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Difficult holes often play simpler by swallowing your pride, hit a 3i or a hybrid off the tee, lay up to 50-100 yards, then stick your approach for a makeable putt.   The whole point of the  design is to play on your desire for a GIR (and possible 3 putt) rather than developing a strategic plan for par.   Think first, then hit.  

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1 minute ago, bwgerho said:

Difficult holes often play simpler by swallowing your pride, hit a 3i or a hybrid off the tee, lay up to 50-100 yards, then stick your approach for a makeable putt.   The whole point of the  design is to play on your desire for a GIR (and possible 3 putt) rather than developing a strategic plan for par.   Think first, then hit.  

While this is an approach that seems to make sense it is being proven as not the ideal way to play.   As long as the player can make reasonable decent contact  it has been found that:

  • statistically players don’t hit more fairways with 3i or hybrid and it simply just leaves a significantly longer approach.
  • laying up to a preferred distance usually creates a pattern that is 20 yards from front to back. Meaning targeting a 100 yard spot will probably leave you somewhere between 90-110 yard approach
  • even from 50-100 yards you aren’t going to stick you approach very often and still 2 putt the hole.  Proximity to the hole is better the closer you are to the hole.

There is no strategy that will guarantee a score. Playing conservative may get you a  birdie or par and aggressive may result in a bogey or worse but if looked at over a long period of time, the strategy you describe will end up with a higher scoring average.  
 

I will again caveat the above by saying if you struggle with driver and will likely end up in a penalty situation, play something else off the tee.  The scoring loss for distance makes up for taking penalty strokes.  If you have serious short game issues and chunk/blade lots of shots, then it might be wise to leave a longer shot.  

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17 hours ago, Ben_Howell34 said:

I’ve got one, Par 3 version. Number 14 at Ballantrae in Birmingham. BF24A036-E334-440B-90BD-D6EA2CC3D70A.png.0041f4e3e0040a13361a61a0509021c6.pngPar 3 220 yards, water all down the right and bunker on the left. Obvious answer is to play left but the problem is if you are in the bunker, the green slopes down towards the water so it is hard to stop the ball out of the sand. 
 

I tend to try and play it short to give a decent shot at up and down, but still a tough hole. 

I think I would just write down 5 and play the 15th hole. 

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1 hour ago, bwgerho said:

Difficult holes often play simpler by swallowing your pride, hit a 3i or a hybrid off the tee, lay up to 50-100 yards, then stick your approach for a makeable putt.   The whole point of the  design is to play on your desire for a GIR (and possible 3 putt) rather than developing a strategic plan for par.   Think first, then hit.  

What is a makeable putt distance? I have made 80 footers and missed 2 footers.

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17 hours ago, Ben_Howell34 said:

I’ve got one, Par 3 version. Number 14 at Ballantrae in Birmingham. BF24A036-E334-440B-90BD-D6EA2CC3D70A.png.0041f4e3e0040a13361a61a0509021c6.pngPar 3 220 yards, water all down the right and bunker on the left. Obvious answer is to play left but the problem is if you are in the bunker, the green slopes down towards the water so it is hard to stop the ball out of the sand. 
 

I tend to try and play it short to give a decent shot at up and down, but still a tough hole. 

Just a tough hole.   First impression is send it toward the bunker.  But, As you mentioned bunker may not be a good option if you struggle out of the sand due to the slope toward the water.  If that’s the case I’m playing the club that won’t reach the bunker and ends up short or just on the front of the green.  Walk off happy with par and accept 4 as my most likely score.  Goal is really to avoid double.  

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13 hours ago, edingc said:

This one is a little more "cut and dry" than the others, but I've never had the guts to go for it with driver. Curious to see what people would do here:

No. 15, Diamond Springs Golf Course

Par 4, tee locations marked. 245 yards to carry the ravine/hazard to front of green from whites, about 270-275 from blue. There's a decent backstop to the green so you can drive and stop it. 

