2020 Golf Thread

FL4WL3SS

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Andy Brickley's potty mouth
Barring hazards or some specific reason (bad lie, etc), always try to be as close to the green as possible. “Laying up to a comfortable number” is a myth reinforced by your own selective memory bias and you’ll always be better off the closer to the green. There’s basically no chance you’re better from 100 yards than 50 yards over the long term.

Practice your 50 yard wedge shots. Hit it 50 yards 20 balls each with a 9 iron up through lob wedge, focus on making clean contact and dial back the power from there.
It really depends on the situation yeah? For example, I rarely use a driver or 3w on #10 at my course when the pin is tucked left behind the bunker. It's a much easier shot when I hit 8i off the tee and have a full 50 degree uphill into that green then trying to get cute with a 30 yard pitch uphill over a bunker.

I can name 4-5 shots like that on my course that, for me, are much easier as full shots then touch pitch shots over trouble.
 

BaseballJones

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I see both sides of the argument. Generally, closer is better, if for no other reason than geometry. If you have 50 yards to go and you mishit by one degree, you will be off target by 0.87 of a yard. If you have 100 yards to go and you mishit by one degree, you will be off target by 1.74 yards. If you have 50 yards to go and you mishit by five degrees, you will be off target by 4.37 yards. If you have 100 yards to go and you mishit by five degrees, you will be off target by 8.7 yards.

However, in terms of control, for many people, taking a normal full swing yields better contact and distance control than trying to hit a "feel" shot (taking a half-swing, for example, of your wedge).

So I can see both points. I typically try to get as close as I can, but sometimes it bites me. If I get close but I have a trap to hit over and not much green to work with, I am TERRIBLE with the lob wedge and I have no real way to stop the ball (at my ability level), so I'd rather be further back and take a full pitching or sand wedge, where I can get it high and have a chance to stop it.
 

jercra

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1. I’m really struggling in the rough this year. Saratoga’s rough is not particularly tall but it’s thick. If I try to take an easy swing and pick it out I’m usually ok, but a third of the time my club gets caught up, spun, sending my shot way wide of target. If I trip to grip the club tighter, it feels like I’m muscling it out of the rough and I don’t get under the ball.

3.Similar to 1, I am struggling around the greens if I’m in the rough. I end up flubbing it way too often. I’m driving and striking my irons well (for a bogey golfer), but I am giving up a ton of shots if I don’t stick my approach shot. Today I shot 93 at Saratoga and yet I was probably on or within 20 yards of the green in regulation on 12-14 holes.
I'm not going to wade into the morass of closer/full club (yet), but wanted to address points 1 and 3.

1) To the bolded above... stop trying to get under the ball. That's not how you hit a golf shot, especially out of the rough. The deeper the rough, the steeper the attack (in general). Hit down on the ball to make the ball go up in the air. Let the loft do the work.
3) See above. I'd bet a decent amount you try to "throw" the ball around the greens when you should be striking the ball. Go watch some youtube videos on how to chip. Mickelson has some decent ones if you want a tour player you know.

This "getting under the ball" thing costs more players more strokes than probably any other misunderstanding.
 
FWIW, I should point out that I do make an exception to my policy on trying to avoid 30-to-50-yard shots: when the terrain is such that I can play a Scottish bump-and-run shot. That becomes more of a long chip shot than a tweener pitch, and I do believe that my worst bump-and-run will be better than my worst full LW or SW. It's when a carry of any length is involved - particularly one where I'll want to stop the ball quickly - that the calculus changes.
 

Bongorific

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I'm not going to wade into the morass of closer/full club (yet), but wanted to address points 1 and 3.

1) To the bolded above... stop trying to get under the ball. That's not how you hit a golf shot, especially out of the rough. The deeper the rough, the steeper the attack (in general). Hit down on the ball to make the ball go up in the air. Let the loft do the work.
3) See above. I'd bet a decent amount you try to "throw" the ball around the greens when you should be striking the ball. Go watch some youtube videos on how to chip. Mickelson has some decent ones if you want a tour player you know.

