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19th Hole

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



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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  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… 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


  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

The 5 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today



If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Wingtipgolf‘s new blades from National Custom Works

Msquaredesign shows how he’d have done the badging on the new Equalizer

jt_thebreakfastball‘s custom Cody James is stamped with the names of the states where he’s lived

Golferhere1‘s pair of 009M Tour Rats

A spread of Johnstongraydesign‘s custom wares

Don’t forget to tag your photos #GolfWRX. Golf gods willing, you’ll be featured here in the future!

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods’ No. 1 concern heading into the Masters is the driver, confirms Notah Begay



Tiger Woods’ come-from-behind effort at the Arnold Palmer Invitational ran out of gas when Woods badly pulled a tee shot out of bounds at the par-5 16th hole during Sunday’s final round.

Woods didn’t hit the driver well all week and leaned on irons off the tee when he could. The 42-year-old was 71st in the field in strokes gained: off-the-tee, losing 3.526 strokes to the field average. Woods is 148th on Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee this season.

Woods’ friend of over 30 years and college teammate, Notah Begay, called in to the Dan Patrick Show Monday. Begay confirmed Woods is focusing on improving his play with the big dog as the Masters nears.

“Project No. 1 over the next two weeks is going to be the driver,” Begay said.

Begay explained that anytime Woods had to turn a driver right to left with trouble on the left, he struggled.

“Off the sixth tee, off the ninth tee, there was some errant shots. And then we saw the really horrible tee shot yesterday at 16. He talked about in the post-round comments. He just didn’t commit to a shot, and the worst thing that a professional athlete can do to themselves to compromise performance is not commit.

“And so he made a terrible swing, and that’s the miss that is really difficult for him to recover from, because the majority of his misses are out to the right. So, when you eliminate one half of the golf course, you can really make your way around … a lot easier. When you have a two-way miss going, which sometimes creeps into his driver, it really makes it difficult to take out some of the trouble that you’re looking at when you’re standing on the tee box.

“So he has to focus in on trying to find some way to navigate Augusta National with the driver, because it’s a course that’s going to force you to hit driver.”

Begay also says Rory ought to the betting favorite at Augusta, pointing out that the weakest club in Tiger Woods’ bag is his driver, while the opposite is true for McIlroy.

You can watch NB3’s full talk with Patrick below.

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19th Hole

This new Miura documentary is must-watch stuff for equipment junkies



Last week, we told you a Miura documentary was on the horizon. Today, it’s here.

The mysterious Japanese company’s wares have had a cult following in the golf equipment space since company founder, Katsuhiro Miura, began forging and hand-grinding clubs in 1957. The three-chapter documentary short begins by looking into company history, building techniques, and Miura’s reputation globally.

“Within Japan, the name Miura, specifically the name of our founder, Katsuhiro Miura, it is a legend,” says Shinei Miura.

Such is the bold, and entirely appropriate, start to Discovering Perfection: The Miura Story, and it only gets more interesting from there.

Just 10 minutes in length, this short documentary is well worth your time. Check it out!

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19th Hole