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16 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Length with a little control will always be an asset.  I bet those "older players" would love to get out to 250, and I'm sure they'd score better if they could. 

100%.  Everyone would love to have controlled distance.  But, if you're someone who averages a 96 and are hoping to break 90 for the first time, I'd be willing to bet that most of these players put a premium on distance over accuracy.  I think they should give up 40-60 yards but take away 3 OOB a round to hit an iron or hybrid off the tee.  Large number of assumptions on my part of course. 

 

 

20 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

And the important thing to remember, for most of us greater length will come from improved mechanics.  Improved mechanics will generally ALSO mean improved accuracy.  Most golfers who improve their swing will get longer AND straighter. 

This is an interesting take away and I had never thought about it that way.  You are obviously right because if I get more distance it means I got rid of my slice and will be straighter.  I think my overall point is that you have to know your game and if you're losing balls off the tee cause of terrible driving then it would likely help to hit an iron and give up that distance.  I know this is the case for me.   I absolutely need to work more on my short game more than my approach shot to see a improvement in my scores. 

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3 Wood: image.jpeg.693c1038c87ba93f656427286d5ff6c6.jpeg M6 UST Mamiya Proforce V2

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4 minutes ago, den748 said:

100%.  Everyone would love to have controlled distance.  But, if you're someone who averages a 96 and are hoping to break 90 for the first time, I'd be willing to bet that most of these players put a premium on distance over accuracy.  I think they should give up 40-60 yards but take away 3 OOB a round to hit an iron or hybrid off the tee.  Large number of assumptions on my part of course. 

This is an interesting take away and I had never thought about it that way.  You are obviously right because if I get more distance it means I got rid of my slice and will be straighter.  I think my overall point is that you have to know your game and if you're losing balls off the tee cause of terrible driving then it would likely help to hit an iron and give up that distance.  I know this is the case for me.   I absolutely need to work more on my short game more than my approach shot to see a improvement in my scores. 

Yeah, its tough to separate things to change today to shoot lower scores today, and things to change through longer-term work in order to shoot lower scores in the long run.  Many players would benefit in today's round by hitting the ball with a shorter club, and keeping more in play.  In the long run, those very same players would be best served by learning to hit their long clubs more consistently, both in distance and direction.

You face a similar decision.  Improved short game can almost certainly help you to score better quickly, but there's only so much improvement you can get from short game.  You're unlikely to ever do better than 50% up and down over a reasonable time period.  In the long run, you need to improve your full swing to get beyond that.

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6 minutes ago, den748 said:

100%.  Everyone would love to have controlled distance.  But, if you're someone who averages a 96 and are hoping to break 90 for the first time, I'd be willing to bet that most of these players put a premium on distance over accuracy.  I think they should give up 40-60 yards but take away 3 OOB a round to hit an iron or hybrid off the tee.  Large number of assumptions on my part of course. 

 

 

This is an interesting take away and I had never thought about it that way.  You are obviously right because if I get more distance it means I got rid of my slice and will be straighter.  I think my overall point is that you have to know your game and if you're losing balls off the tee cause of terrible driving then it would likely help to hit an iron and give up that distance.  I know this is the case for me.   I absolutely need to work more on my short game more than my approach shot to see a improvement in my scores. 

For the high handicapper who struggles with Driver, he/she should focus on improving with the Driver. I used to be terrible off the tee, hitting all sort of shots OB. And if it wasn't OB, it was a nasty snap hook that had very little distance.

Once I discovered the specific issue (it was an easy fix that caused nasty problems), I improved drastically with Driver. Quickly turned around from a huge liability into a weapon. Once in awhile, I still have a few WTF shots off the tee, but it is worth it to continue hitting Driver.

I also find hitting Driver now is much easier and more forgiving for me than trying to hit a hybrid off the tee. 

