That hole that gives you trouble...

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Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
That hole that gives you trouble...

Wel all have one...what's yours?  Maybe we can help each other figure out how to play it. 

At the course I played today, I have 2...#7, a 220 yard Par 3 and #15, a short par 4, 382 yards - water on the approach shot to an elevated green.  For both these, I wind up with shots in between my normal yardages.

For #7, which usually plays  into the wind, I figure I need to strip the ball 225.  In my bag I have a 3W which usually goes 235 to 240 yards and a 5W which goes about 215.  So if I nut the 5W, I probably get on the fringe or come up short.   If no wind, than i'm on.   If I try to hit the 3W, I have to lay off it.  Those dont usually work out well for me.

For #15, water starts about 240.  So I strip 5W and have 125 to the middle..in between my PW and my GW.  The risk with the GW is coming up short on the elevated green and rolling back down to the water.  Mounds and undulations behind the green create challenges if you go over. 

 

So for #15, I could lay off the tee shot and hit a hybrid, but now I'm looking at a 8I or 9I into that green, but at least its a full swing.  I really can't risk hitting any closer to the green without bringing water into play. 

For #7, I guess I'll start choking down on the 3W and seeing what I can do. 

Thoughts?

DON
Hard to say whoat might work best.

Long par 3's into the wind are a real pain for me as well. Hard to tell what the wind will do on that long of a shot. Playing here at alitude I'd most likely hit my 21* 7 wood. When I'm hitting the ball well, I usually can carry it around 220 with that club, and the ball flight is pretty high so the ball unually stops pretty close to where it lands. If the wind was in my face I'd go with my 5 wood instead and hope I have judged the wind right.

For the 382 yard par 4 #15, I"d go with either my 7 wood or my 5 wood depending on if I'm hitting into the wind or not. Agaon due to playing in Denver air, I can get 250 yards out of my 5 wood on good hits, so staying back of the water that starts around 240 would be the issue. I would think the WISE thing to do would be to hit what ever club that would leave you a full swing 9 iron into the green. For me that would mean leaving myself 150 yrads to the flag.

 

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Yeah, I think next time I'll

Yeah, I think next time I'll play to the full 9I on the Par 4.  The Par 3, I guess I'll stick with trying to nuke the 5W.  Over the green is DEAD so trying to layoff the 3W is very risky.  So I'll just try and nut the 5W and if I come up short, I'll hope I can chip and putt and save par.

 

What about others?  Any holes that always seem to be a thorn in your side?

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DON
What loft on 5 Wood?

I don't know what the loft is on your 5 wood is. Some 5w's are 18* and others are 19*. Maybe if your 5 W is a 19* model, you could try a 18* one and see if it gives you enough more yardage to do the trick. One other option would be to tee the ball LOWER to try to make contact with the head a little lower on the face, where the loft can be a few degrees LESS, which will launch the ball lower and give you a bit more yardage. I know this because I had a 5 W that caused me all kinds of problems when I teed it up too high. Cost me a good 30 yards when the ball contact was up closer to the topline. Bulge and Roll design of the club face is the reason this happens and some woods have a lot more B & R than others.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Don, mine is 18 degrees.  I

Don, mine is 18 degrees.  I think what I need to do is just make sure I hit it really solid.  I think if I tee it properly and make solid contact, I'll get there,...maybe not to the back but at least the front.  Or I might have to increase the takeaway speed a bit to get a little more distance.   We'll see...

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DON
There are some 17* 4 woods

There are some 17* 4 woods out there. Maybe that would be enough of a loft change to get the extra yardage you're looking for. I have a 16.5* 4 wood on hand if you would be interested to try it.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

scomac
scomac's picture
I find that if I am having

I find that if I am having consistent rouble with a hole I need a new approach.  Often times this means playing conservatively off the tee to leave a full shot into the green or deliberately laying up to a good lie for particularly challenging long par threes.  Sometimes it's easier to par from off the green when you can chip to below the hole versus having to deal with a sidewinder or a big number when you miss the green long/right/left.

Yesterday was probably a good example.  I hit a good drive on a long par 5, but got a horrible bounce to place my ball about 3' from a spruce tree.  I really only had two legitimate choices; pitch it out left inot the fairway or try and loft it up and over with a wedge to advance the ball a bit.  Any sort of shaped shot with a lower lofted club was just asking for more trouble.  I decided to take my punishment and lobbed the ball up and over to advance it maybe 50 yards.  That left me with 200+ to the green uphill.  That's more than I can cover from the fairway, so I just grabbed my 4W and took a smooth swing figuring I'd be 20 yards or so shy of the green allowing for a pitch and a putt for par.  I nutted the 4W and much to my surprise it was on the front fringe of the green leaving an easy two putt par.

