Golfing strategy question
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  1. #1
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    Golfing strategy question

    For all you fellow golfers out there... I've often wondered if it really makes any sense to hit driver on par 5's if there's basically no chance of getting home in two?

    It seems like everyone almost automatically hits driver on every par 5 no matter what. I know some par 5's that I play frequently where there is virtually no chance for nearly anyone to get on in two and there are trees lining both sides of the fairways, so an errant tee shot could be long gone.

    But yet, everyone hits driver on that hole just because it's a par 5. Lately I've been thinking, why not hit like 5 iron, 5 iron, and then 8 iron or something? It would almost eliminate all the lost balls and penalty strokes for me by hitting driver into the trees half the time or more.

    Thoughts? Is it just me, or could you really hit a lot more hybrids or long irons off the tee on par 5's when you have virtually no shot of getting there in two?

    As one example... back when I played Veenker in college at ISU.... there was a par 5 (probably still there because it was probably the best hole there) where you teed off across the creek, then you had to play back over the same creek as it passed in front of the green. It was a dogleg right with almost no chance of getting on in two without taking a TON of risk of putting it in the creek in front of the green or all the trees on the right side of the entire hole.

    But I think I ALWAYS hit driver off that tee. But there really is no need to do so if you don't plan on going for it in two. Just play safe off the tee and layup as usual. There really is no advantage to hitting a long drive, it just leaves a shorter layup, but who cares if your layup is a 9 iron versus a 7 iron?



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Depends how well you control your driver. Some days I'm hitting everything like I want, some days I'm not and I'll club down or stay accordingly. My best clubs are driver, 3W, 7i, and PW. If some combination of those clubs works for me I will try to make that happen.

    I never figured out why people think the closest approach is the best. I get nasty looks from buddies when I hit 3 wood on (for example) a 360 yard straight par 4. I can hit it out there 300 with the driver and either have to swing hard with a 58* or a really soft pitching wedge or I can 3 wood to 240-250 and hit a 110-120 yard pitching wedge with a normal swing.

    And the hole you're talking about is 16 at Veenker.


    Last edited by IcSyU; 08-07-2012 at 10:30 PM.

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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    For me I normally hit driver especially if I can't get into a trouble regardless of the par 5 if I have water like a Veenker I never hit driver ususlly an iron on that hole because it doesn't make any sense for driver. If there are trees and Im not hitting driver well i go 3W. It really kinda depends on how long of an iron hitter a person is as well.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Quote Originally Posted by IcSyU View Post
    Depends how well you control your driver. Some days I'm hitting everything like I want, some days I'm not and I'll club down or stay accordingly. My best clubs are driver, 3W, 7i, and PW. If some combination of those clubs works for me I will try to make that happen.

    I never figured out why people think the closest approach is the best. I get nasty looks from buddies when I hit 3 wood on (for example) a 360 yard straight par 4. I can hit it out there 300 with the driver and either have to swing hard with a 58* or a really soft pitching wedge or I can 3 wood to 240-250 and hit a 110-120 yard pitching wedge with a normal swing.

    And the hole you're talking about it 16 at Veenker.
    I agree with you on hitting to a full shot distance for your approach. The pros do the same thing. The novice golfer will almost always hit it as far as they can and as close to the green as possible. Not me. I always want a full shot into the green. Nothing worse than like a 50 or 60 yd pitch shot where you have to have some serious touch and finesse to get it close.

    Which is also why I'm not sure why I don't play it more safe off the tee on par 5's? If I want 110 yds for my 3rd shot anyway, there's really no need to hit driver UNLESS I think I can get on in two?

    I can probably hit my 3W or Driver straighter than my 3 iron though. But from 5 iron on up, I can hit those pretty straight all the time. So if I can hit a 180 yd 5 iron off the tee, then hit another 180 yd 5 iron to lay up, and leave myself less than a 7 iron into the green... why not?



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    Re:Golfing strategy question

    I will hit a three iron if there is much danger on the drive and little chance of being there in two.

    I used to drive solely with my three, as I can get it out there in the 250 range, but that really limited my opportunities at times.

    All in all, I do try to measure the risk/reward on the tougher holes and select my club accordingly.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    I struggle with my 4 wood, so I usually hit either driver or 4 iron on long holes. Really depends on how well I'm hitting either club, as well as wind and hole layout (dogleg).


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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Now I want to go play golf.

    Stupid nighttime.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Really it depends on the par 5. Hitting over water? Fairway bunkers? Green side bunkers? Dog leg left or right? Narrow fairways? Trees in the shot trajectory? Wind?

    All of those play into my club selection. For example on 16 at Veenker I'll throw driver out there and if I can keep it on the left side of the fairway I might try to hit a 7 iron cut up to the green. If not I'll hit 8 or 9 iron to have a nice and easy 58* over the creek.