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I'm maybe 15 rounds in after a 15+ year hiatus. It's a wonder how much lower your scores are if you have confidence in hitting the driver from the tee box. I totally revamped my driver swing and it's showed in my scoring. My last three rounds were in the low 80's - all because I'm putting the vast majority of my tee shots in the fairway and giving myself a good chance to score. I got a quick 18 in yesterday later afternoon. (Gotta love a course that isn't packed and being able to play 18 in under 3 hours). Shot 83. And that's with missing 3 birdie putts and a double bogey.  I must be the short hitter around here - I hit a drive almost 270 last night on one of the par 5's and it was nice having a 2nd shot from the fairway.


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5 minutes ago, ctandc said:

I'm maybe 15 rounds in after a 15+ year hiatus. It's a wonder how much lower your scores are if you have confidence in hitting the driver from the tee box. I totally revamped my driver swing and it's showed in my scoring. My last three rounds were in the low 80's - all because I'm putting the vast majority of my tee shots in the fairway and giving myself a good chance to score. I got a quick 18 in yesterday later afternoon. (Gotta love a course that isn't packed and being able to play 18 in under 3 hours). Shot 83. And that's with missing 3 birdie putts and a double bogey.  I must be the short hitter around here - I hit a drive almost 270 last night on one of the par 5's and it was nice having a 2nd shot from the fairway.

If you average 270 you'd be a long hitter here.   (Side note, I thought I averaged like 270, then I started tracking and I average 250-260).  

But I think it is widely accepted that distance lowers scores with the huge caveat that you have to at least keep it in play. 
I played 9 yesterday afternoon but I took all woods and hybrids out of my bag and played only with my irons (5I through 60 degree) and my take away for me is that I don't "need" my woods on many par 4's (anything under 370) but it really would have helped on the par 5's.  I can still get there in 3 but it makes that 3rd shot a lot longer.  Funny that I shot pretty much the same score on 9 that I did using my woods.  Small sample size but I'm taking it away that I should use my irons more off the tee while I work on getting my driver in play more often.

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On 5/24/2020 at 3:19 PM, toshea said:

I’ve recently began to tee off on par 5’s with a 4iron... allows me to go 4 iron, 4 iron, 7-pw into the green. 
 

Essentially eliminates any eagle 🦅 opportunity but it’s not like I really was having many opportunities at them anyways. It has however kept me in play and my scoring average down. 
 

Anyone else in this boat?

Course management to take the penalties out of play.  That's smart golf!  I've done that in the past and it had gotten me down to a 7.8 index (that and a a lot more practice back then).  Penalties always seem to compound higher scores.  Taking the penalties out of the equation is a great way to significantly drop scores.

 

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On 5/24/2020 at 3:19 PM, toshea said:

I’ve recently began to tee off on par 5’s with a 4iron... allows me to go 4 iron, 4 iron, 7-pw into the green. 
 

Essentially eliminates any eagle 🦅 opportunity but it’s not like I really was having many opportunities at them anyways. It has however kept me in play and my scoring average down. 
 

Anyone else in this boat?

 

7 minutes ago, MDGolfHacker said:

Course management to take the penalties out of play.  That's smart golf!  I've done that in the past and it had gotten me down to a 7.8 index (that and a a lot more practice back then).  Penalties always seem to compound higher scores.  Taking the penalties out of the equation is a great way to significantly drop scores.

 

MDGolfHacker

I think the OPs approach really limits him.  He's not only not going to make even a single eagle, he's liable to make no birdies, and lots of bogeys or worse.  He's a 12 handicap based on his profile, and he thinks he can (successfully) hit not just one but TWO long irons in a row, and then successfully hit a 7-iron.  I'm a 6 handicap, and I'd have a problem hitting that many full shots in a row well enough.  Miss just one of the two long irons a little bit, and you're looking at a 4-iron to the green, which means a likely bogey for most of us.  Its at best a stop-gap strategy to minimize the effect of a serious issue with driver.  And if his swing is that bad with a driver, its sure not going to be perfect with a 4-iron.  

@dlow206 (a 23 handicap) said it up there, the OP needs to put in some work and learn to hit a driver in play.  Its one thing to band-aid a game together for today, but you have to be able to hit it further (and in play) off the tee to improve.

