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Are you a smart golfer or a dumb golfer?


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#31 hobbes928

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:05 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 10 January 2018 - 01:44 PM, said:

My course management has been described as very stable, genius

Here's a cheeseburger for you my stable, genius friend!

Edited by hobbes928, 10 January 2018 - 04:06 PM.


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#32 MrJones

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:06 PM

I try to play safe and then blow the safe/smart shots. I've found that my hero (dumb) shot miss turns out better than my safe/smart shot miss.

So I go for broke in most situations.


I'd say too that I rarely "picture" the safe shots. I can see the hero shots all day but not the safe ones.
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#33 Sean2

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:21 PM

One of the things I enjoy about golf is the strategy involved, be it percentages of one shot versus another, where to hit a tee shot, what club to use off the tee, what kind of shot is called for around the green, etc.
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#34 Skaffa77

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:19 PM

Hmm...I don't know if it's really smart or dumb, but experience.  Experience meaning that I've been in that same or similar situation in the past and learned enough to know better for the future.

The variables related to the situation dictate my decisions (smart and dumb).  I will look at a hole and see where I could "miss" (right, left, short, long) to help drive the decisions.

440 yard Par 4 with prevailing wind in the face...lateral hazard along the right side and fairway run-off to the left into tall, thick fescue...yeah...as much as I hate taking an iron off the tee on a longer Par 4, experience has taught me that a mishit driver or 3 wood causes a higher score than a conservative play off the tee.

Other times...I'll face a snipe hook driver into the trees and I'm losing my league match and there's no hazard around the green...sure...I'll take the risk and try to thread a low 4 iron thru the trees and get it closer to the green...experience has shown that I can sometimes pull that shot off and if not...it's only one more stroke and I'm already losing the match.

Edited by Skaffa77, 10 January 2018 - 05:21 PM.


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#35 dg_1983

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:43 PM

^this

I have the experience to know when to pull driver and when not to. The experience to take on the carry and when not to.

I'm not sure it's about smart or dumb for me.

As an example. 440 par 4 with water infront of the green, the north sea on the left and long grass on the right. The green has no where to miss, not long or short or left or right.

Down wind I'm taking driver, because it will allow me to get to the green with a short iron, down wind driver I'm comfortable with and probably won't move the ball much left to right.

Into a stiff cold Scottish wind? I'm not taking on the green, so playing as a lay up, so no point in taking driver because I can cover the lay up yardage with 2 low 4 irons. These shots aren't going left or right and are not going to be impacted by the wind.

Driver into a stiff breeze? If I smoke it, I'm still laying up All be it with 7 iron. If I missed it? Chances are higher I'll miss it. Smother it left trying to keep it low, blow it way right trying to smash it.

I've just made too many big numbers by making the wrong choice. But it's not dumb, I could smoke a driver and a 3 wood to 5 feet and make birdie, that's not dumb choice if I pull it off. My averages say I won't though so why take the gamble? I'll make birdies on the 3 holes that follow but are down wind, just need to avoid a high number here

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#36 Mcgeeno

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:45 PM

I'm probably a little too conservative.

In my defense I went undefeated in matchplay and went a whole tournament season last year with only two double bogeys and thats travelling all over my region so it helps prevent big numbers, but I probably should make more birdies for my handicap.

I hit lots of driving irons off tight holes, I hit away from trouble, I'm pretty risk averse in general. Middle of the greens, I try to never short side myself etc.

I'd say I'm a smart player and that makes up for some LOFT problems. (Lack of F***** talent)

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#37 dg_1983

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:47 PM

Execute dumbly the smart play?


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#38 Baitkiller

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:59 PM

Bag of hammers. Dumb as a brick. Laying up is for pussies.
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#39 PowderedToastMan

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:19 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 10 January 2018 - 01:44 PM, said:

My course management has been described as very stable, genius
Jeff is, like, really smart.
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#40 Hawkeye77

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:21 PM

Thick - as a brick.


