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Observations From a Golf Course Employee


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#121 North Butte

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:09 PM

Your carry distance matters if your priority is where the ball lands.

Your total distance matters if your priority is where the ball ends up.

If both where the ball lands and where it ends up are crucial then you'd better account for your carry and total distances. Which is fine, unless you're a high handicapper who can't mix-and-match different carry and total distances. Then you pick your poison and just go on. Or lay up.

Life is like the ocean. It can be calm or rough, but in the end it is full of salt and dead animals.

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#122 Obee

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:01 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 12 June 2017 - 02:09 PM, said:

Your carry distance matters if your priority is where the ball lands.

Your total distance matters if your priority is where the ball ends up.

If both where the ball lands and where it ends up are crucial then you'd better account for your carry and total distances. Which is fine, unless you're a high handicapper who can't mix-and-match different carry and total distances. Then you pick your poison and just go on. Or lay up.

Spot. On.

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#123 jester

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:14 AM

Do more people use carry distance or total distance when figuring what club to hit into greens?  I know everyone talks about carry distance being the most important but unless there is a hazard in front, most people I play with seem to be using total distance as their main priority when picking a club.

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#124 ruascott

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:27 AM

Our club is original 1922 Ross greens and they are very quick. Over just about any green is death, like you may be lucky to keep it on the green if you are long by more than a couple yards. On the other hand, almost every hole is open for run up shots in front, and you always have a play from short.

What's the most frustrating shot in golf? For me, taking the extra club, telling myself to swing smooth, flushing it perfectly and airmailing the green.

Edited by ruascott, 13 June 2017 - 09:28 AM.


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#125 BillyClub

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:50 AM

View Postjester, on 13 June 2017 - 09:14 AM, said:

Do more people use carry distance or total distance when figuring what club to hit into greens?  I know everyone talks about carry distance being the most important but unless there is a hazard in front, most people I play with seem to be using total distance as their main priority when picking a club.

Usually if I'm hitting a 8-LW I play my carry distance. 5-7 I play my carry distance +5/10 yards depending on conditions. Long irons & 3W I'm usually playing total distance. All comes down to course conditions too but I almost always go off carry from 130 in because of spin.

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#126 Fade to Black

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:01 AM

Take more club, works in theory.

But for average Joe, more club means a longer club which he is more like to mishit than the shorter club. So not much more benefit, if any, in my eyes advising taking a longer club.

For better players, sure. But for the guys barely breaking 100, go with whatever club you can make best contact with. 10 yards short is preferable to the 10 yard chunk or 5 yard top or slice OB.
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#127 cutchemist42

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 12:05 PM

Getting Gamegolf helped me immensely from this. I actually now though tend to hit more farther than shorter after some distance gains from the winter.

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#128 North Butte

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 02:46 PM

View Postjester, on 13 June 2017 - 09:14 AM, said:

Do more people use carry distance or total distance when figuring what club to hit into greens?  I know everyone talks about carry distance being the most important but unless there is a hazard in front, most people I play with seem to be using total distance as their main priority when picking a club.

If there's no trouble that you need to clear then having the total distance of the shot match the actual distance to the hole is ideal. That's obvious, right?

OTOH, if there is some obstacle (bunker, deep rough, water) that your shot needs to clear then all that really matters is to carry the ball at least that far. Or lay up.

Not trying to be nasty but unless I misunderstand the question...well, I'm not sure why this is even a question.
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#129 duffer888

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 03:49 PM

Unless it is a forced carry over OB or water, I can't think of any hole I've played where I would rather miss long than short.

Therefore, I will not be clubbing up, thank you.
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#130 jslane57

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 04:32 PM

One thing my dad used to always say when I was growing up, "watch the best players, they may not always get the direction right, but they always get the distance right". And for the most part, I agree with this. And I know that my best golf has always been when distance control was on point. Using the back distance is a fine tool if it works for you, but it is only a tool, it doesn't change a thing. I think where much of this debate comes from is how one looks at distance. Max distance vs. average distance. If you're going of the back number, you're probably a max distance kind of thinker. The only time I look at the back distance is when the pin is back, as in, don't hit it a yard past this distance. It is funny how many folks will continually be short on every approach shot, but hit every putt way past the hole. Exact distance, it is worth working on...