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21 minutes ago, den748 said:

If you average 270 you'd be a long hitter here.   (Side note, I thought I averaged like 270, then I started tracking and I average 250-260).  

But I think it is widely accepted that distance lowers scores with the huge caveat that you have to at least keep it in play. 
I played 9 yesterday afternoon but I took all woods and hybrids out of my bag and played only with my irons (5I through 60 degree) and my take away for me is that I don't "need" my woods on many par 4's (anything under 370) but it really would have helped on the par 5's.  I can still get there in 3 but it makes that 3rd shot a lot longer.  Funny that I shot pretty much the same score on 9 that I did using my woods.  Small sample size but I'm taking it away that I should use my irons more off the tee while I work on getting my driver in play more often.

That DEFINITELY was not me saying I "average" 270. I wish. Like I mentioned, my driver swing is totally different from my iron swing now. I won't get into specifics - but it works for me so I'll take it. With the new approach to the driver, I'm swinging at maybe a 6 or 7(on a 1-10 scale) and driver swing speed is 95-98 mph and I'd say average driver carry + roll out is maybe 250? Two different launch monitors show my new driver swing at 225-235 carry.  I hope to get comfortable enough with this driver swing to amp it up and see if I can keep the accuracy.

What's funny / odd etc - yesterday I tried incorporating a bit of the driver swing change to a couple of 4 irons shots and my consistent fade turned into a draw and both those shots flew 10 yards or so longer than I normally hit the 4 iron.

The other funny thing (it's golf) was that while I didn't drive the ball perfectly by any stretch of the imagination, the few errant tee shots I had were harder to find - because they were longer than they were previously, so I got to see parts of the course I haven't really explored yet LOL.

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46 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

 

I think the OPs approach really limits him.  He's not only not going to make even a single eagle, he's liable to make no birdies, and lots of bogeys or worse.  He's a 12 handicap based on his profile, and he thinks he can (successfully) hit not just one but TWO long irons in a row, and then successfully hit a 7-iron.  I'm a 6 handicap, and I'd have a problem hitting that many full shots in a row well enough.  Miss just one of the two long irons a little bit, and you're looking at a 4-iron to the green, which means a likely bogey for most of us.  Its at best a stop-gap strategy to minimize the effect of a serious issue with driver.  And if his swing is that bad with a driver, its sure not going to be perfect with a 4-iron.  

@dlow206 (a 23 handicap) said it up there, the OP needs to put in some work and learn to hit a driver in play.  Its one thing to band-aid a game together for today, but you have to be able to hit it further (and in play) off the tee to improve.

Learning to hit driver has really helped my game a lot. I am still a high handicapper, but also would consider myself a beginner (under a year of playing golf consistently). Dropped about 10 strokes through competent drives. Now if I didn't self-destruct after my good tee shots, my handicap would be lower. I have an uncanny ability to chunk a wedge from a perfect lie in the fairway 100 yards out 😑

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47 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

 

I think the OPs approach really limits him.  He's not only not going to make even a single eagle, he's liable to make no birdies, and lots of bogeys or worse.  He's a 12 handicap based on his profile, and he thinks he can (successfully) hit not just one but TWO long irons in a row, and then successfully hit a 7-iron.  I'm a 6 handicap, and I'd have a problem hitting that many full shots in a row well enough.  Miss just one of the two long irons a little bit, and you're looking at a 4-iron to the green, which means a likely bogey for most of us.  Its at best a stop-gap strategy to minimize the effect of a serious issue with driver.  And if his swing is that bad with a driver, its sure not going to be perfect with a 4-iron.  

@dlow206 (a 23 handicap) said it up there, the OP needs to put in some work and learn to hit a driver in play.  Its one thing to band-aid a game together for today, but you have to be able to hit it further (and in play) off the tee to improve.