    7 at Veenker? Depends on the day. If I'm hitting well I'll hit a driver or 3W small cut out across the creek (hopefully). If I'm not I'll just hit a 6 iron to a 6 iron to pitching wedge.

    #10? Easy green to reach in 2 if you can play the right side of the fairway and take the left side bunkers out of play with the right angle.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Quote Originally Posted by theantiAIRBHG View Post
    Now I want to go play golf.

    Stupid nighttime.
    I always want to play golf. In fact, when I go to sleep at night I'm almost always thinking about golf... usually how I could have played certain shots better the last time out, or how I could have played smarter the last time out.

    It's EASILY the best game ever invented... hands down. As frustrating as it can get sometimes, I'd almost always rather be golfing.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Grip it and Rip it. Let the Big Dog Eat!



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Quote Originally Posted by IcSyU View Post
    Really it depends on the par 5. Hitting over water? Fairway bunkers? Green side bunkers? Dog leg left or right? Narrow fairways? Trees in the shot trajectory? Wind?

    All of those play into my club selection. For example on 16 at Veenker I'll throw driver out there and if I can keep it on the left side of the fairway I might try to hit a 7 iron cut up to the green. If not I'll hit 8 or 9 iron to have a nice and easy 58* over the creek.

    7 at Veenker? Depends on the day. If I'm hitting well I'll hit a driver or 3W small cut out across the creek (hopefully). If I'm not I'll just hit a 6 iron to a 6 iron to pitching wedge.

    #10? Easy green to reach in 2 if you can play the right side of the fairway and take the left side bunkers out of play with the right angle.
    You can reach #16 at Veenker with Driver and a cut 7 iron? I haven't played Veenker for probably 15 years, but I couldn't have dreamt of reaching that green with a Driver and 7 iron. Of course, technology has changed quite a bit since I last played that hole.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Quote Originally Posted by CysLoveChild View Post
    Grip it and Rip it. Let the Big Dog Eat!
    You sound like a high handicapper?

    I play with a buddy that plays by that philosophy. I don't think he's ever beaten me? Lots of penalty strokes.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Quote Originally Posted by clonedude View Post
    For all you fellow golfers out there... I've often wondered if it really makes any sense to hit driver on par 5's if there's basically no chance of getting home in two?

    It seems like everyone almost automatically hits driver on every par 5 no matter what. I know some par 5's that I play frequently where there is virtually no chance for nearly anyone to get on in two and there are trees lining both sides of the fairways, so an errant tee shot could be long gone.

    But yet, everyone hits driver on that hole just because it's a par 5. Lately I've been thinking, why not hit like 5 iron, 5 iron, and then 8 iron or something? It would almost eliminate all the lost balls and penalty strokes for me by hitting driver into the trees half the time or more.

    Thoughts? Is it just me, or could you really hit a lot more hybrids or long irons off the tee on par 5's when you have virtually no shot of getting there in two?

    As one example... back when I played Veenker in college at ISU.... there was a par 5 (probably still there because it was probably the best hole there) where you teed off across the creek, then you had to play back over the same creek as it passed in front of the green. It was a dogleg right with almost no chance of getting on in two without taking a TON of risk of putting it in the creek in front of the green or all the trees on the right side of the entire hole.

    But I think I ALWAYS hit driver off that tee. But there really is no need to do so if you don't plan on going for it in two. Just play safe off the tee and layup as usual. There really is no advantage to hitting a long drive, it just leaves a shorter layup, but who cares if your layup is a 9 iron versus a 7 iron?
    If I recall this hole correctly, I don't think I hit driver because there wasn't a lot of extra room and it was downhill at the end of the drive. I usually hit a one iron and tried to stay a little left (crows nest green side). I may not be thinking of the same hole.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    Quote Originally Posted by clonedude View Post
    You can reach #16 at Veenker with Driver and a cut 7 iron? I haven't played Veenker for probably 15 years, but I couldn't have dreamt of reaching that green with a Driver and 7 iron. Of course, technology has changed quite a bit since I last played that hole.
    I wasn't playing the tips. From the second set of tees from the back I hit about a 315 yard drive and left about 170. I took that 170 and put the damn ball right up next to the wood chunks that line the back of the bunker and walked away with a bogey. I was thrilled.



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    Re: Golfing strategy question

    You can use the same logic for a lot of par 4's. If the hole is under 380 and over 300 you might as well just hit iron off the tee and have a full iron shot in.This strat will save a couple of strokes if your driver is terrible, but I hope you can lag putt.

    This is assuming you don't have a lot of touch on the 50 to 60 yard range.



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