This "getting under the ball" thing costs more players more strokes than probably any other misunderstanding.
Appreciate the pointers. I’ll look for some Phil videos.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm watching this one:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhzY7TIMnMU


Absolutely fantastic stuff. Some things I've never heard before, and I've been playing for 38 years now (started when I was 12). One issue though: Phil does these great practice drills, but I wonder just who in the world has time to do this? Obviously pros do, because this is their job. But for normal people with jobs and kids and a family and yard work etc., how in the world do people actually get the time to put in this kind of practice? I sure don't have that kind of time.
 

BaseballJones

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I've never understood how some people can work all week and then waste an entire day on their weekend to yard work. That's so depressing to me.
Haha. It's called "responsibility". If you've got a home, you gotta take care of it. Not all of us have the money to just pay someone to do it while we go play golf all weekend. Work before play, my friend. Believe me, I'd rather be playing golf.
 

BaseballJones

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I have plenty of responsibility, I just prioritize different things.
Yeah I wasn't saying otherwise. It's that I own a home with a yard, and I can't let it go to pot. So that requires work. A fair amount of work. Sadly, that plus the job, etc., doesn't leave me with as much time (or money) for golf as I'd like. Even practice, never mind rounds.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Yeah I wasn't saying otherwise. It's that I own a home with a yard, and I can't let it go to pot. So that requires work. A fair amount of work. Sadly, that plus the job, etc., doesn't leave me with as much time (or money) for golf as I'd like. Even practice, never mind rounds.
Eh, I found kids (wife's friend's kid and friend) between HS and college this summer that will do my yard for $40/week. Best money I could have spent. Only difficulty is they do not arrive the identical time each week, so my WFH conference calls can get a bit hairy with a hedge trimmer blaring in the background.
 

jercra

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I know I'm late but wanted to weigh in on the "Full club vs. Closest to the hole" discussion. I think if you look at who is arguing for full shots vs. who is arguing for closest to the holes and compare handicaps you'll see the low handicaps in favor of full shots and I think that has to do with control and the goal of the hole. Low caps see a pin tucked behind a bunker and know it's easier to get closer to the hole with an 80 yard shot than a 40 yard shot for a birdie. Higher handicaps are generally trying to hit the green and have a 2 putt for par. There's no right answer, but I'd encourage higher handicappers to get as close to the hole as possible just to minimize the damage of a bad shot and low handicappers to be in the best position to make birdie. I just think a high cap is better off with a 50 yard P-wedge bump and run to the middle of the green than they are trying to flight a full swinging P-wegde in from 100 yards.
 

TFP

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Dec 10, 2007
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I know I'm late but wanted to weigh in on the "Full club vs. Closest to the hole" discussion. I think if you look at who is arguing for full shots vs. who is arguing for closest to the holes and compare handicaps you'll see the low handicaps in favor of full shots and I think that has to do with control and the goal of the hole. Low caps see a pin tucked behind a bunker and know it's easier to get closer to the hole with an 80 yard shot than a 40 yard shot for a birdie. Higher handicaps are generally trying to hit the green and have a 2 putt for par. There's no right answer, but I'd encourage higher handicappers to get as close to the hole as possible just to minimize the damage of a bad shot and low handicappers to be in the best position to make birdie. I just think a high cap is better off with a 50 yard P-wedge bump and run to the middle of the green than they are trying to flight a full swinging P-wegde in from 100 yards.
It's even more true for the pros, so this doesn't hold either. All of the data and research indicates it to be true, it's not my conjecture. It's the foundation of Mark Broadie's entire strokes gained stat and book (Every Shot Counts). As I said, there are some specific exceptions, but otherwise it's always better on average to be closer to the green. It's people's confirmation bias that makes them think they are better off from a full shot.

It really depends on the situation yeah? For example, I rarely use a driver or 3w on #10 at my course when the pin is tucked left behind the bunker. It's a much easier shot when I hit 8i off the tee and have a full 50 degree uphill into that green then trying to get cute with a 30 yard pitch uphill over a bunker.