I have to agree with that. Like I mentioned - just being able to consistently get the driver in bounds at a decent distance has made the my scores drop CONSIDERABLY. I didn't even feel like I shot that well yesterday and I shot a 83. I also believe having that confidence on the tee box helps your entire game. The last few rounds - while my tee shots weren't perfect with the driver - I was griping (mentally) when my drive didn't land on the part of the fairway I wanted to be on for my approach shot. Less than two weeks ago I would have been thrilled to be on the fairway with the driver.

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I hate to pile on a bit late in the game here but I would applaud the OP for taking the short term approach while encouraging him to look at the long term.  Like it or not Distance is the clearest determinant for average score.  Average driving distance drops at each handicap level from touring pro to scratch to single digit, to mid, to low handicap golfers.  I won't throw numbers out because then everyone in this thread will over perform their respective group.  There's oodles of data out there that shows those same demarcations. 

 

Further a modern driver is packed with technology, far more than any 4 iron might hold.  Unless there is some compelling reason to do so - the real possibility of a penalty for hitting a reasonably well played shot - any choice that limits distance is one that is limiting scoring capabilities.  (Penalties for the purpose of this post aren't just balls in hazards but they are miss hit shots, balls in the trees, anything that costs a stroke or strokes on the scorecard.)  Properly fit and understood the driver is one of the easiest clubs in the bag to hit successfully.  So the OP should consider if he has the right piece of equipment and then also the possibility of taking lessons or working on that club in practice over the long run.  That may also mean a transitional period where his scores take a step backwards for a short period of time as he adapts to his new strategy. 

 

I wish him well but the numbers suggest that his best move going forward, if he wants to move from a 12 to single digits, is to figure the driver out.

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On 5/24/2020 at 2:19 PM, toshea said:

I’ve recently began to tee off on par 5’s with a 4iron... allows me to go 4 iron, 4 iron, 7-pw into the green. 
 

Essentially eliminates any eagle 🦅 opportunity but it’s not like I really was having many opportunities at them anyways. It has however kept me in play and my scoring average down. 
 

Anyone else in this boat?

I think its a great strategy you have. Heck there many rounds/tournaments I wish I could go back in time and perform similar strategies. I realize we all grow through experiences but course management is one area I think most of us should focus more attention to. Looks like you have with your example. 

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I’m gonna create a separate post so I can show a bunch of data on this, but I’ve been waiting over a month for my new driver shaft, and have been teeing off with 3wood, 3/4 iron, and other irons while I’m without my driver. It’s been eye opening: am I scoring better? Yes 4 strokes better on average when compared to last years June rounds. Are FIR’s up? Yes, by a whopping 4 fairways (40%) a round.
Are GIR’s down? Yes by about 10%: but I’m hitting longer irons into greens.
Am I a better golfer now than last year? Definitely Am I making more eagles and birdies? Nope: but I’m not making double bogeys anymore either.
RevKev & DaveP043 both make good points but golf is so individual: I would agree that the likelihood of a 12 handicap hitting 2 good 4 irons followed by a solid 7 is unlikely, it all depends on the particular golfer’s strengths and weaknesses.


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6 minutes ago, Micah T said:

I’m gonna create a separate post so I can show a bunch of data on this, but I’ve been waiting over a month for my new driver shaft, and have been teeing off with 3wood, 3/4 iron, and other irons while I’m without my driver. It’s been eye opening: am I scoring better? Yes 4 strokes better on average when compared to last years June rounds. Are FIR’s up? Yes, by a whopping 4 fairways (40%) a round.
Are GIR’s down? Yes by about 10%: but I’m hitting longer irons into greens.
Am I a better golfer now than last year? Definitely Am I making more eagles and birdies? Nope: but I’m not making double bogeys anymore either.
RevKev & DaveP043 both make good points but golf is so individual: I would agree that the likelihood of a 12 handicap hitting 2 good 4 irons followed by a solid 7 is unlikely, it all depends on the particular golfer’s strengths and weaknesses.