I find that playing conservative generally leaves me with the best scores over the course of a round.  I won't get as many birdies, but I can hopefully avoid the disasters too.  One of my regular palying partners is the exact opposite.  Driver every hole that's not a par 3.  He never lays up and he never thinks about his misses or probability of success always opting for the longest club you could reasonably use to complete the hole.  He is the poorest course manager I ever met.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Yeah, I think unless you feel

Yeah, I think unless you feel you could execute the agressive rescue shot at least more then 50%, it's probably best to play it safe and keep a big number off the card.  Course management is something I don't think most amateurs give enough thought too. 

There have been times that I hit through trees and saved strokes but there have been times I take my medicine and play it safe.  Just depends on how comfortable I feel on hitting the escape shot. 

One of the best rescue shots was on a dog leg left Par 4 and I pulled my tee shot into the trees on the left.  i could either go back to the fairway and be still 'behind' the dog leg making my third shot still difficult, or there was this little window in the tree tops where I thought my wedge would go trajectory wise.  This was just a friendly round at the beach with buddies and some simple side bets, so i decided to go with the tree top wedge.  Worked perfectly and I was able to save par.   And of course, no one saw that shot because they were looking for their balls in the other woods.  Ha.

 

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NiftyNiblick
NiftyNiblick's picture
There is a shortish, 370 yard

There is a shortish, 370 yard hole that I play where realistically, five is my par and four is like a birdie--that's how much trouble the hole gives me.   I carry a two-iron just for the tee shot on this hole. The first iron in my bag is otherwise a #5.

The tee shot is through a narrow corridor of woods, uphill.  The green is on a slight dogleg to the right, continuing up the hill, but the second shot, even with a perfectly placed 2-iron layup, is from an uphill-sidehill lie.  The green has a gaping bunker in front preventing a run-on shot, and another behind preventing a long shot from disappearing in the woods.  There is room for misses on either side, but no good lies to be found there.  With the uphill-sidehill lie (ball below feet), one has no choice but to play a left to right shot into the green which is small and lumpy. 

If I play the hole perfectly, I begin with an ugly line drive into the fairway which leaves me a difficult lie for a five-iron shot--- assuming a 190 yard drive and a 180 yard approach. (I'm two old to hit a 2-iron very far uphill, but the tee shot is too scary for a long-shafted lofted wood and I haven't discovered the hybrid yet.)  The approach shot will be a banana ball from that lie that's just a little too much for a five-iron but that's the longest iron that I can hit from the fairway. I won't try my 23º wood from that lie, and if I pure it, it will fly the green anyway. 

If I actually hit the green--anywhere on it is a success--the chance is one in five that I'll have a reasonaly makable putt.  Small greens should be flat, and this one seems flat but is always bumpy. So birdies are generally off the table, and pars require four very good shots.  I'm happy to avoid doubles on this little but mean-spirited hole.

 

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I agree Nifty, SMALL GREENS

I agree Nifty, SMALL GREENS SHOULD BE FLAT!  it's hard enough to hit them to begin with!

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DON
What about a 5 wood off the tee?

I play a 380 yard dogleg right par 4 as the first hole on one of the courses I play. My normal tee shot is with an 18* 5 wood. I aim down the right side of the fairway as this gives me more room for the ball to roll out and not go thru the fairway on the left side of the fairway an into the rough.  I don't carry any irons longer than a 6 irons, so I use higher lofted woods for longer shots, as I find them easier to hit, especially off the tee then the long irons. On this hole, unless I hit a bad tee shot, I normal have less then a 9 iron into the green. And if I really Nail the tee shot and the pin is close to the front of the green, I might be hitting a SW on my second shot. Have you tried a 5 wood off the tee on this hole?

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
One one of the latest rounds

One one of the latest rounds I played, I was hitting 3W off the tee for several holes where my driver could get me into trouble if I didn't hit it just right.  Actually worked out OK on the three holes I did it.  I hit good tee shots but I think the fact they take some of the risk out of polay, I'll continue to play them that way.
 

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Scott Rushing
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Ok, so another hole that the

Ok, so another hole that the tee shot gives me fits...#7 at one of my home coruses.  From the tips, where I've been playing it, it's a 220 yard Par 3, water about the last 50 yards.  From the back tees, it sets up as a slight draw though you could hit a straight shot.  Bail out is right because left of the green is hazard, bunker and high weeds/rough. 

For some reason I almost always pull/hook my tee shot.  I can take practice swings down my target line but for some reason, usually even from the shorter tees, I find myself hooking that tee shot.  I really need to watch my setup and swing path so I can keep myself from taking a double bogey on that dang hole. 

It's funny, I've walked this 9 several times playing from the back tees and this hole and the one before it are the two that determine my round usually.  Before it is a par 3 (reachable from the blue tees but not the back ones for me), but the tee shot from the back is narrow.  You need to hit driver but you have a small window between the over-hanging trees to get a ball into the fairway.  I need to hit a fade from this tee whereas you need to hit a draw from the shorter tee.

Oh well, I'll keep plugging at it..

 

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