I can name 4-5 shots like that on my course that, for me, are much easier as full shots then touch pitch shots over trouble.
You might be right that they feel easier and you're more comfortable with them. But I'd be curious if you dropped 20 balls in each spot and hit to that pin which ones would be closer on average. I'd guess the 30 yard pitch ones, but who knows, this could be one of the exceptions, but I'm skeptical. Other exceptions are hazards (not worth getting close if you have to take a drop or are in a difficult bunker), hitting the club that gets you up there (If you can't hit your 3 wood, it's no help when you hit that 50 yards and now you're farther away), or angles (being blocked out obviously doesn't help). But assuming things are equal (fairway lie, similar angle to the pin), you always want to be closer.

It's like putting from just off the green vs chipping. A mediocre putt is usually going to get you as close or closer to the hole than a good chip, unless you're a really good chipper and really bad putter. A mediocre shot from 30 yards is going to get you as close as a very good shot from 80 yards. And if you legit can't hit 30 yard shots, then that's a different issue where the practice comes in, even 30 mins a week.
 
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Over Guapo Grande

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What do people do to hone their swing when there is no range? I have been spending my extra time in a short game area, which has significantly impacted my game. But my tendency is to get super quick on my first few shots. At a range and a small bucket, that is overcome
For me, as a round progresses, I play better because i am no longer hitting the ball. But those first few holes, whew..... they can be rough
 

FL4WL3SS

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I appreciate your skepticism, but one simple fact remains. I can get more spin from 100 yards then I can from 30.

I would definitely take you up on that challenge. There are some pins that are just genuinely difficult to get it close to from a shorter pitch shot then a full shot.

I generally agree with your sentiment, it's just not always the case.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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As to the close/long discussion. I am not a good enough player to reach most par 5s in 2. So after a hopefully good tee shot, the question is : do I want to hit a good 3 wood and be 40 yards short of the green,.. knowing that so much can go wrong with that. Or do I want to hit a 7 iron to 100 yards plus/minus... I will always go to option 2.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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@BaseballJones I have started treating long par 4's as a 5. And then i play for "par" . I will lay up to take the big number out of play. Swallowing my pride has helped my game so much (as well as ... well... making good swings)
 

TFP

Tweedydee
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Dec 10, 2007
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I appreciate your skepticism, but one simple fact remains. I can get more spin from 100 yards then I can from 30.

I would definitely take you up on that challenge. There are some pins that are just genuinely difficult to get it close to from a shorter pitch shot then a full shot.

I generally agree with your sentiment, it's just not always the case.
For sure, like I said I'd be genuinely interested to see it and this particular shot(s) may end up being an exception.

As to the close/long discussion. I am not a good enough player to reach most par 5s in 2. So after a hopefully good tee shot, the question is : do I want to hit a good 3 wood and be 40 yards short of the green,.. knowing that so much can go wrong with that. Or do I want to hit a 7 iron to 100 yards plus/minus... I will always go to option 2.
Of course - the premise is you want to END UP closest to the pin, not necessarily attempt to get closest to the pin. So whatever club you can hit comfortably well enough to get you as close to the green as possible. So for your example, it may be a choice between 5 iron and 7 iron, not 3 wood.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Unrelated to distances... I do want to thank @FL4WL3SS and @Conigliaro's Potential . I had been a guy who tried to line up the detail on the ball (e.g. danissexayNXT1) with my line.... only to find that when I stood over the ball, that line was way off. This past Sat , I went away from that, and i had a 11 putt for 9 hole round. Ok, there were 2 chip ins..