There's all kinds of bail out room in the fairway, but there's a huge ridge that runs the length of the fairway and funnels balls left or right. Balls hit left of the ridge have a completely blind shot into the green with no view of anything. They often put the pin on the left most part of the green, too, so the chance of stopping the ball close to the hole is next to nothing.

no15.jpg.767b42faaa1f370cee2c440d2d476da7.jpg

The Fried Egg has a good drone shot of this hole:

15-high-front-copy.jpg.35239520796c1414604d0278a76eb977.jpg

Me personally, the last three times I've played here I've laid up well short (something like a six iron, I think), from both white and blue tees. Twice I stayed right of the ridge and had a good look at the pin with a wedge but ball below my feet. One other time I was left of the ridge and had no view of the green at all. I hit a decent pitch but still didn't come close to the hole as it rolled down the backstop and well out onto the green.

Last time I played with @ncwoz he hooked his first drive out of bounds, but landed his second drive from the blue tees past the green onto the backstop and it trickled down onto the green perfectly. Still one of the best shots I've ever seen in person, and it ended up with him halving the hole with me with bogey.

It's an easy enough decision if you have a 50/50 chance of going into the hazard/OB whether you're using driver or 6 iron like me;)

If there was a little more room short of the green it'd be a no brainer for me, but there's almost no room for a mishit to come up short at all. It's one of the things I love about Devries designed courses tho, because as you look at your shorter club options there's really nothing that stands out to me as the obvious choice. Like @edingc said, if you lay up there's still a good chance you're left with a really tricky approach, and if you're like me the layup is still intimidating enough that I nervely hooked it OB. On top of it all, it's absolutely beautiful when the sun is going down at your back.

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On 11/18/2021 at 10:44 AM, THEZIPR23 said:

I think I would just write down 5 and play the 15th hole. 

Funny thing is rest of the course is moderate to easy difficulty. But this hole is a beast.

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I recently started mapping my home course and realized, several things:

a) This course must have been designed with driver distances topping out at 250. Some of these angles are rough.

b) my fairways are narrow

b) tree are placed in such spots, Driver always isn't feasible.

c) The holes below, technically you should never take driver. Curious on everyone's opinion

Hole 10 Meriwether National. Par 4, 375 yards. This 60 yard triangle at 235 yards. My driver carry is 265 now a days. Tight fairway with a tree overhanging the inner part of the dog leg. 235 gets me there with a 3H off the tee.

image.png.bcde5ae327f21f379019e3e82ee5de30.png

 

Hole 11 Meriwether National . Par 4, 428 Yards. 260 yard triangle with 60 yard landing area. Part of the triangle overlaps with a small stream that is mostly dry but a red stake hazard. In the winter this may be a driver hole, but in summer its Super Hybrid or 3H due to roll.

image.png.025f60cb2b50be66a8e05d3567ac7009.png

 

Hale 13 Meriwether National. Par 5 523 Yards. 266 yard, 60 wide triangle. I always pull driver here and wonder why i end up where i do because i usually aim between the tree line. Driver is a stretch to get over the trees on the corner. Unless you can play a cut all the time and aim between the tree lines, Driver should almost be null IMO.

image.png.aee49183d81cbcd75a21d4b087a3120d.png

 

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13 minutes ago, rbsiedsc said:

I recently started mapping my home course and realized, several things:

a) This course must have been designed with driver distances topping out at 250. Some of these angles are rough.

b) my fairways are narrow

b) tree are placed in such spots, Driver always isn't feasible.

c) The holes below, technically you should never take driver. Curious on everyone's opinion

 

Hole 11 Meriwether National . Par 4, 428 Yards. 260 yard triangle with 60 yard landing area. Part of the triangle overlaps with a small stream that is mostly dry but a red stake hazard. In the winter this may be a driver hole, but in summer its Super Hybrid or 3H due to roll.

 

 

You logic seems reasonable and it does appear that driver is a tough okay with your distance.  My only comments are while the fairways are narrow and there are a lot of trees, are you blocked out by trees if you miss the fairway?  My only question on 11 would be can you shift the cone left to not be in the the hazard?  Being shorter leads to a long approach but it may just be one of those take par if you can but be happy with bogey.  

