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11 hours ago, getitdaily said:

If there is a hazard that can be reached then always lay back. 

 

If the pin is front then I tend to lay back to have more spin on the 3rd. 

 

If pin is middle or back (a lot of green to land and spin a shot) then I'm almost always getting as close as I can. 

 

I play it similarly except I'll only lay back if that front pin is protected by a bunker or water. Only then do i want a full SW or similar to the front pin.

 

If the green is open in front, if I must I'll land it short of the green and allow it to run/bounce up to the pin. Even if the ball hits and stays just short of the green it should be a relatively easy up and down for par.

 

FWIW until about 4 or 5 years ago I was regularly laying up to a full wedge unless I could get ON the green. I actually read here on WRX that one will score better the closer one gets to a par 5.

 

So I gave it a try. Sans difficulty around the green, I consistently got as close as I could and found myself with more greens hit and closer, more makable birdie putts on par 5s. Not even close to the same when I laid back when I knew I couldn't reach.

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Hazards and pin placement would dictate laying to a number, otherwise I would get as close as I could.

This.  If there is trouble close, or if the pin is protected by a mound or something I would lay up to about 80 yards where I could hit a shot with some spin.  If there isn't a lot of trouble around t

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7 hours ago, nsxguy said:

 

I play it similarly except I'll only lay back if that front pin is protected by a bunker or water. Only then do i want a full SW or similar to the front pin.

 

If the green is open in front, if I must I'll land it short of the green and allow it to run/bounce up to the pin. Even if the ball hits and stays just short of the green it should be a relatively easy up and down for par.

 

FWIW until about 4 or 5 years ago I was regularly laying up to a full wedge unless I could get ON the green. I actually read here on WRX that one will score better the closer one gets to a par 5.

 

So I gave it a try. Sans difficulty around the green, I consistently got as close as I could and found myself with more greens hit and closer, more makable birdie putts on par 5s. Not even close to the same when I laid back when I knew I couldn't reach.

I don't disagree with the logic. I've found that if I'm going to be left with a 40 yard pitch to a front pin then I want at least a 3/4 shot to generate more spin. I practice the 3/4 60. I don't practice the 40 yard pitch and run so I'm just not as comfortable getting that shot close. 

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3 hours ago, getitdaily said:

I don't disagree with the logic. I've found that if I'm going to be left with a 40 yard pitch to a front pin then I want at least a 3/4 shot to generate more spin. I practice the 3/4 60. I don't practice the 40 yard pitch and run so I'm just not as comfortable getting that shot close. 

 

There ya go. As I recall you're a very accomplished player (scratch ? or am I confusing you with someone else). I'm only recently approaching my "usual" 5.

 

I actually do practice those partial shots quite a bit but I don't generate a lot of spin - I think it's my early(?) release.

 

I'm also only recently getting close to full strength so on the courses with the groups I'm playing with, much shorter courses than I used to play I'm having a lot of these closer shots even on a few par 4s and using these bump and runs along the ground a fair bit more often.

 

Hence, through sheer repitition I'm getting noticeably better at flighting it a bit lower, landing it a bit shorter and judging the release.

 

Lotsa different ways to get the ball in the hole. :classic_wink:

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Generally the play is to hit it as far as you can on the 2nd shot because you are much more likely to hit the 3rd show much closer to the hole if you have a shorter length shot than to a longer 'money yardage.'  

 

The only caveats I would have is if there's a bunker in front of the green that you can reach and the pin location is toward the back of the green (and provided it is a larger green).  In that scenario, if there's a decent likelihood you will have a bunker shot greater than 25 yards, I would rather attempt to lay-up to a yardage that works better.

 

The other caveat, mainly for amateurs, is if they are just rotten with their 3-wood.  I would still suggest finding the next longest club and hitting it as far as one can and it would be best to learn how to hit the 3-wood (or find a 3-wood that fits you better).

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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19 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

There ya go. As I recall you're a very accomplished player (scratch ? or am I confusing you with someone else). I'm only recently approaching my "usual" 5.

 

I actually do practice those partial shots quite a bit but I don't generate a lot of spin - I think it's my early(?) release.

 

I'm also only recently getting close to full strength so on the courses with the groups I'm playing with, much shorter courses than I used to play I'm having a lot of these closer shots even on a few par 4s and using these bump and runs along the ground a fair bit more often.