I have been using @FL4WL3SS 's concept of putting to the fringe for a year or to. This year I have started doing in one (right) handed,. So my pre putt routine is now, make right handed strokes, Aim the putter head put the left hand on the club, and fire My speed and line are pretty much on point. I just need to read the greens better,
 

jercra

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For sure, like I said I'd be genuinely interested to see it and this particular shot(s) may end up being an exception.
FWIW, I was saying basically the same thing as @FL4WL3SS above. An 80 yard shot over a hazard to a tucked pin is a much easier shot than a 40 yard shot over a hazard to a tucked pin. It's a more "standard" swing. From 40 yards, I need to hit a front foot flop shot and try to get it to spin otherwise I'll never get the loft I need for it to not roll out way past the hole. From 80 yards, that loft and spin just comes with hitting a 60-degree wedge. Again, this changes depending on the skill level of the player as well as the desired outcome of the hole. There's no doubt that given 20 shots from 40 yards and 20 shots from 80 yards from a flat lie to a pin in the middle of a flat green that the total distance left would be lower from 40 yards. But, give me the same shots from the same distance to a pin just over a bunker onto a downslope and I'd bet the opposite result. Now give that same scenario to a 25 handicapper and they'll almost certainly be better from 40 yards. A 25 handicapper is also not necessarily trying to stick it next to the pin, making it an even simpler calculous.
 
There's another consideration nobody has mentioned in the full shot vs. closest shot discussion, and that concerns where your worst shot is likely to end up, not just your average shot. Think about the shortest full shot you can hit (from whatever distance that is), and compare it to a shot of exactly half that distance: which do you think you're more likely to skull over the green or chunk well short of the green? This won't be true for all players, and particularly not for lower handicappers, but I would imagine that many golfers might get their average tweener shot somewhat closer to the hole, but their 10th to 20th percentile shot noticeably further from the hole because you're more likely to get a terrible contact on the swing you don't hit very often relative to the one you do. And in terms of the score you're likely to make on a hole, the difference between having a 15-foot putt and a 25-foot putt for par is fairly small, but the difference between having a 45-foot putt for par and still being in a bunker or heavy rough short or long of the green is massive. So that's something else to think about...again, this won't apply to all players, but it's probably worth thinking whether it might apply to you.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Unrelated to distances... I do want to thank @FL4WL3SS and @Conigliaro's Potential . I had been a guy who tried to line up the detail on the ball (e.g. danissexayNXT1) with my line.... only to find that when I stood over the ball, that line was way off. This past Sat , I went away from that, and i had a 11 putt for 9 hole round. Ok, there were 2 chip ins..

I have been using @FL4WL3SS 's concept of putting to the fringe for a year or to. This year I have started doing in one (right) handed,. So my pre putt routine is now, make right handed strokes, Aim the putter head put the left hand on the club, and fire My speed and line are pretty much on point. I just need to read the greens better,
That's pretty much my routine as well, although my putting has been atrocious this season. I have not been comfortable over any length putt and my distance control has been awful.

Last season I was putting poorly at the end of the year and decided to ditch my slight forward press and try some putting methods that utilized the 'big muscles'. I'm pretty sure this is the cause of my downward spiral. Multiple playing partners have told me my head is moving all over the place. I'm going back to my old method this weekend to see if it helps.

As for green reading, make sure to ALWAYS read the putt from the low side and underneath the break.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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What if you aren't comfortable with any of the shots?

I'm at a point where I have little trust in my distances with full shots with my 7-PW. I have hybrids from 2-6, recently switching my 6i for the 6H with real good results. I should practice/work on the short clubs to try to fix the problem, which is sort of a "swiping" thing, where I just am not keeping up with the distance gapping I'm getting with hyrbrids. The thing is, if I have to carry water or a hazard, I feel OK about the shot because I have to hit it. But for now, I've kind of switch to hitting a punch 7 iron from 100 yds in, varying the distance via backswing, and it's been much more consistent. I'm also a guy who will putt from 10 yds off the green, and get decent results in the sense that, as others have pointed out, my bad putt from that distance isn't far off what my decent to good wedge/chip/bump and run. My son mocks me for this, as he'll chip anything, even a couple feet off the fringe. But it works for him - -ah youth.

My course doesn't have a lot of problems in front of greens that have to be carried, so it's pretty easy to run up shots through the throat, or strategize by hitting approaches that can't reach the bunkers on the sides of the greens. If can comfortably reach an approach, I'll still try to put it on the green, bunkers be damned, but will back off if my best case scenario on a just is juuuuust reaching the bunkers/front of the green.

