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Lay up on a par 5? I want to score low?

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Anybody out there looking to find a hybrid or fairway wood that you can hit from any lie with 220-240 yards of carry and land on the green near the pin lack a hackey sack? I have searched and not found it. But I have found a way to score low on the par 5's. I played 8 par 5's at 8 under par this weekend. And birdied the drivable par 4 twice. And birdied the 18th hole twice. All in all, I had 14 birdies in two rounds. (But still managed to shot 80 and 82 but that is a different story).

 

How did I do it? I left all my fairway woods and hybrids at home. By doing, this I had room in my bag for 5 wedges. So I went out this weekend with my new Titleist ZB's 3-9 + PW, 52, 56, 60, and 64 wedges, driver and putter.

 

My previous strategy was to pound a driver as far as I could and then hit a fairway wood or low lofted hybrid to the flag and if it did not go in for a double eagle then I would tap it in for an eagle and go on to the next hole. Well, that has not worked out to well for me as I have had no double eagles, came close once, and maybe one out of 300 par 5's, I manage an eagles. When I do accidentally end up on the green, I have a long putt that I seldom if ever make. What usually happens, if I do not yank it OB trying to overswing, or top it, or any of the other problems, I mean if I hit actually hit it well, then I end up just off the green, typically short-sided, buried in the grass, with a down hill lie, and the green going away. This typically results in a long birdie putt, and a shorter par putt and sometimes a shorter bogey putt. I probably have more bogeys than birdies on par 5's.

 

So my strategy this weekend was to lay up 75 yards out. With this number of wedges using half wedge and 3/4 wedge swings, and include the 8 and 9 iron in there also, I start at 30 yards out and go to 120 yards out with a "partial" shot. Actually, that should be termed "Controlled Shot" not "partial" shot. You take the hands back either waste high or shoulder high and then swing through. In reality, I have done this with all of the irons so from 30 to 175. I have a "controlled" distance shot with two swings and 12 clubs, I have 24 different distances in this range. That means from any distance I should be somewhere with in 9 feet of the flag. Of course there is wind and elevation changes and a host of other things to consider, but you know the range so you select a club based on that, and half the battle is won.

 

This weekend, every third shot on the par 5's, except for two, were from fairway 50 to 80 yards out. These were eagle chips on the green. So, from a perfect lie I had a comfortable shot to go flag hunting. I had only one approach where I had more than 6 feet from the flag.

 

On the "drivable" par 4 (I did hear cracks like, "That's the way they do it on the LPGA tour." when I pulled out the 3 iron.) I hit a three iron to inside the 100 yard marker in the fairway rather than bombing a driver over the trees. It is only 285 yards but the green is only a 20 yard circle surrounded by deep grass bunkers and high hills. It is every easy to have a lie with the ball 3 feet above or below your feet. Not to mention water and trees right and OB along the left side. It is a great risk and reward hole, but a 210 yard tee shot leaves 85 to the flag from the fairway.

 

The point of all this is no matter what clubs up use, it is statistically better to lay up to a comfortable distance than to always go for it. I am not advocating leaving your woods and hybrids at home and carrying 14 wedges, but I do advocate laying up to a comfortable distance. I am going to continue this approach for the next several weeks and see how it goes.

 

As far as not having an alternative to the drive, I teed off with the 3 iron on 5 holes each round, not counting par 3's. That means I only used the driver on 9 holes. Yes, I lost some distance over using my woods or hybrids, but every one of these shots was in the fairway. And while I did not place some of them well, it was no worse and often better than a poorly struck 3 wood.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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Good post. I played a long stretch of a season where I refused, under any circumstance, to go for a par 5 in 2. As I recall, I made a lot of good scores.


Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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Wedges are the scoring clubs.

Not enough people learn how to choke up on wedges and hit various distances. The other thing I see is people don't learn how to vary wedge trajectory. Even some better players in my club can ONLY play bump and runs. There are times when the high soft shot is the best play.


I spy with my little eye something...

