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driver or iron off the tee for this hole?


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Hi all! Sorry if in the wrong forum for this question, but seemed the most fitting...


Have this hole at my home course that always leaves me wondering best way to play it, left is ob and past the green is ob, I carry my driver about 290 and can sometimes get it onto the green, but as seen with this google earth picture the fairway runs out at about 230/240 yards where you get this downhill patch of rough into 4 bunkers protecting the front of the green. 

 

When I'm having a bad driving day I 100% layup to end of fairway (or occasionally in the left/right rough), and it'll be about a 120/130 yards shot into the green, but it's those days when I'm driving it so well I wonder if I'm leaving strokes gained on the table by not pulling driver even if I don't get it onto the green, even if I'm in some sloping rough or bunker, how do I figure this hole out? Like do I need to compile how often I get into the left/right roughs when I layup? (estimate maybe 20% of the time) vs. say how often I can drive the green, or how close my approach is in the bunkers vs. from 120 yards out in the fairway/occiasional rough?

 

Recent data golf wisdom seems to be further is always better, but if the further is either bunker, rough, or on the green, was wondering if there's a general consensus for this kind of situation.

 

image.jpeg.d583340a527004eecc53b4858ec43ac9.jpeg

 

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Layup in front of green 100% of the time for me.  However, nothing more than 120 out only because my wedge game is strong.  The risk far outweighs the rewards especially closer to the green if driver is chosen.  Over the green seems dead as well.  One other option is to hit your drive into one of the front bunkers but that's only if you have a really good bunker game.  Even then the chances of getting up and down from the short grass seems more favorable than from the sand.  Good post. 

Edited by phizzy30
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Lay up every time, unless you need eagle to win or tie or something (and you don't care much about a double or something).

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Erik J. Barzeski | Erie, PA

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It really depends on course conditions and your game.

Pro conditions aren't typical for most of us.  Their fairways are really good and the rough is really punishing.

The fairways on my home course are great, but the grass around the green gets really thick and punishing.  It is easier for me to get up and down from a bunker.

 

But,  most players are better off avoiding bunkers.  

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I’m all about playing aggressively, but this screams 4/5 iron to me without seeing it in person. 
 

That middle bunker short of the 2 greenside bunkers is probably a nightmare for most people. 

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Biggest thing to ask yourself, which options FOR YOU, bring bogey or worse percentages up.

 

My course has 3 holes that are drivable to me. One of them you basically have to hit the green or double bogey is likely and bogey is guaranteed unless you hit it so bad it doesn't reach the trouble. Laying up on the hole, bogey is out of play if my game is on at all  

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3 hours ago, 596 said:

No one can really tell you which is best for your game.  Everyone is different. 

 

‘No, people are generally not anywhere near that different that one outcome would be favored by more than a handful of others. And even if you were the type where you had the yips from 65 yards… you’d probably still score better laying back to 100 on this particular hole.

 

Unless that green is 55 yards wide or something and I am grossly misunderstanding the scale… that’s not a green you take on aggressively. The “penalty buffer” extends far too much into your Shot Zone with the driver to ever really hit that, again, unless you NEED an eagle and don’t care about making double.

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Erik J. Barzeski | Erie, PA

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I like the truth and facts. I don't deal in magic grits: 26. #FeelAintReal

 

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Today, the prevailing wind advice is to use Driver and have faith.  However, when the Driver is errant, and it is for most people, I wager most people don't have the next saving shot from the junk.  That's what 15+years of tournament and match play golf has taught me.

 

What I don't do is play golf based on a consensus of opinion or theory.  A person can read the stats until the cows come home, your choices during every game are directly tied to scoring better on each hole, or not so.  

 

I use the driver when I know I have enough room for it, but most likey have the next trouble shot.  Only making this choice all the time lessens percentages of up/down par or birdie.  With that in mind, the majority of holes under 350yds, I opt for 2 or 3 iron off the tee, and trust my iron accuracy into the green.  

 

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2 hours ago, Pepperturbo said:

Today, the prevailing wind advice is to use Driver and have faith. 


Not on this hole.

Erik J. Barzeski | Erie, PA

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I like the truth and facts. I don't deal in magic grits: 26. #FeelAintReal

 

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I think some read way too much into the "use driver whenever you can" advice. It's not use it whenever you can, but whenever you can that doesn't likely put trouble/penalty into play.  (Announcers on TV who poo-poo the driver game miss this all the time.)

 

Just going on the limited info from the google maps picture, seems like there is plenty of trouble in play on that hole. I use driver as much as I can, but I doubt I'd do so on that hole. That hole is short enough that I'm laying up, wedging on, going for a 2-putt and moving on (happily) to the next hole. If a putt drops for birdie, bonus, but is definitely not expected. This is a classic sucker hole.