Its an interesting question.  You're hitting shorter clubs off the tee, you're scoring better, and you're a better player.  So is the lower scoring because you're a better player?  Is it because you're hitting shorter clubs off the tee?  Is it possible that you're scoring better primarily because you're a better player, in spite of your choosing to hit shorter clubs off the tee?  I suppose any of those is possible, and you'll get more data to evaluate once you get the driver in your hands that you want to use.  Good luck!

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3 minutes ago, Micah T said:

I’m gonna create a separate post so I can show a bunch of data on this, but I’ve been waiting over a month for my new driver shaft, and have been teeing off with 3wood, 3/4 iron, and other irons while I’m without my driver. It’s been eye opening: am I scoring better? Yes 4 strokes better on average when compared to last years June rounds. Are FIR’s up? Yes, by a whopping 4 fairways (40%) a round.
Are GIR’s down? Yes by about 10%: but I’m hitting longer irons into greens.
Am I a better golfer now than last year? Definitely Am I making more eagles and birdies? Nope: but I’m not making double bogeys anymore either.
RevKev & DaveP043 both make good points but golf is so individual: I would agree that the likelihood of a 12 handicap hitting 2 good 4 irons followed by a solid 7 is unlikely, it all depends on the particular golfer’s strengths and weaknesses.


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I'm delighted to see hear that your game is improving.  But an exception does not prove the rule and the rule is well established that the farther you can hit the ball, without excessive penalties (that last part being a huge key) the lower your handicap.  I'm certainly not arguing that a player with a handicap might improve his or her game for a while by hitting less than driver if in fact driver is a limiting factor for that player.  But frequently choosing to hit less than driver will place the cap on how good that player might become. 

The average driving distance for a scratch golfer is 253 yards - I realize that most on any golf forum will claim to hit it farther than that but that's the reality based on data from places like ARCCOS and Shot Scope.  If you don't average 253 yards and you are a scratch player it means that you do tons of other things very well - better than scratch to offset it.  If you average 253 and are a 7 (where the average is closer to 240) you have things that are limiting you other than distance - one of those things could be excessive penalties with driver so by backing off to 3 wood you are averaging around the average distance of a higher low handicap player still but without the penalties, your handicap drops but your ceiling is also set lower.

 

Does that make sense - it's the point we are making to the OP.

 

I would finally add that the reality of life may make it very difficult to improve one's driving - I don't know your life circumstance - maybe you work 75 hours a week, have no time to practice and play only on weekends, want to continue with that pattern and are content with it.  Maybe you have a young family that you spend time with or a disabled child to take care of.  This same thing may hold true of the OP.  So I'm only writing about what would be statistically the best move without taking those other things into consideration.

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I’ve recently began to tee off on par 5’s with a 4iron... allows me to go 4 iron, 4 iron, 7-pw into the green. 
 
Essentially eliminates any eagle 🦅 opportunity but it’s not like I really was having many opportunities at them anyways. It has however kept me in play and my scoring average down. 
 
Anyone else in this boat?

I’ve been there. Occasionally I’ll have ball striking issues so I’ll play the holes similar to what you’re doing.
It does work for me.


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Putter; Waaay too many to list

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43 minutes ago, Rickp said:


I’ve been there. Occasionally I’ll have ball striking issues so I’ll play the holes similar to what you’re doing.
It does work for me.


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For me, I have no other reliable club off the tee besides driver. I found someway to hit a 6 iron OB on a par 3 the other day. Hybrid for me off the tee usually equals hook off the planet (except for an occasional good shot I hit with it on a par 3 on my course).

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Follow my golf journey to break into the 80s

Current MGS Tester for the Fujikura Motore X Shaft

Fujikura and Nippon fan. Connoisseur of grips.