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#131 jester

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 04:35 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 13 June 2017 - 02:46 PM, said:

View Postjester, on 13 June 2017 - 09:14 AM, said:

Do more people use carry distance or total distance when figuring what club to hit into greens?  I know everyone talks about carry distance being the most important but unless there is a hazard in front, most people I play with seem to be using total distance as their main priority when picking a club.

If there's no trouble that you need to clear then having the total distance of the shot match the actual distance to the hole is ideal. That's obvious, right?

OTOH, if there is some obstacle (bunker, deep rough, water) that your shot needs to clear then all that really matters is to carry the ball at least that far. Or lay up.

Not trying to be nasty but unless I misunderstand the question...well, I'm not sure why this is even a question.

Basically when there is no trouble, are people thinking about landing on the green with a certain carry distance or are they checking the distance to the pin and thinking, I need to get that as a total distance.  Just curious to what peoples' thought process is.

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#132 Matt J

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:09 PM

I guess I can relate more to it being a stage in your development.  Eventually distance control becomes such a huge part of scoring, so I guess that means don't cling to this one too tight.  Once it quits serving you be flexible to change.  My natural ball flight is pretty high, but ideally carry and total becomes pretty close to the same number.  I flight stuff down and count on some roll out, but my 3 wood is the only club I can't take in high enough to stop it pretty quickly if struck flush.

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#133 gambit

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:02 PM

View PostBillyClub, on 12 June 2017 - 02:07 PM, said:

Another thing is... IMHO more greens would be hit it if people payed more attention to their "carry" distance than the total distance they hit a club.

I think alot of people say to themselves, I'm 130 to the pin and 130 is exactly what I hit my PW so they choose that club to match the yardage and come up a club short. But in reality, their PW carry is 120 and sometimes they'll get 10 yards of rollout.

If you flush a PW how do you get 10 yards of roll out unless you're an extremely low ball hitter and/or playing on the firmest greens.
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#134 North Butte

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:32 PM

I think routinely getting 10 yards of rollout on a PW is unusual unless you are severely lacking clubhead speed. But I play on very firm Bermuda greens and swing my driver about 90mph and if I were playing Surlyn balls I'd be expecting 5-6 yards of bounce and roll from a well-struck wedge shot. It's one reason I play "Tour" type balls that will stop within a foot or two with wedges and within 3-4 yards with a 7-iron.

Low spin balls, low clubhead speed and firm greens mean allowing for at least a little rollout on every shot.

A friend of mine had always played on soft Bent grass greens. He used to make fun of me for my "Tour" ball preference and thought I was just exaggerating when I talked about cleanly struck mid-iron shots rolling out 30-40 feet and off the back of the green. Then he brought his Wilson Duos on a trip down here to the land of bouncing Bermuda and it sort of wiped the smirk off his face the first time he pured a 6-iron, it took one big hop and then trickled into the rough over the green!

IMO course management and club selection is a lot easier when the ball goes "squish" and stops dead every time it hit a green.

Edited by North Butte, 14 June 2017 - 02:36 PM.

Life is like the ocean. It can be calm or rough, but in the end it is full of salt and dead animals.

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#135 DaveGoodrich

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:49 PM

I've heard the general rule that for front pins, club for the center, for center and back pins, club for the back (distances assuming that you strike the ball well).  I generally don't "overclub" quite that much, but I definitely pick a club that, if struck well, carries past a front or center pin, and just gets to a back pin.