I started year as a 20, but have played more rounds this year than the previous 3 combined. I managed to pop my index up to a well earned 21.7 , then finally picked up on something incredibly basic that has helped both full shots and chipping - having the chest follow the hands on the backswing. The change in ball striking consistency was profound. Results are my misses are not tops and thick hits, but the normal slightly thin or a little short/right stuff that gets you good distance on the shot. I was always a bogey golfer, but had lost that recent years, yet seem to have re-found it where I'm back down to an 18.6. There were lots of 95-100s on the card in April-June, but for now it's been more 90-93. The loss of distance has my fighting the uphill battle of having a lot of approach shots being 3w, 2H or 3H, but I'm hitting those well enough to get the ball close to the green on the approach, and can pull off the bogey golf goal of having par putts from inside 25 feet most holes.

And none of this happens without the shutdown, which basically left no other viable outside activities March-June. I'd have not played that much, or would have taken longer breaks between rounds. Coaching baseball for the previous 7 years certainly took up a lot of golf time, but that was finally over this year. The shutdown lso lead to more time with the family, as my wife, son (15) and daughter (college sophomore) all golf, and there wasn't much else to do during these time periods. I'd prefer the world to be in a place where I was a 21 index and everything else was normal, but the extra extra time on the course with family has been a blessing.
 
What if you aren't comfortable with any of the shots?
Heh. Short answer: decide the extent to which you want to play within your limitations or try to improve. There's nothing at all wrong in putting from 10 yards off the green (links course or non-links course) if that's the shot which feels right to you, and you should definitely ignore any peer pressure to the contrary. Over the long term, learning how to chip better - and pitch better, and hit full shots better... - will give you the best chance of the best results, but knowing whether those are leaps you will be able to take is important in figuring out the right course of action for yourself.
 
By the by, I had a very odd 40-yard shot yesterday at Dunbar. I was playing a match against a friend, and despite being +3 after three holes (which included a 40-footer I holed for par at the 2nd; I really was all over the place) I had recovered to +2 at the turn. The 10th hole is a long par 3 with a fairly large ancient ruin of a stone building short and to the left of the green, and I pulled a 3-iron into the middle of the ruin, which is considered an integral part of the course and from which no relief can be taken without taking an unplayable penalty. I found a pretty decent, cushioned lie, but I had one of the walls of the building obstructing my backswing, and the end of the building less than 10 yards in front of me, to say nothing of the bunker between me and the hole. All I could do is take a huge outside-to-inside swing with a lob wedge, try to hit a Mickelson-esque flop and hope to carry the ball far enough to reach the green...although in truth, making contact with the ball was far from a given. But I did catch it well, and it cleared the wall in front of me on a line with the flag - and it could have wound up being my shot of the year, had the ball not hit a couple of inches below the lip of the bunker and fallen down into the sand. So close, and yet so far.

Oh, and another thing: my friend I was playing with alerted me to the fact that there is an open competition going ahead in a week-and-a-half at Kilspindie, and I was able to call the club secretary this morning and just sneak into the field before the draw was made. So that will be fun - I finished third in this tournament (the Hope Challenge Medal) about a decade ago and won something like £100, and it's a really fun course to play, so I'm excited to have that as another important event to be a part of in this strange pandemic year.
 

cshea

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I have 2*

* I've probably told the story here before, but my first was technically a 3. It was the 4th hole at a muni near my college. I think I started double, triple, triple. I was playing match play against a friend of mine. I was 3 down and on the 4th tee I made the worst swing of my life. Huge divot, ball didn't get off the tee box. I said to my buddy "I don't care, you win the hole, I'm hitting another one." Flew the mulligan right into the hole. 9-iron from 115/120. Caught it off the toe a bit.

Playing with the same playing partners, I got a legitimate one a few months later. 8-iron from about 140. That one felt like a perfectly struck golf ball. Landed a few feet from the hole and rolled right in.
 

Phragle

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Flawless was right twice on the same page. That has to be a record.

