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When do you use Iron off the Tee? (Or anything other than Driver)


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Another one in the strategy series…

When do you all pull an iron off the tee?  

Short Par 4’s?  

Tight fairways?

Hazard avoidance?

Weird lie avoidance?

Always?  

Wind only?

 

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5 minutes ago, Shankster said:

Another one in the strategy series…

When do you all pull an iron off the tee?  

Short Par 4’s?  

Tight fairways?

Hazard avoidance?

Weird lie avoidance?

Always?  

Wind only?

 

my longest iron is a 6 so Par 3s less than about 185.   Otherwise it is primarily driver,  with an occasional 3w or 3 hybrid based on trouble avoidance or distance limitations. 

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  • Shankster changed the title to When do you use Iron off the Tee? (Or anything other than Driver)

In choosing a club off the tee other than driver, for me it's all about hazard avoidance. If there is significant trouble pinching in at the driver distance, which I know I can't carry, I'm going to club down (3w, 5w, 7w, typically) and make sure I'm short of it. A similar strategy goes for a dogleg hole where driver might run through the fairway. FWIW, I also define "trouble" as "driver is going to leave me a really nasty downhill lie. We have several holes at my club where a driver can end up with a PW off of a severe downhill/sidehill lie, whereas being 10 yards shorter leaves 8 or 9 iron from a perfectly level stance.

My other exception to driver off the tee is when I absolutely MUST move the ball right-to-left off the tee. I can hit a 3w or 5w long enough, and pretty well be confident it will move left (at least, won't miss right). On those holes, unless I really need the distance of the driver, I'll usually hit the solid draw with 3w.

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Other than Par 3’s the only time I will pull 5 wood is if there is a ob or penalty area that is where driver would end up. I’m not accurate enough with anything else to guarantee not to be in the trees so why not let the big dog eat! Lol

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i hit iron off the tee a lot. the course i play most often is heavily tree lined and driver is way too penal on most holes. 

my irons are long enough that i’m not giving up a ton of distance off the tee, and not losing drives OB has contributed to lower scores for me 

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First, on “runny-dink” par 5s that require a layup off the tee due to creeks, ravines, grassy areas, etc.

Next off par 5s that have a severe dogleg, and have trees too high/close to get over to cut the dogleg.

On par 4s where I can’t carry a creek, ravine, grassy area, etc.

On a short par 4 where driver puts me at an uncomfortable approach yardage, so I’ll lay back to be hitting from a number on the second shot.

On mountain courses where holes have a huge elevation drop and driver isn’t a good play.

Finally, if I’m struggling all day from the tee box I’ll hit 4 iron just to try and hit a fairway to get a positive mojo going.

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I play quite a few courses that force driver out of your hand on certain holes. Usually desert washes or canyons running through the fairway, sometimes a sea of bunkers. Others where the longer you hit it the more narrow the fairway is. Regardless, I'll often use a 5 wood or iron off the tee. Experimenting with another round of driving irons right now in the 20-21 degree range. 

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Almost never. Could be that courses I play don't require it or it could be the fact that my driver/3w are just as accurate off the tee as my 4 iron. I am not normal however driver is by far my best club and 3w being 2nd best there is almost no reason for me to hit anything else. My club does have a par 5 with a severe dog leg, I hit 5w off this tee and miss as much or more than I would if I could hit driver. 

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1 minute ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Almost never. Could be that courses I play don't require it or it could be the fact that my driver/3w are just as accurate off the tee as my 4 iron. I am not normal however driver is by far my best club and 3w being 2nd best there is almost no reason for me to hit anything else. My club does have a par 5 with a severe dog leg, I hit 5w off this tee and miss as much or more than I would if I could hit driver. 

Wish I could say the same about my driver…. It’s getting there, but it still causes me some heartache.  3 wood was a bad bad stick last round.  I blocked sliced it as far right as you could possibly get into the water… it’s was like when Happy hit the lady in the window.  Just dropped the club. 

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3 minutes ago, Shankster said:

Wish I could say the same about my driver…. It’s getting there, but it still causes me some heartache.  3 wood was a bad bad stick last round.  I blocked sliced it as far right as you could possibly get into the water… it’s was like when Happy hit the lady in the window.  Just dropped the club. 

Eh, if you ask me it's overrated. I would much rather have my irons be the best in my bag. I have no problem making bogey from 75 yards in the fairway. 

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Just now, THEZIPR23 said:

Eh, if you ask me it's overrated. I would much rather have my irons be the best in my bag. I have no problem making bogey from 75 yards in the fairway. 

Irons are my thing.  Just getting myself in a position off the tee so I don’t have to bend around trees.  That is the goal.  I am 100% better than I was last year, last year I could not get off the tee to save my life.  Distance is there.  Accuracy is marginal at times.