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Golf is not just pull driver on every par 4 or 5... well, it is for me!  🤣  But some holes require planning and sometimes it's not driver-wedge.  The architect likely designed some holes to be played with longer approaches unless the player is willing to take on extra risk.  The USGA uses 250y for an average scratch male golfer and 200y for an average bogey male golfer.  If you are above the average, then there can be more risk, unless of course you can fly all the trouble!!

Look how many pros take less than driver on 450+ holes.  Each player has to determine the maximum distance they want drive the ball to have a reasonable shot into the green without getting into too much trouble.  As for par 5 holes, the architect is probably looking for players to shape their shots or play it as a 3-shot hole.  There are always choices to make... make it a good one.

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23 minutes ago, cnosil said:

You logic seems reasonable and it does appear that driver is a tough okay with your distance.  My only comments are while the fairways are narrow and there are a lot of trees, are you blocked out by trees if you miss the fairway?  My only question on 11 would be can you shift the cone left to not be in the the hazard?  Being shorter leads to a long approach but it may just be one of those take par if you can but be happy with bogey.  

So not seen on 11, too far left and you have to carry over ten foot bushes unless they cut them for the winter. Ya it’s an expectation management exercise to try to play for par and accept a bogey. 

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41 minutes ago, rbsiedsc said:

I recently started mapping my home course and realized, several things:

a) This course must have been designed with driver distances topping out at 250. Some of these angles are rough.

Are these all from the back tees? 

b) my fairways are narrow

Distance between hazards is the criteria for tee shots. Fairway vs. rough could be penal, or not much. 

b) tree are placed in such spots, Driver always isn't feasible.

c) The holes below, technically you should never take driver. Curious on everyone's opinion

- a single row of trees doesn't exclude driver unless it results in a recovery situation or lost ball the majority of time. Giving up 30-50 yards with hybrid is likely 0.4-0.8 SG at your handicap. If you are punching out less than 50% of the time you likely come out ahead (assuming no lost balls). 

Hole 10 Meriwether National. Par 4, 375 yards. This 60 yard triangle at 235 yards. My driver carry is 265 now a days. Tight fairway with a tree overhanging the inner part of the dog leg. 235 gets me there with a 3H off the tee.

- you can experiment with cutting the corner or hitting through the dog leg as playing from the next fairway should be feasible with a lofted club unless the trees are over 60' tall. 

image.png.bcde5ae327f21f379019e3e82ee5de30.png

 

Hole 11 Meriwether National . Par 4, 428 Yards. 260 yard triangle with 60 yard landing area. Part of the triangle overlaps with a small stream that is mostly dry but a red stake hazard. In the winter this may be a driver hole, but in summer its Super Hybrid or 3H due to roll.

Aim left as @cnosil said or play club that takes hazard out of play. OR go full Bryson and aim at the cart path on extreme right between tee boxes and green 🙃 Lots of good outcomes over there LOL, get 20 extra yards off cart path, free drop from the green, good lie on a tee box. 

image.png.025f60cb2b50be66a8e05d3567ac7009.png

 

Hale 13 Meriwether National. Par 5 523 Yards. 266 yard, 60 wide triangle. I always pull driver here and wonder why i end up where i do because i usually aim between the tree line. Driver is a stretch to get over the trees on the corner. Unless you can play a cut all the time and aim between the tree lines, Driver should almost be null IMO.

- If you can't cut corner then you are advancing as far as possible up the dog leg. Ideally, to the gap between trees on left to eliminate the risk of being blocked out. 

image.png.aee49183d81cbcd75a21d4b087a3120d.png

 

 

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@BMart519

These are in between back and next tees up. Only 10 yrds really between them.

Thanks for the feed back otherwise and thank you everyone for your opinions. I need to do a better job of doing the prep work ahead of time to really plan my strategy better.

 

 

 

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