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I think everyone should take this advice; myself included, more often at least! Now, I can't say I will lay up all the time, even though I do believe that if I had to choose one or the other; always lay up, or always go for it, I know I would score better if I did the latter. Golf is a game of risk vs. reward. Where I see the most benefit from the lay up strategy is when the potential for catastrophe from a bad shot going for it is higher than acceptable. If I look at a shot and my assessment is that I will only get acceptable results 6/10 times or worse, then that's not a good shot if I'm trying to score. Now, if I'm down in a bet, or trying to close out a match play. . .well, maybe I have to take that shot anyhow! One has to have an honest and clear assessment of what they are capable of, and play to their strengths and away from their weakness. Where I think many players hurt themselves is in not knowing another way to play and therefore they end up taking too many low percentage shots. Eventually, those shots are going to take their toll.

 

Please take this for what its worth, I am an "always go for it" player in transition to a "percentage shot" player! I am far from where I need to be in this regard!


Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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It is not just playing the percentage shots. It is the whole mind set you get by this strategy. For instance, the drivable par 4. Go for it and clip the top of the 35' tall tree and end up in the mogals with a side hill lie and deep grass and mad as a wet hen that you hit the tree and left yourself this 170 yard shot. You want to punish the ball when you get to it. :angry: On the other hand, you decide, I want to be in the fairway, 100-120 yards out. When you get to the ball you are thinking, "that was perfect, now just hit another one." It removes the stress. :D


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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I think it was Tom Watson who said (in some golf magazine a few years back) that if you can't pull off the shot 8 out of 10 times, you shouldn't be hitting it on the course. For me, this is why I ignore my 3W so much. If there's any kind of bunkering near the green, I'm likely to lay up because the 3W is as likely to be short, left, or right, as it is to be dead solid perfect.


Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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loved reading this, gonna try and play with my game this direction this week

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I am glad you enjoyed reading it. I, on the other hand, enjoyed writing it but was appalled just now while reading it all again. On 36 holes, par 72 course, shooting 14 birdies, and scoring an 80 and 82 means that I shot 32 over par on 22 holes. :angry:

 

Granted, it was a beautiful "March" weekend, damp ground, mid-60's with a 20+ mph wind. So I revisited the score card to see where my problems lie. Both days, I doubled the three hardest holes. Not a huge surprise, especially when you consider all three were playing into the wind, and two of them a par feels like a birdie with no wind. One requires a 250 yard tee shot to make the corner. But also I played the four par 3's at +14.

 

There is nothing I can do about the wind, but par 3's, realistic par 3,s, should be easy par holes. Get it on the green or near the green and get up and down. My problem with par 3's this weekend was that unlike the fairway shots from the same distance, I was trying to hit the ball too hard. Too often we get into the mind set of Larry is hitting a 9 iron and his other brother Larry is hitting a W. It takes me an 8 iron to barely reach the front. So instead of hitting a 7 to the middle, I try to hit the 8 hard and end up pulling it so far left I am behind the crapper. :D

 

By analysing last weekends scores I can see where my problems are. Chipping and putting, which I have been working on. Chipping is because I have been working so hard on a "late" wrist release on the full swing that I am doing it on the chips when I should have no release. So I am pounding it over the green. Putting issues are a set up issue causing me to burn the edges because in reality I am aiming at the edge not the center of the cup.

 

So, this weeks thoughts, in addition to laying up on the par 5's, is take more club or at least swing easier on the par 3's, no wrist in chipping, and proper set up on putting. Both chipping and putting issues for me are getting into a proper routine. Some days I have it and some days I don't, I need the consistancy of a routine. NO DOUBLE BOGEYS.

 

Bogeys last weekend instead of doubles and I would have shot 73 and 75. :D

Eliminate the bogeys and I can be on tour. ;)


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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I decide what I'm going to do, based on how I'm hitting the ball and the layout of the hole. If I'm hitting it well or if there is nothing to "lose" by going for it, I'll also go for it. Being a fairly long hitter, makes it a little easier too; there are a lot of par 5's around here that I can reach even with a 3W off the tee.

 

There is one particular par 5 that I always get baited into going for, because I can have anywhere from a 4I-7I in, depending on how strong the prevailing wind is. The second shot is all carry over water, with the green being covered by that water, short, left, and long. I have eagled that hole once, as opposed to several bogies from splashing my second shot. I will be laying up out to the right on that hole from now on.

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Great story and good advice! I have a personal rule of if its 3 wood in I lay up. 18* hy or 21* hy if conditions and hazard locations are favorable then I'll take a smooth swing at it, so most of the time lay up. 5iron or less I go for it. I have the confidence for 5i and in, key for me is a smooth practice swing and the same at take off. Not very often am I 5i in on a par 5. So I also tend to lay up more often then going for it. I hit more wedge shots on course(full,3/4,half shots) than any club in the bag, so it I take less of a brain bashing (stupid, why did you go for it!) and my shoulders say thanks for not over swinging us out of socket.