Updated 7/14/2020
Driver:taylormade-small:SIM Max 10.5 - Fujikura Ventus Red 5S Velocore (the real one)
Hybrids:taylormade-small: SIM Max 3H, 4H - Matrix Ozik 85S
Irons:callaway-small:Mavrik Max 5 - AW - Nippon Neo 950GH S
Wedges: :cleveland-small: CBX 2 54, CBX Full Face 58 - Nippon Modus 105 Wedge flex
Putter:  :scotty-small: Squareback 1 - Sense Grips S1 - Stability Shaft

Current Putter Collection:EVNROLL: ER10 Outback,  :bettinardi-small: 2017 Studio Stock 3, :cameron-small: La Costa 1st 500, :scotty-small: Squareback 1 (2008)
 

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I'm delighted to see hear that your game is improving.  But an exception does not prove the rule and the rule is well established that the farther you can hit the ball, without excessive penalties (that last part being a huge key) the lower your handicap.  I'm certainly not arguing that a player with a handicap might improve his or her game for a while by hitting less than driver if in fact driver is a limiting factor for that player.  But frequently choosing to hit less than driver will place the cap on how good that player might become. 
The average driving distance for a scratch golfer is 253 yards - I realize that most on any golf forum will claim to hit it farther than that but that's the reality based on data from places like ARCCOS and Shot Scope.  If you don't average 253 yards and you are a scratch player it means that you do tons of other things very well - better than scratch to offset it.  If you average 253 and are a 7 (where the average is closer to 240) you have things that are limiting you other than distance - one of those things could be excessive penalties with driver so by backing off to 3 wood you are averaging around the average distance of a higher low handicap player still but without the penalties, your handicap drops but your ceiling is also set lower.
 
Does that make sense - it's the point we are making to the OP.
 
I would finally add that the reality of life may make it very difficult to improve one's driving - I don't know your life circumstance - maybe you work 75 hours a week, have no time to practice and play only on weekends, want to continue with that pattern and are content with it.  Maybe you have a young family that you spend time with or a disabled child to take care of.  This same thing may hold true of the OP.  So I'm only writing about what would be statistically the best move without taking those other things into consideration.

Totally agree: and I fell into the latter category: my length off the tee was a liability due to my average driver tee shot being 285 but suffering from a 2 way miss. Clubbing down keeps me in bounds, but it also cuts down on birdie opportunities: as you put it, higher floor lower ceiling.


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24CC2B3B-0E46-4165-97D1-F1CA4C5041C8.png

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I hit driver/3 wood on only 2-3 holes on my regular course. Why, because I have always been taught to be a full shot to the green. My mates hit driver every time they can however usually I hit the green in regulation more than they do and also closer the pin.

There is a par 5 we play that is 543M (600yds) off white. I hit hybrid, hybrid, 6 iron and par it regularly. My mates it Driver, 3 Wood, wedge in they are lucky - the issue is that the fairway slopes left and towards water for the first 320M and get narrower the further up you go.


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Recoil Graphite Shafts in all Callaway Clubs

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18 hours ago, Micah T said:


Totally agree: and I fell into the latter category: my length off the tee was a liability due to my average driver tee shot being 285 but suffering from a 2 way miss. Clubbing down keeps me in bounds, but it also cuts down on birdie opportunities: as you put it, higher floor lower ceiling.


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Trust me - I play with a friend who is a 24 who could learn a lot from you.  He has the five way miss going on. 🙂 

 

At least the 3 wood narrows it to 2 or 3 and normally those stay on the planet - he still hits that one longer than I can hit driver - 240 or so - it's amazing to see him stagger his way around the golf course - the last time we played together (two weeks ago) he pulled an iron on a 340 yard par 4 - that might be okay but the longest iron he games is a 7 and this hole was into a breeze and it was wet - he hit two irons (because that was his strategy) each pretty well and was 50 yards short of the green.  I asked him what he hit - "Oh I was going to go 8 iron, 8 iron, boom boom."  Why?  "Because I can hit my 8 iron 170!"

Sure on an 85 degree day in the middle of the winter when the course is fast and firm and there's a breeze behind him, he can, he's pretty long.  In the summer here when the heat index is 115, it's wet and there's a breeze in his face 145 is a huge 8 iron, for anyone not playing on tour.  And this doesn't even get into the reality that his best club in the bag is his 5 hybrid which he could have hit close to 200 (just short of the water that you must lay up from on this hole) and then the 8 iron in. 

 

Oye Vey! 

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Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

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