 

Hence, through sheer repitition I'm getting noticeably better at flighting it a bit lower, landing it a bit shorter and judging the release.

 

Lotsa different ways to get the ball in the hole. :classic_wink:

Yeah, I'm a plus cap. Probably about +1 right now. We've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Play to your strength...which is usually what you've practiced or done repeatedly on course. Take the confident shot...almost always.

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1 hour ago, RichieHunt said:

Generally the play is to hit it as far as you can on the 2nd shot because you are much more likely to hit the 3rd show much closer to the hole if you have a shorter length shot than to a longer 'money yardage.'  

 

The only caveats I would have is if there's a bunker in front of the green that you can reach and the pin location is toward the back of the green (and provided it is a larger green).  In that scenario, if there's a decent likelihood you will have a bunker shot greater than 25 yards, I would rather attempt to lay-up to a yardage that works better.

 

The other caveat, mainly for amateurs, is if they are just rotten with their 3-wood.  I would still suggest finding the next longest club and hitting it as far as one can and it would be best to learn how to hit the 3-wood (or find a 3-wood that fits you better).

 

 

 

 

 

RH

 

Yes! Finally a "stats guy" who gets that closer isn't ALWAYS better. I can think of many, many, many holes where you simply don't want to be in the a bunker with a 50 yard shot to a tough pin, so take one or two less clubs on your lay-up and leave a 65 to 100 yard shot so the bunker is NOT EVEN IN PLAY on your lay-up. And that's just one example.

 

Others are for players with glaring weaknesses in their "1/2 shot" game. Guys who can take four or five to get down from 40 yards, but who have no problem hitting a full wedge. These people exist. I play with a few of them. And most stats guys can't account for them because they get gobbled in the "group" of golfers for whom it's better to be closer all the time.

 

Another scenario is when a "hit it as far as you can" lay-up can't get you all the way to the green, but it can get you maybe 30 to 45 yards away and the conditions are very tight and the greens very firm, AND the pin is tucked over a bunker. There was one such hole at my old club, number 9, par 5. That is a difficult shot for anyone, let alone a club player. Most handicap players simply don't have that shot in their bag and they would walk away on that hole with a 7 or 8 and wonder what just hit 'em. Solution: Don't leave yourself that shot on that hole. Completely remove it from the equation with a better lay-up to a different spot.

 

Now, all that said: Absolutely, closer is generally better, and when conditions are good and there's grass everywhere, then bang away and go find it! 🙂

 

 

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9 hours ago, Obee said:

 

Yes! Finally a "stats guy" who gets that closer isn't ALWAYS better. I can think of many, many, many holes where you simply don't want to be in the a bunker with a 50 yard shot to a tough pin, so take one or two less clubs on your lay-up and leave a 65 to 100 yard shot so the bunker is NOT EVEN IN PLAY on your lay-up. And that's just one example.

 

Others are for players with glaring weaknesses in their "1/2 shot" game. Guys who can take four or five to get down from 40 yards, but who have no problem hitting a full wedge. These people exist. I play with a few of them. And most stats guys can't account for them because they get gobbled in the "group" of golfers for whom it's better to be closer all the time.

 

Another scenario is when a "hit it as far as you can" lay-up can't get you all the way to the green, but it can get you maybe 30 to 45 yards away and the conditions are very tight and the greens very firm, AND the pin is tucked over a bunker. There was one such hole at my old club, number 9, par 5. That is a difficult shot for anyone, let alone a club player. Most handicap players simply don't have that shot in their bag and they would walk away on that hole with a 7 or 8 and wonder what just hit 'em. Solution: Don't leave yourself that shot on that hole. Completely remove it from the equation with a better lay-up to a different spot.

 

Now, all that said: Absolutely, closer is generally better, and when conditions are good and there's grass everywhere, then bang away and go find it! 🙂

 

 

 

Any statistician that always thinks closer is better isn't looking at the data closely enough.  It' pretty clear that once a bunker shot is longer than 25 yards, it's problematic...even for the best in the world.