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#136 Obee

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:56 PM

View Postgambit, on 14 June 2017 - 02:02 PM, said:

View PostBillyClub, on 12 June 2017 - 02:07 PM, said:

Another thing is... IMHO more greens would be hit it if people payed more attention to their "carry" distance than the total distance they hit a club.

I think alot of people say to themselves, I'm 130 to the pin and 130 is exactly what I hit my PW so they choose that club to match the yardage and come up a club short. But in reality, their PW carry is 120 and sometimes they'll get 10 yards of rollout.

If you flush a PW how do you get 10 yards of roll out unless you're an extremely low ball hitter and/or playing on the firmest greens.

Firm greens.

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#137 BillyClub

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 08:42 AM

100 deg summer, humid heat in the midwest makes the greens and fairways asphalt around here. If you tee off early... the greens are like jekyll and hyde by the time you are done from the sun hitting.
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#138 dbleag

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:22 AM

View PostDaveGoodrich, on 15 June 2017 - 03:49 PM, said:

I've heard the general rule that for front pins, club for the center, for center and back pins, club for the back (distances assuming that you strike the ball well).  I generally don't "overclub" quite that much, but I definitely pick a club that, if struck well, carries past a front or center pin, and just gets to a back pin.

Scoring tips:

Never be short of a front pin.
Never be long for a back pin.
Never be right of a right pin.
Never be left of a left pin.

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#139 DaveGoodrich

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:37 AM

View Postdbleag, on 16 June 2017 - 09:22 AM, said:

View PostDaveGoodrich, on 15 June 2017 - 03:49 PM, said:

I've heard the general rule that for front pins, club for the center, for center and back pins, club for the back (distances assuming that you strike the ball well).  I generally don't "overclub" quite that much, but I definitely pick a club that, if struck well, carries past a front or center pin, and just gets to a back pin.

Scoring tips:

Never be short of a front pin.
Never be long for a back pin.
Never be right of a right pin.
Never be left of a left pin.

Good general advice.  Some exceptions apply, usually related to steep and/or tiered greens.
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#140 mallrat

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:50 PM

View Postjester, on 13 June 2017 - 09:14 AM, said:

Do more people use carry distance or total distance when figuring what club to hit into greens?  I know everyone talks about carry distance being the most important but unless there is a hazard in front, most people I play with seem to be using total distance as their main priority when picking a club.

I would say that depends on so many factors. What is the green like, how are they playing, do balls hold or run out, where do you want to miss? Is there a forced carry, a bunker, a small stream or someplace that is a lost ball or OB?

Here's an example for me, a Par 3 that plays 175 generally to the center. The green has a large ridge running across it from right to left, and sloped from back to front along this ridge. There is a bunker front right and back left, both of which are better options than long which about 5 ft after the green drops off about 20 - 25 ft pretty steeply and then OB. There is a collection area about 10 yards short of the green leading up to the green.

For me, any pin front I hit a 7 iron, if I just blast it I can get it around 168-170. 160-162 is my normal and that leaves me short of the pin or pin high and also takes both bunkers out of play for the most part. Middle pins I will hit a 6 iron, now this takes long out of play Along with the back bunker, it brings the front bunker  into play which is not the worst thing. I will generally land it around 170 and hitting it into the slope takes any run out of it for the most part. Back pins are a stock 5 iron for me but brings long into play and when the course is really dry, well it's a penalty to go long. Because of this I will only hit 5 iron in winter and only go flag hunting on middle to front pins.

Edited by mallrat, 16 June 2017 - 01:02 PM.


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#141 Splitter

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 12:37 PM

As I sit here watching the US Open, I thought of this thread.  It seems to me that most of the Pros come up short too.  Very few go long.

Just sayin.....