 

 

 

 

Edited by dubbelbogey
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Looks tight for a driver, I'd probably lay back as close to the end of the fairway as possible. 

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On 3/3/2024 at 6:26 PM, dubbelbogey said:

I think some read way too much into the "use driver whenever you can" advice. It's not use it whenever you can, but whenever you can that doesn't likely put trouble/penalty into play.  (Announcers on TV who poo-poo the driver game miss this all the time.)

 

Just going on the limited info from the google maps picture, seems like there is plenty of trouble in play on that hole. I use driver as much as I can, but I doubt I'd do so on that hole. That hole is short enough that I'm laying up, wedging on, going for a 2-putt and moving on (happily) to the next hole. If a putt drops for birdie, bonus, but is definitely not expected. This is a classic sucker hole.

 

 

 

 

Nah they just want to hit driver every hole and use that as an excuse for why they doit and goes in the junk 

Edited by SNIPERBBB
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I have a somewhat similar hole but shorter by 20 yards at my course. Pre Shot Scope data, I keep on using the driver. Keep on wondering why bogey or more is my average score. Trees left, ob right and ob after the green. Bunkers at 200 - 230 yards fairway. I am not a long hitter at 250 average. Fast forward to the present, I just hit a damn 200 yard shot, be it my 5 wood punch or a lazy 3 wood punch, sometimes even a 4 hybrid, just to get it out there. I usually end up with a 100 - 130 yard approach which I would use my punch pw - 8 iron. My scoring average has dropped to 4 strokes or par now on the same hole, from a previous average of 5.2 plus. 

 

Looking back at my previous years playing the hole, I just scratch my head. lol 

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If the rough is tough lay up to the fairway. If it’s short and not penal, anything short of the bunker is fine depending on the pin location

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Really depends on size and slope of the green/how accessible are the pins usually, severity of the bunkers, and your full wedge game vs short game skill.  

 

Hard to tell from the image but green looks like it is fairly big and not very sloped but could be wrong.  If you have decent bunker/short game it looks reasonable to go for the green more often.  But would come down to where you are more comfortable and accurate getting a second shot to within decent birdie range, a 30 yard bunker shot or a 120 yard wedge?

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Assuming those bunkers aren't anything crazy, I'm hitting driver with hopes of ending up in one of those bunkers in front of the green.  It's the best chance at getting it close for birdie, yet still making par.  The only time I would consider laying up is if I'm battling the hooks, then I'd be laying up short of that fairway bunker.

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It appears to be about 55-60 yards wide at the most.

 

Nothing about this hole suggests you should hit driver all that often in regular stroke play.

 

image.png.5a83cc73fa28327aace69984ba9a2071.png

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Erik J. Barzeski | Erie, PA

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I like the truth and facts. I don't deal in magic grits: 26. #FeelAintReal

 

"Golf is the only game in which a precise knowledge of the rules can earn one a reputation for bad sportsmanship." — Pat Campbell

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amateurs are bad at bunkers (as a rule of thumb) , and the bunker should be avoided as Lou Stagner / Stathole w/ Arccos suggest.  hence no driver.

 

however, if your friends are like mine we would make a rule that says the driver is mandatory on this hole.

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335 yards to the green. Thats a mighty big whallop for even the pros I think. I feel the risk reward is not there. There are all sorts of obstacles that surround this green. Anything but a perfect drive for someone who can actually hit it that far will lead to higher scores. 

 

Like if I hit the best drive of my life I would find myself short and in that bunker of death. I would find myself in the trees the most I think. Or some funky uneven rough lie where the fairway alittle further back would be much easier. 

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Layup all day. I would think a 100-120 yd approach shot should be easy for most players if those same players can also squeeze a 290 yd carry driver into that same corridor. If you able to hit a driver 310+ then I would think a 120 yd shot would be no more than a gap wedge and possibly a sand wedge. 

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20 hours ago, iacas said:

It appears to be about 55-60 yards wide at the most.

 

Nothing about this hole suggests you should hit driver all that often in regular stroke play.

 

image.png.5a83cc73fa28327aace69984ba9a2071.png

 

60 yards is a ton of room, not sure how much more room you're wanting before driver gets put in play.

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Just now, RSLP said:

amateurs are bad at bunkers (as a rule of thumb) , and the bunker should be avoided as Lou Stagner / Stathole w/ Arccos suggest.  hence no driver.

 

however, if your friends are like mine we would make a rule that says the driver is mandatory on this hole.

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