattern and rhythm to produce your yardages will better allow you to look at each hole and plan on your path to the green.

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Center of greens

Miss on the right side of the current shot, no short siding on greens, hitting into water/woods

Have a shot you can depend on no matter what (for me hybrid off tee, 90 yard 3/4 sw)

I use the Pelz clock system for wedges and as a result have 16 shots I know exactly how far they go

No need to hit a hooded 4 iron from 215 over water out of thick wet rough. Get yourself to a comfortable distance (90 yards for me) to get up and down for par, and eliminate double bogey.

ELIMINATE DOUBLE BOGEY OR WORSE. You can come back from bogey, you can come back from3 bogeys in a row. You can not afford a double or two or three or worse.

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I would not recommend using anything that is based on anything than mathematical probability. And there is so much information and statistical evidence on course strategy. Rich Hunt has done a lot of it.

 

Scott Fawcett's DECADE system is the best system for breaking down tee shot strategy. He has a free video on YouTube that uses a decision tree to determine what club you should hit off of the tee. It is super simple to use.

 

No matter the course, or type of hole, there is a mathematically correct way to play every hole based purely on probability. It will take guess work out of how you should play ANY shot you face on ANY golf course.

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  • 10 months later...

Reviving an old thread.

Tin Cup, I say ...... Tin Cup!!!!

Course management has always been an issue for me in the past. I had many examples of attempting to pull off the "Tin Cup" shot because (fill in the reason here). If I had pulled off a shot once then I believed I can do it again, and again, without practice ... just dial it up and away we go. If I saw a shot on TV that a tour pro hit I believed I could pull if off. I wanted a Maple Syrup Roasted Macadamia Nut ice cream shot when a plain Vanilla shot would have produced great results. Sucker pin? What is that? EVERY pin was accessible and always warranted going for it because I was not going to turn down the challenge. I had the "I'm not going to the left of those trees or to the right of those trees, okay? I'm going OVER those trees....with a little draw" attitude. I wanted to have flair because I had this course management thought floating in my head, "Suppose there's this guy, and he's standing on the shore of a big wide river, and the ... river's full of all manner of disaster, you know, piranhas, alligators, eddies, currents, like that. Nobody'll even go down there to dip a toe. And on the other side of the river's a million bucks, and on this side of the river is a rowboat. What would possess the guy standing on the shore to swim for it? He's a helluva swimmer. His problem's more like why always have to rise to the challenge?"

No wonder I love this movie because that was a snapshot of my mind at the time I was playing my best golf, the "inner crapola, inner debris .... garbage .... loose wires, in staggering amounts."

Had I just taken the rowboat and ate the vanilla I would have probably saved 4-5 strokes a round, or more, but I had to rise to the challenge with a less than stellar short game. Today my short game is pretty solid and the other parts are coming along well after years of being married to the Anti-Golf. My driving was the strength once upon a time ago but is now work in progress but is coming along. Other aspects of my game are also coming along nicely. I am now back to single digit handicap (currently per CGA handicap system) because I eat a lot of vanilla ice cream and pretty much always take the rowboat. I don't have to rise to the challenge because I realize that ultimately it is about the score, not the glory or rising up to a challenge. Golf is challenging enough.

 

Driver:  TaylorMade 300 Mini 11.5° (10.2°), Fujikura Ventus Blue 5S Velocore

3W:  TaylorMade M4 15°, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S

Hybrid:  TaylorMade Sim2 2 Iron Hybrid 17°, Mitsubishi Tensai AV Raw Blue 80 stiff

Irons:  Ben Hogan Icon blades 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

GW / LW:  Scratch Golf 1018 forged 50°/ 58° DS, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

SW:  Callaway MD5 Jaws 54°, TT DG Tour Issue S200 115g wedge shaft

Putter: Byron Morgan DH89 GSS custom, Salty MidPlus cork grip

Grips: BestGrips Augusta Microperf leather slip on

 

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Little wood and iron tidbit: When hitting down breeze look to see if the fairway is gradually rising. Make sure you hit the ball really high to gain extra distance, otherwise a raising fairway with back breeze can sheer off your drive making it shorter then expected.
@kacer - you say "there is a mathematically correct way to play every hole based purely on probability. It will take guess work out of how you should play ANY shot you face on ANY golf course."
IMO the better way to say that is every course designer of Par 4/5's even some Par 3s tells us "how to play the hole; in other words, where to hit to off the tee. Follow the designers plan and all is good. Don't follow his design plan, ball is likely to find fairway undulations that take the ball to NASTY (I don't want to be there) places. That kind of miss tests what kind of skill you have.

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