 

Ive actually thought about getting one of the 1 irons and bending it to 14°…, but I don’t know if it would even be playable at that point?

 

I really do not like woods.  Tiger is cool, but fairway (woods) are not my fav, driver either.

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7 minutes ago, Shankster said:

Irons are my thing.  Just getting myself in a position off the tee so I don’t have to bend around trees.  That is the goal.  I am 100% better than I was last year, last year I could not get off the tee to save my life.  Distance is there.  Accuracy is marginal at times.

 

Ive actually thought about getting one of the 1 irons and bending it to 14°…, but I don’t know if it would even be playable at that point?

 

I really do not like woods.  Tiger is cool, but fairway (woods) are not my fav, driver either.

Just to give you an example of what I struggle with. I played a match last week, hit the driver probably as good as I ever have. Won the match on 17th green. Holes 9-17 I hit 7 straight drives between 290-324. All were within and umbrella width of the center of the fairway. I actually took 2 drops off yardage markers in the middle of the fairway.  I had and 8 iron and 5 iron to the 2 par 5's second shots. I MADE ZERO BIRDIES! This is the same round I said I aimed at zero flags but still to make 0 birdies off those drives should be criminal. 

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15 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Just to give you an example of what I struggle with. I played a match last week, hit the driver probably as good as I ever have. Won the match on 17th green. Holes 9-17 I hit 7 straight drives between 290-324. All were within and umbrella width of the center of the fairway. I actually took 2 drops off yardage markers in the middle of the fairway.  I had and 8 iron and 5 iron to the 2 par 5's second shots. I MADE ZERO BIRDIES! This is the same round I said I aimed at zero flags but still to make 0 birdies off those drives should be criminal. 

We’d make one heck of a scramble team.

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First choice for me below driver is 17 deg 2 hybrid (carry no fairways currently). If there is significant trouble: thick trees with likely lost ball, OB, or water; I will occasionally drop back to iron if the distance between these hazards is 40 yards or less. Or if there is a forced carry I'm uncomfortable with. 

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My driver and 3h carry distances are sadly not very disparate, but since you can't hit a driver fat (or at least it's pretty difficult to do so) my driver is actually more consistent.  I really only use my 3h off the tee for particularly tight fairways.  On the course I play most, there is only one hole in which I generally take hybrid.  There is another hole that I probably should but generally don't.  I'm always jelly of my friends that have real distance and often take irons off the tee.  I have a buddy who is 6'10 that hit his 5i 275 (total not carry) the other day.  I hit driver on the same hole and was well short of his tee shot.

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My home course actually has several holes I don't hit driver on.

#7 390/4 I hit driver here too, but anything over 260 falls into a valley that is one of the wettest spots on the course. I'll hit 3W if there's been a lot of rain.

#9 450/5 it's downhill 250 to a lake, can't hit driver. Usually hybrid or 4i to stay short and in the fairway. 

#10 365/4 usually a 4i as it's a sharp dogleg left, so the hole plays much shorter then the yardage. Driver landing zone doesn't exist.

#12 410/4 Driver landing zone is maybe 20 yards wide with red left and OB right. Even being in the wrong spot in the fairway can have you blocked from the green. I hit 3W

#14 330/4 the hole is split in half by a creek and all the trouble is if you take on the other side. I hit 2 8i

#15 540/5 hazards line both sides of this hole and a driver would be a draw over trees to a blind landing zone. I can't hit a controlled fade so driver stays away. I hit a hybrid to find the fairway.

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I only hit something other than driver if the driver distance gets through the fairway on a dogleg or if a hazard is at the driver distance.  On the course where I play a 9 hole league from the white tees there are only 3 driver holes on the front and I am hitting a 18* hybrid on the other 4 non par 3 holes.  When I play it from the back tees i get to hit driver on two more holes.  

On the back 9 from the whites only two holes need the 18* and from back tees I can hit driver on all but the one par 3.

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On 7/28/2021 at 8:36 PM, Shankster said:

Another one in the strategy series…

When do you all pull an iron off the tee?  

Short Par 4’s?  

Tight fairways?

Hazard avoidance?

Weird lie avoidance?

 

 

iu-5.gif.db9f77ae33ef9e99e5eddcd9e969d7b9.gif

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@Shankster - I think you covered it pretty well in your initial post.  For me it's usually 2 hybrid on a tighter hole and where the distance isn't needed quite as much.   

This does get me wondering where the trade off of aggressive play would be for the chance at a birdie.  I was just listening to the Chasing Scratch Podcast and they had the guy who developed strokes gained and it was pretty interesting.  There is an app out there you can get your own percentages and I think it may be worthwhile to try.

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