Sacrifice Or Regret...You Choose!

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If it makes you feel any better, I hit driver 4 hybrid to 6 feet on a 525 yard par 5 today and lipped the eagle out. I'm a risk reward guy though and I always go for it. If I miss oh well, I have confidence in the 5 wedges I carry to get up and down. I do eagle a lot of holes every year but I also par a bunch of par 5's. Depends on the format as to how big of a risk I take.


In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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If it makes you feel any better, I hit driver 4 hybrid to 6 feet on a 525 yard par 5 today and lipped the eagle out. I'm a risk reward guy though and I always go for it. If I miss oh well, I have confidence in the 5 wedges I carry to get up and down. I do eagle a lot of holes every year but I also par a bunch of par 5's. Depends on the format as to how big of a risk I take.


Committed to helping "average golfers" improve your game quickly and easily without buying more equipment, long hours of practice and with the swing you currently have.

 

GolfMasteryNow.com

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I am glad you enjoyed reading it. I, on the other hand, enjoyed writing it but was appalled just now while reading it all again. On 36 holes, par 72 course, shooting 14 birdies, and scoring an 80 and 82 means that I shot 32 over par on 22 holes. :angry:

 

Granted, it was a beautiful "March" weekend, damp ground, mid-60's with a 20+ mph wind. So I revisited the score card to see where my problems lie. Both days, I doubled the three hardest holes. Not a huge surprise, especially when you consider all three were playing into the wind, and two of them a par feels like a birdie with no wind. One requires a 250 yard tee shot to make the corner. But also I played the four par 3's at +14.

 

There is nothing I can do about the wind, but par 3's, realistic par 3,s, should be easy par holes. Get it on the green or near the green and get up and down. My problem with par 3's this weekend was that unlike the fairway shots from the same distance, I was trying to hit the ball too hard. Too often we get into the mind set of Larry is hitting a 9 iron and his other brother Larry is hitting a W. It takes me an 8 iron to barely reach the front. So instead of hitting a 7 to the middle, I try to hit the 8 hard and end up pulling it so far left I am behind the crapper. :D

 

By analysing last weekends scores I can see where my problems are. Chipping and putting, which I have been working on. Chipping is because I have been working so hard on a "late" wrist release on the full swing that I am doing it on the chips when I should have no release. So I am pounding it over the green. Putting issues are a set up issue causing me to burn the edges because in reality I am aiming at the edge not the center of the cup.

 

So, this weeks thoughts, in addition to laying up on the par 5's, is take more club or at least swing easier on the par 3's, no wrist in chipping, and proper set up on putting. Both chipping and putting issues for me are getting into a proper routine. Some days I have it and some days I don't, I need the consistancy of a routine. NO DOUBLE BOGEYS.

 

Bogeys last weekend instead of doubles and I would have shot 73 and 75. :D

Eliminate the bogeys and I can be on tour. ;)

 

Rick,

 

What you are lacking is a plan. If you played with really good golfers you would notice how they dissect there way around the course. Your ego and your desire for distance is not your friend if you want to shoot lower scores. For someone that makes as many birdies as you do your handicap should be lower but your course management is terrible. Why do care what your brothers are hitting, play to your strengths and make good decisions.

In regards to your wedges and laying up. You would be better to lay up to a yardage were you can make a fairly full swing, 1/2 & 3/4 shots are difficult unless you spend a lot of time practicing. I like to lay up to 85-90 yards where I can hit a fairly full swing 60 degree wedge, I don"t have to guess how hard to swing. Not trying o be a know it all here its just I have been where yo have are, used to be a bomber now I'm older and so much smarter, 61 and still a "3". I would bet you any amount of money, if I went around with you for 18 holes and clubbed you and had you hit to where I wanted you to, you would shoot your best round ever.


Committed to helping "average golfers" improve your game quickly and easily without buying more equipment, long hours of practice and with the swing you currently have.

 

GolfMasteryNow.com

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Rick,

 

What you are lacking is a plan. If you played with really good golfers you would notice how they dissect there way around the course. Your ego and your desire for distance is not your friend if you want to shoot lower scores. For someone that makes as many birdies as you do your handicap should be lower but your course management is terrible. Why do care what your brothers are hitting, play to your strengths and make good decisions.