Generally I want to get as close to the hole as I can but it's absolutely situation dependent. My short game is much better than my full swing game, so there's that, but if the pin is tucked close behind a hazard and I need a one putt then the move is certainly to have about 90-120 left so I can swing hard and create enough height and backspin to stick it or even spin it back. Course management is something that I've been having fun w recently. I used to not even consider it and played every shot like I needed to hole out. I didn't know how much I'd enjoy breaking down the design strategy and managing my ball around it. The other day I voluntarily hit my driver left into the rough so I could have a better angle and my friend went right/straight and had to hit his approach uphill and over a bunker. I tapped in for par and he barely made bogey. I think TFP point is that if you push a 30 yard shot you're maybe 8 feet away, but if you push a 130 yard shot then you're probably 10 yards away

And Jercra is right that trying to sweep under the ball is a horrible strategy in general and worse out of the rough. The loft should be what's getting the ball in the air, not the swing. Coming down on the ball in the rough can kind of neutralize the downsides. I actually have a little more trouble when a ball is sitting up in the rough. Scared of going under it

For the 30-50 yarders practice is huge. Practicing my short game has helped me more than practicing any other aspect of golf for me.

Where is there no range, @Over Guapo Grande ?
 

Chance17

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1. I’m really struggling in the rough this year. Saratoga’s rough is not particularly tall but it’s thick. If I try to take an easy swing and pick it out I’m usually ok, but a third of the time my club gets caught up, spun, sending my shot way wide of target. If I trip to grip the club tighter, it feels like I’m muscling it out of the rough and I don’t get under the ball.
1) To the bolded above... stop trying to get under the ball. That's not how you hit a golf shot, especially out of the rough. The deeper the rough, the steeper the attack (in general). Hit down on the ball to make the ball go up in the air. Let the loft do the work.

This "getting under the ball" thing costs more players more strokes than probably any other misunderstanding.
Just want to second this advice. At least in part because you're trying to get under the ball, it's also likely that you're making too much contract with the grass before the ball when hitting out of the rough (whereas on the fairway with no grass right behind the ball you would just hit the ball a bit fat or thin, depending). The steeper angle of attack makes it easier to make contact with the ball first, and less likely that the grass will turn your club face before contact.

Here are some other things you can do to promote the steep swing you want from the rough (particularly deep rough). Just don't try thinking about all of these at once! Try them out and see what works best for you.

1. stand a little closer to the ball--promotes a more upright/steeper swing
2. ball a little back in your stance--more likely to get ball before grass since you catch it earlier in the swing arc, but it may mean cause your aim to move a bit to the right (for a righty)
3. open the clubface a little--in deeper rough this lets your club face twist a little shut before impact and still not be shut down at contact
4. hinge your wrists on the takeaway--also promotes a steeper swing (you may already be doing this)
5. a tighter grip to prevent the club from twisting in your hands at first contact with heavy grass
- personally, out of deep grass I like to have normal grip pressure on the takeaway, but on the downswing I (a righty) grip hard with my left hand only--since that's the hand that fights to keep the face open (while gripping with the right hand can be counter-productive)
6. A bit more weight on your front leg may also help.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Zero.

Doesn't really bother me, I have about 10-15 hole outs from the fairway though.

One of my good friends from Columbus has 16 hole in ones. He won't even talk about it because people don't believe him. It's just one of those freak things and he's an exceptionally good ball striker. I've never met anyone that keeps the club square through impact as long as he does.

Edit: this is in response to the hole in one question
 

jercra

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How many of you do have one or more aces, I wonder?
Just 1 and I basically missed out on all of the pageantry that goes along with it. I was a single with a random threesome so didn't have any friends to share the moment with. The ball pinned against the back of the flagstick (did actually throw it up over the pin and spin it back into the hole) so I thought it was just close, then it dropped all the way in the hole after I turned around to put my club back in my bag. A woman heard the commotion from the next tee box, didn't believe there was an ace so ran over to our green, looked in the hole saw my ball, took it out of the hole, and threw it to me. Finally, since it was late afternoon on father's day, there wasn't a single person in the bar for me to buy a drink. I bought one for the bartender since she felt bad for me. Luckily, I'm not big on ceremony so I don't care, I just think it's funny.
 