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#142 Matt J

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 02:33 PM

Club up and swing smooth is another one I don't think serves a lot of players, myself included.  If I want to flight it down and take a half a club off I saw off the finish.  If I want standard trajectory and half a club less I choke down.  I never vary the exertion on a full swing other than maybe to "lean on it" and try and squeeze a few yards more carry.  So, I consider my full swing to be 95% with the potential to swing 5% harder.  Swinging easy for me is a recipe to decel, lose control of the face, maybe the path, and generally hit a bad shot.  Wedges I control the distance with the length of the backswing, trajectory, and ball position, but if I tried to do that with every shot I'd go mad.  Part of playing good golf is realizing when you're in-between clubs, hitting it to the middle of the green and 2-putting.

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#143 gambit

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 01:39 PM

 Splitter, on 17 June 2017 - 12:37 PM, said:

As I sit here watching the US Open, I thought of this thread.  It seems to me that most of the Pros come up short too.  Very few go long.

Just sayin.....

Yea, I think the announcers and Golf Channelsaid going long on a few holes was death. Even the local courses here don't have much grass behind the green, then you hit cart path and goes god knows where.
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#144 North Butte

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:13 PM

 Matt J, on 17 June 2017 - 02:33 PM, said:

Club up and swing smooth is another one I don't think serves a lot of players, myself included.  If I want to flight it down and take a half a club off I saw off the finish.  If I want standard trajectory and half a club less I choke down.  I never vary the exertion on a full swing other than maybe to "lean on it" and try and squeeze a few yards more carry.  So, I consider my full swing to be 95% with the potential to swing 5% harder.  Swinging easy for me is a recipe to decel, lose control of the face, maybe the path, and generally hit a bad shot.  Wedges I control the distance with the length of the backswing, trajectory, and ball position, but if I tried to do that with every shot I'd go mad.  Part of playing good golf is realizing when you're in-between clubs, hitting it to the middle of the green and 2-putting.

This weekend I drove the ball into the rough under a tree on a short (300-ish yard) Par 4. I only had 80 yards to the hole but right behind me was a tree with chin-high limbs so I had only half a backswing.

As we were walking to the ball and muttering about what a bad spot I'd hit it into, one of my team mates said "That's easy. Just hit a little punched 9-iron, normal swing but play it back in your stance, take a half backswing and then accelerate through the ball but cut off your following through".

I looked at him and said, "I just dead duffed a routine wedge from the middle of the fairway on the last hole. What makes you think I have a half-swing punched 9-iron in me?".
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#145 North Butte

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:43 AM

 North Butte, on 19 June 2017 - 02:13 PM, said:

 Matt J, on 17 June 2017 - 02:33 PM, said:

Club up and swing smooth is another one I don't think serves a lot of players, myself included.  If I want to flight it down and take a half a club off I saw off the finish.  If I want standard trajectory and half a club less I choke down.  I never vary the exertion on a full swing other than maybe to "lean on it" and try and squeeze a few yards more carry.  So, I consider my full swing to be 95% with the potential to swing 5% harder.  Swinging easy for me is a recipe to decel, lose control of the face, maybe the path, and generally hit a bad shot.  Wedges I control the distance with the length of the backswing, trajectory, and ball position, but if I tried to do that with every shot I'd go mad.  Part of playing good golf is realizing when you're in-between clubs, hitting it to the middle of the green and 2-putting.

This weekend I drove the ball into the rough under a tree on a short (300-ish yard) Par 4. I only had 80 yards to the hole but right behind me was a tree with chin-high limbs so I had only half a backswing.

As we were walking to the ball and muttering about what a bad spot I'd hit it into, one of my team mates said "That's easy. Just hit a little punched 9-iron, normal swing but play it back in your stance, take a half backswing and then accelerate through the ball but cut off your following through".

I looked at him and said, "I just dead duffed a routine wedge from the middle of the fairway on the last hole. What makes you think I have a half-swing punched 9-iron in me?".

Just to give The Rest Of The Story as the man used to say...

What I actually did was a "use the bounce" style chipping swing with an 8-iron and hit a running shot onto the front of the green, then two-putted for my par from there.

Life is like the ocean. It can be calm or rough, but in the end it is full of salt and dead animals.

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