In regards to your wedges and laying up. You would be better to lay up to a yardage were you can make a fairly full swing, 1/2 & 3/4 shots are difficult unless you spend a lot of time practicing. I like to lay up to 85-90 yards where I can hit a fairly full swing 60 degree wedge, I don"t have to guess how hard to swing. Not trying o be a know it all here its just I have been where yo have are, used to be a bomber now I'm older and so much smarter, 61 and still a "3". I would bet you any amount of money, if I went around with you for 18 holes and clubbed you and had you hit to where I wanted you to, you would shoot your best round ever.

 

 

I am afraid you missed the point of this whole thread. I was advocating swinging within yourself, making a plan, and laying up to a comfortable distance. For me I would rather hit to a 3/4 or half wedge, where I am very good rather than a full wedge where I have a tendency to spin the ball too much. Instead of hop and stop, it hops and backs up leaving a longer putt or not and leaves a longer putt.

 

I analysed my score card to see where my weakness are or were, and learned from that. So that not only could I practice my weaknesses but also plan the next round. I realized that I was teeing the ball up too far back in my stance on the par 3's forcing an over the top move. Once I fixed that I could swing freely. I also knew that my chipping stroke needed work needed work. so I spent time on that. I had been flipping my hands. So I fixed it.

 

I played Friday through Tuesday after workning on that and shot between 71 and 75 on all but one day, and there was a 45 mph wind on that day. The wind made reading putts very difficult. It was blowing the putt up hill on some holes.

 

Since I hurt my back I have had to stand more upright then before, that caused some swing changes, some for the good some not but I have it worked out now. Having to swing easier has made my driving accuracy really improve, it went from good to great.

 

That does not mean that I would not like to play golf with you. Or take any advice. But the best round I ever had was a 67 by focusing on just making a good swing with every time. Not the score on the hole. At the end of the round I was surprised when I totaled up the score. Yes, I know that is a problem, "the only shot you can control is this one" and "focus on the target and not results". Also, this weekend I ignored this thread and went for several par 5's and had two eagles, but I also laid up some and had birdies. I also had one bogey after a great drive, then three poor shots but got over that.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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I am afraid you missed the point of this whole thread. I was advocating swinging within yourself, making a plan, and laying up to a comfortable distance. For me I would rather hit to a 3/4 or half wedge, where I am very good rather than a full wedge where I have a tendency to spin the ball too much. Instead of hop and stop, it hops and backs up leaving a longer putt or not and leaves a longer putt.

 

I analysed my score card to see where my weakness are or were, and learned from that. So that not only could I practice my weaknesses but also plan the next round. I realized that I was teeing the ball up too far back in my stance on the par 3's forcing an over the top move. Once I fixed that I could swing freely. I also knew that my chipping stroke needed work needed work. so I spent time on that. I had been flipping my hands. So I fixed it.

 

I played Friday through Tuesday after workning on that and shot between 71 and 75 on all but one day, and there was a 45 mph wind on that day. The wind made reading putts very difficult. It was blowing the putt up hill on some holes.

 

Since I hurt my back I have had to stand more upright then before, that caused some swing changes, some for the good some not but I have it worked out now. Having to swing easier has made my driving accuracy really improve, it went from good to great.

 

That does not mean that I would not like to play golf with you. Or take any advice. But the best round I ever had was a 67 by focusing on just making a good swing with every time. Not the score on the hole. At the end of the round I was surprised when I totaled up the score. Yes, I know that is a problem, "the only shot you can control is this one" and "focus on the target and not results". Also, this weekend I ignored this thread and went for several par 5's and had two eagles, but I also laid up some and had birdies. I also had one bogey after a great drive, then three poor shots but got over that.

 

I'm sorry I must of misunderstood your post. Sounds like you are shooting some great rounds.

 

I'm all about what you are advocating and am a firm believer that better course management for most golfers is the fastest and easiest way to improve their scores. Sounds like it helped yours , I know it has mine.

 

Feel for you with the back thing, I've had to deal with that as well my whole life.

 

Good luck with your journey.


Committed to helping "average golfers" improve your game quickly and easily without buying more equipment, long hours of practice and with the swing you currently have.

 

GolfMasteryNow.com

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