 

The issue with laying up is threefold:

 

1.  You're putting yourself at a greater distance and the expected score increases.

 

2.  You have to hit the shot to the fairway to make it worthwhile and that's not always easy to do.

 

3.  Even Tour players tend to lay-up too short of their optimal lay-up distance.

 

For Tour players the data shows they are better off getting the lay-up shot to 80-90 yards and they routinely fail to do that, getting it closer to 110-120 yards.  There's a real loss aversion for golfers when it comes to laying up.

 

As far as angles go, I'm not a fan of chasing angles in general.  If you're going to do them you need to do then on short pitch type shots because a bad angle can come into play due to short siding yourself.  From say 100 yards I wouldn't worry much about angles. 

 

Even still, a bad angle from say 25 yards should likely mean a lower expected score than a good angle from 100 yards.  And there's likely too good of a chance that you hit it as far as you can with your 3-wood and end up with a decent enough angle that the outcomes are in your favor.  With bunker shots greater than 25 yards...the odds just aren't in your favor and you should lay-up to 80-90 yards.

 

 

 

 

RH

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At the moment, I don’t carry a 3 wood, due to many poor approaches into par 5s leading to big numbers. Had to physically bench it to stop.
 

When hit really pure, my 5 wood goes around 235 total. If a 5 wood gets to the green or within 30 yards, and there isn’t a ton of trouble greenside, I’ll whack it up there. If there is trouble, or if the lie is terrible, I usually hit a punchy mid iron to 90-110 yards.
 

A lot of par 5s have fairway bunkers in that 30-60 yards range, which is probably my least favorite shot in golf. So I make sure to avoid those.

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15 hours ago, getitdaily said:

I don't disagree with the logic. I've found that if I'm going to be left with a 40 yard pitch to a front pin then I want at least a 3/4 shot to generate more spin. I practice the 3/4 60. I don't practice the 40 yard pitch and run so I'm just not as comfortable getting that shot close. 

Depends only the courses you play, or the time of year you play them. Most courses around here, the greens are dart boards where you can stop the ball with height rather than spin.  Now as the courses burn out in late summer then there is the need to generate and also take off spin or the ball is coming off the green on those front pins.  

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13 minutes ago, SNIPERBBB said:

Depends only the courses you play, or the time of year you play them. Most courses around here, the greens are dart boards where you can stop the ball with height rather than spin.  Now as the courses burn out in late summer then there is the need to generate and also take off spin or the ball is coming off the green on those front pins.  

Agree. Here in Orlando, it's rare to get on a course that you have to worry about spinning the ball off a green. Greens are usually just soft enough to take a lot of spin off but not soft enough that a 40 yard pitch will hop and stop on a mostly flat surface. 

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I watched this YouTube video with Dustin Johnson where he talks about how he prefers to get his ball into a range where he can make a comfortable full swing shot with his wedge for his approach. If he’s in a place where he has to take more of a feel shot, he considers the previous shot a bad shot. I thought it was interesting. 
 

For me, short game feel is one of my stronger suits, so I try to get it as close as possible. 

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3 x par 5s on my course. 
 

The 1st has a green that slopes severely back to front and a left/right shelf. I’ll get as close as possible to this. 
 

The 2nd has a long narrow green that’s relatively flat. I’ll get as close as possible to this. 
 

The last has a green that slopes SEVERELY front right to back left. It is nigh on impossible to hold unless you are hitting a 50+ degree wedge loaded with spin. This I lay up to a number-ish. 
 

Overall I’ll get as close as possible unless the green dictates otherwise. Anything else is crazy as the full shot is far harder to vary landing conditions and side-to-side accuracy tends to be more important on our par 5 greens. 

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No real trouble other than bunkers? I'm blasting it as far down as possible.

OB or water nearby? I'm probably laying up to a good yardage and good approach angle.

 

That said, it seems like almost every par 5 I play these days has OB or water next to every green.😩

 

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On 5/6/2021 at 2:05 AM, RyKnocks said:

I watched this YouTube video with Dustin Johnson where he talks about how he prefers to get his ball into a range where he can make a comfortable full swing shot with his wedge for his approach. If he’s in a place where he has to take more of a feel shot, he considers the previous shot a bad shot. I thought it was interesting. 
 

For me, short game feel is one of my stronger suits, so I try to get it as close as possible. 

was that video before or after DJ learned to hit wedges?

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