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19th Hole

Did Tiger Woods screw up by hitting iron off the tee at the 72nd hole?

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Tiger Woods, as we know, finished one stroke behind Paul Casey in his bid to return to the winner’s circle at the Valspar Championship.

Woods arrived at the 72nd hole needing birdie to tie Casey. Electing to avoid flirtation with fairway bunkers left and right, Woods hit a long iron 258 yards down the fairway, leaving himself a 185-yard approach shot to the back right pin. His approach shot ended up 38 feet, 11 inches, from the hole. Unsurprisingly considering the distance, he didn’t make the putt.

(via PGA Tour’s ShotLink)

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but some questioned Woods not taking on the bunkers with a 3-wood or driver, and thus allowing for the possibility of a much shorter approach shot he would have been statistically more likely to get close.

Scott Fawcett, founder of the Decade course management system, didn’t question Woods’ decision however. In fact, Fawcett took to Twitter to laud Woods’ decision. The responses to Fawcett’s tweet were both interesting and insightful, spearheaded by our own Rich Hunt.

You can find a portion of this excellent conversation below.

What do you think, GolfWRX members, do you agree with Woods’ approach off the tee at the final hole?

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. kevin

    Mar 13, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Richie…correct me if i’m wrong

    LAY UP – 100% chance to hit fairway * ‘good’ approach to 27.7′ (make putt 8%) = 8% chance of birdie.

    DRIVER – 40% chance to hit fairway * ‘good approach to 16’ (make putt 20%) = 16% chance of birdie

    • kevin

      Mar 13, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      actually the driver would also give you 8% … 40% * 20% = 8%

  2. WestPhi

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    how the “f” do you hit a 258y iron?!?!

  3. Not A Legend

    Mar 12, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    I heard from a reliable source that Tiger is considering using jailbreak technology, especially after his arrest. Also, the PGA Tour issued him a get out of jail free card.

  4. juststeve

    Mar 12, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I think you are all ignoring the roll that the person actually hitting the shot plays in deciding what shot he can hit at a particular moment. Analogizing this to my years as a pitcher, the catcher would call for a pitch but ultimately it was for me to decide if I had command of that pitch at the moment. That’s not a matter of statistics. I suspect Tiger hit the shot he thought gave him the best chance to win and no one is in a better position than the guy hitting the shot to know which shot that is.

  5. MotionDynamics

    Mar 12, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Scott Fawcett knows his stuff, love his methods, completely changed my game…

  6. Matthew Sanker

    Mar 12, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Questioning the GOAT is bad karma. 185 yards considering the club they use is ludicrous. He just didn’t hit a good shot into the green. He was very average (our expectations of jim) except the birdie on 17

  7. It'sJustAGame

    Mar 12, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    My question is how many PGA tour events has HUNT GOLF @Richie3jacks won?

    • kevin

      Mar 13, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      this is so completely irrelevant.

      actually, pga tour winners employ guys like Hunt because they know what they are talking about and help them improve in areas such as course management. But I’m sure Richie thanks you for plugging his twitter handle.

  8. 4Right

    Mar 12, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Doesn’t matter what we think… If he hits driver or 3 wood and plants it in the trees, rough, or bunker, this conversation is the completely different… Tiger has won 70 plus events and we question it… LOL!!!

  9. Eagleye

    Mar 12, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Believe the long-iron tee off was appropriate in the situation. Tiger probably hits 8i to 185 yds, with the pin back and right, don’t you think a greater number iron would have got closer to pin ?

  10. kevin

    Mar 12, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Richie Hunt is absolutely right on this. over the long haul vs needing a birdie on that hole at that moment…..it absolutely should change your strategy.

    • Looper

      Mar 12, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      We sometimes forget we are talking about Tiger, who are we to suggest otherwise. He hits something other than what he did and hits it in the garbage we are having a different discussion…

      • kevin

        Mar 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

        yeah….never question tiger….its not like he’s ever made a poor decision before

        lol

  11. Eric

    Mar 12, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Dude keeps talking about better odds but doesn’t factor in the odds being on Tiger’s side seeing as how he played that hole the same all weekend. If he can keep repeating it (which he had been doing) that would improve his chances at success too.

  12. Scott Francis

    Mar 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    sure playing 3 wood puts him farther down there but also given how far hes hitting irons wouldve had him hitting a 9 or PW more likely he wouldve spun off green considering pin location. He shouldve hit some kind of low chaser up there with pin being on a shelf. He also hit a big cut in there which was gonna stop immediately. Had to literally fly it pin high or beyond from 185 tough shot for even the GOAT

  13. MD

    Mar 12, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    What if he just hit his 3 wood, which he was hitting pretty well all week? He could have hit the fairway and been 30yds further down the fairway? I get that he probably doesnt make the green if its in the bunkers, but he left himself a much tougher shot in, even though it was only a 7 iron (probably needed 6iron)

  14. Eric

    Mar 12, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    at first blush i did not have a problem with the tee shot. however, after seeing the data it’s difficult not to second guess. what i did second guess was the club selection on the approach. 7 iron 185 uphill seemed like a strong ask. 6 seemed more appropriate. he’s obviously playing for the win so why not try to hit a club that can actually get to that back shelf?

  15. juststeve

    Mar 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Hard to second guess Tiger’s decision. Unless I thought he took a dive, which I don’t, I think he hit the shot that he believed would give him the best chance to win. Although I am not a Tiger fan I do admire the fact that there is no quit in the guy. Always trying to win.

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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf

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We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.

2019-rules-of-golf

But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”

Simple.

We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Justin Rose shows off his Honma clubs, Justin Timberlake does Happy Gilmore and Barack Obama’s new swing

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ho-sung-choi-swing

Over the last seven days, Matt Kuchar brought home the bacon at the Sony Open, while golf fans got a look at plenty of new equipment releases for 2019. But here’s some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere in the last week.

Justin Timberlake’s Draw

Ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, and he can hit a perfect draw Happy Gilmore style. Bit annoying.

Rose Showcases His New Honma Clubs

Still waiting to make his first start of 2019, the World Number 1 is ready to go as a member of Team Honma.

Chez Reavie Goes Bananas

In case you missed it, Chez Reavie became the first player since the PGA Tour began keeping records to make three eagles on three par 4’s in a single round. The fact that he holed out each one from the fairway is quite incredible.

Obama’s New Swing

Barack Obama has had a bit more free time over the past couple of years, since, well you know, he’s not running the country anymore. How do you rate his swing, GolfWRXers?

Double Hit Rule

This video has caused much confusion over the past week on social media. The double hit rule may have changed in 2019, but this attempt is still illegal. Impressive either way you look at it though.

 

 

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19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway

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In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway

@kevinmarkham

Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.

@kevinmarkham

Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.

@IrishGolfPhotos

Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway

@DBloom451

There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.

@stacy_sobieski

Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.

@MeetInGalway

As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.

@WriterVicYates

If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.

@IndoSport

But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

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