Bongorific

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6,284
Balboa Towers
There's another consideration nobody has mentioned in the full shot vs. closest shot discussion, and that concerns where your worst shot is likely to end up, not just your average shot. Think about the shortest full shot you can hit (from whatever distance that is), and compare it to a shot of exactly half that distance: which do you think you're more likely to skull over the green or chunk well short of the green? This won't be true for all players, and particularly not for lower handicappers, but I would imagine that many golfers might get their average tweener shot somewhat closer to the hole, but their 10th to 20th percentile shot noticeably further from the hole because you're more likely to get a terrible contact on the swing you don't hit very often relative to the one you do. And in terms of the score you're likely to make on a hole, the difference between having a 15-foot putt and a 25-foot putt for par is fairly small, but the difference between having a 45-foot putt for par and still being in a bunker or heavy rough short or long of the green is massive. So that's something else to think about...again, this won't apply to all players, but it's probably worth thinking whether it might apply to you.
Yeah, this is where I was coming from with the original question. I’m pretty consistent with my full wedge play. I have wedges that I can hit 120, 100, 80, 70 that fly nicely in the air, land soft and I don’t flub/skull much at all. At anything less than 60, I’m not very confident in what type of stroke to take and I end up skulking it, taking a huge divot, catching it off the hosel or some other disaster. And that’s when I lose the hole. I’m confident in my driver and iron play (for a +15 golfer). The 6 and 7s that screw my score are when I’m fucking around from 60 yards in and around the green. I had a 285 drive to about 20 yards off the green in the last weekend and ended with a 5. Flubbed a chip about 5 yards. Skulled the next through the green. Chipped on and made a 12 footer to save the bogey. Maddening.

I watched that Mickelson video above and excited to practice his techniques. It’s at least a plan to work on.
Just want to second this advice. At least in part because you're trying to get under the ball, it's also likely that you're making too much contract with the grass before the ball when hitting out of the rough (whereas on the fairway with no grass right behind the ball you would just hit the ball a bit fat or thin, depending). The steeper angle of attack makes it easier to make contact with the ball first, and less likely that the grass will turn your club face before contact.

Here are some other things you can do to promote the steep swing you want from the rough (particularly deep rough). Just don't try thinking about all of these at once! Try them out and see what works best for you.

1. stand a little closer to the ball--promotes a more upright/steeper swing
2. ball a little back in your stance--more likely to get ball before grass since you catch it earlier in the swing arc, but it may mean cause your aim to move a bit to the right (for a righty)
3. open the clubface a little--in deeper rough this lets your club face twist a little shut before impact and still not be shut down at contact
4. hinge your wrists on the takeaway--also promotes a steeper swing (you may already be doing this)
5. a tighter grip to prevent the club from twisting in your hands at first contact with heavy grass
- personally, out of deep grass I like to have normal grip pressure on the takeaway, but on the downswing I (a righty) grip hard with my left hand only--since that's the hand that fights to keep the face open (while gripping with the right hand can be counter-productive)
6. A bit more weight on your front leg may also help.
These are great suggestions. Thanks for the tips.
 

patinorange

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 27, 2006
18,740
6 miles from Angel Stadium
How many of you do have one or more aces, I wonder?
I have two, it took me almost 30 years to get the first one and then I hit another about a year later. My first was on a 210 yard par three that kept pissing me off because I was coming up short every week. I took out my driver one Saturday and sure enough, one bounce and it rolled right in. Big audience on the backed up hole. I begged the boys to tell the starter I hit a 6 iron, but there it was in the paper. Driver
My second one, I never saw. About 165 yards, hit a hybrid to a back flag on an upslope. Shot looked good but I thought it was over the green. We looked for it for a few minutes. Then my buddy looked in the hole. No one saw it go in.
Three out of four of us hit a hole in one in 2017.
We had a tee time on December 31st but our fourth guy couldn’t pull it off.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I have one.
Was playing a typical 5/5/10 match with my friend, and he hit a good shot on the 125 yard hole. I joked that I was going to have to go pin seeking to get tighter than him. I hit a pitching wedge great and right at the pin, but the hole was just over a bunker, and we couldn't see it. But I knew it should be close.
Got up to the green and couldn't see the ball. I'll admit, I was nervous walking to the hole, and there it was.
 

Phragle

wild card bitches
SoSH Member
Jan 1, 2009
12,968
Carmine's closet
Just 1 and I basically missed out on all of the pageantry that goes along with it. I was a single with a random threesome so didn't have any friends to share the moment with. The ball pinned against the back of the flagstick (did actually throw it up over the pin and spin it back into the hole) so I thought it was just close, then it dropped all the way in the hole after I turned around to put my club back in my bag. A woman heard the commotion from the next tee box, didn't believe there was an ace so ran over to our green, looked in the hole saw my ball, took it out of the hole, and threw it to me. Finally, since it was late afternoon on father's day, there wasn't a single person in the bar for me to buy a drink. I bought one for the bartender since she felt bad for me. Luckily, I'm not big on ceremony so I don't care, I just think it's funny.
A lady threw your ball to you? What was it, a 25 yard par three? That shit doesn't count

Yeah, this is where I was coming from with the original question. I’m pretty consistent with my full wedge play. I have wedges that I can hit 120, 100, 80, 70 that fly nicely in the air, land soft and I don’t flub/skull much at all. At anything less than 60, I’m not very confident in what type of stroke to take and I end up skulking it, taking a huge divot, catching it off the hosel or some other disaster. And that’s when I lose the hole. I’m confident in my driver and iron play (for a +15 golfer). The 6 and 7s that screw my score are when I’m fucking around from 60 yards in and around the green. I had a 285 drive to about 20 yards off the green in the last weekend and ended with a 5. Flubbed a chip about 5 yards. Skulled the next through the green. Chipped on and made a 12 footer to save the bogey. Maddening.

I watched that Mickelson video above and excited to practice his techniques. It’s at least a plan to work on.

These are great suggestions. Thanks for the tips.
Well what is your 70 yd shot?
 

jercra

No longer respects DeChambeau
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
2,378
Arvada, Co
A lady threw your ball to you? What was it, a 25 yard par three? That shit doesn't count
Fucker. No, it was like 125 yards way downhill to a 2 tiered green. It took her some time to walk from 12 tee to 11 green, reach in the hole and grab my ball. By then we had walked down the hill to the edge of the green. Now tell us about yours... well, we're waiting!
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
1,935
Worcester
For the 30-50 yarders practice is huge. Practicing my short game has helped me more than practicing any other aspect of golf for me.

Where is there no range, @Over Guapo Grande ?
In central MA, you have a 50/50 shot of finding a course with no range. Ok, now that I think of it, maybe 40/60. I think I mentioned 6 months or so back in this thread that I got a deal on a membership at one of those "no" courses, that was too good to pass up... it was $150 for 3 years. No, I didn't drop a zero. One Fiddy. After June of this year, I have been playing with house money.
Is it the best course? No. But golf is golf, and free golf is even better. And playing a lot has helped me with my game. I am by no means a bomb and gouge player. When I was a youngin', I modeled my game after Corey Pavin (mainly because my short game is all I could practice in the back yard... for some reason my parents wouldn't let 15 year old OGG hit drivers over the house across the street. Very unfair). But there are only a handful of driver holes at this course... and positioning is key... so to me, it plays into my strengths.

Ok, that was a long answer to a short question.
 
FWIW, I would struggle to think of many golf courses in Scotland that have driving ranges. There are quite a few with fields in which you can hit toward targets and then collect your own golf balls, but apart from some of the higher-end resort courses (e.g., the likes of Turnberry or Kingsbarns), there are only a handful with ranges that run in the traditional American manner. So that's definitely a reason why I don't practice much myself, if not necessarily the reason.