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#41 hybrid25

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:26 PM

Everybody makes a foolish mistake every now and then, but I think for the most part I am quite wise on course management. Sort of like a game of chess in figuring out courses and where to play the ball. Now a partner I golf with, now very much wisdom.

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#42 3sip

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:28 PM

there is nothing worse than f#!king up a "smart shot". Short par 4 trouble all around, so I'm smart I hit 3I of the tee and hook it off the planet. Then I get stupid and try the hero shot to save the hole. I think it has worked once maybe but everytime I f it up, I remember that one time.... I'm stoopid

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#43 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:49 PM

I’m a dumb golfer and a dumber person.
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#44 BenHoganSlam1953

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:08 PM

Getting smarter, which for me is selecting the highest probability shot and executing it very aggressively = a lot more birdies and pars and actually having birdie chances on par 5's instead of trying to save doubles/triples which used to be my norm.

Before last season I tended to play caveman golf - see flag, hit ball to flag - ignoring everything between the two ...

Edited by BenHoganSlam1953, 10 January 2018 - 07:08 PM.

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#45 Cicero

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:12 PM

I’m dumb as a brick.  I’m gradually getting less dumb, though, so I guess that’s something.


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#46 bigfatant

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:46 PM

Stroke play or at the start of the round = Smart golfer playing safe

Stableford or 5 shots behind - dumb golfer playing hero shots
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#47 JustinFL83

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:45 PM

I play to my personality because when I try to reign myself in from hitting a shot that I am comfortable with, it will screw up my mental game. It is easier for me to try and fail on something I was comfortable taking the risk on than to let self doubt kick in.

That said, I know my limitations so I do not try and force a situation I do not have the skill to do.
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#48 northgolf

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:02 PM

Depends on the day. Sometimes when I play smart, I come off looking dumb.  Sometimes when I play dumb, I come off looking brilliant.  Then, there are days when I just play and don't have dumb on one shoulder debating with smart on the other shoulder, I like those days.
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#49 jslane57

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:53 AM

I always go for the risky shot...if my miss to the risky shot will end up safe. If you know you can pull off the shot, and the bail out is not so bad, is it truly a risky shot? Nope. Now, if the bail out/miss cost penalty strokes, that is not only risky, it's just not smart. Be your own best caddie!
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#50 dap

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:46 AM

Dumb players get smart quickly when they start playing money games.


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#51 wmblake2000

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:11 AM

View PostKMeloney, on 10 January 2018 - 04:05 PM, said:

Mr. Ed = Stable genius?

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#52 GMR

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:25 AM

As I've become more experienced my perception of "smart" and "dumb" have changed, which has really benefited my scores.  I used to be super-aggressive (haven't we all been at some point) which clearly doesn't work out all that well over time.  Then I went through a phase where I'd try to aim at the most conservative targets I could on pretty much every shot--sadly all that did was improve the volatility of my scoring, not really the average.

IMHO good course management is all about knowing when the "aggressive" shot is in fact the correct play (which is actually often the case), versus when a "conservative" shot is called for.  The answer, however, can really only come from experience playing and a good knowledge of your personal tendencies.

One good example of these is approaches to par 5s from about 250-260 yards out.  I personally don't hit 3w very well off the deck at all, and would put the probability of getting the ball on the putting surface or close by (fringe, apron, short chip, etc.) at about 25-30% from this distance. So when I went through my conservative phase this was obviously a "layup" situation where I'd pick the widest part of the fairway inside wedge distance and hit whatever iron put me there.  The problem with that approach, and what I came to figure out from experience, is that my misses with my 3w actually tend to be LESS PENAL than my misses with my 4i -- big miss with the 4i is a big block or hook, while big miss with the 3w is either the same block (but 50yds further) or a worm-burning topped shot, and the tops tend to end up in about the same place as the 4i or maybe just a bit shorter.  Add to that the fact that my wedge game isn't good enough to be making many birdies from my layup distance (maybe 10-15% or so), for ME I now know that I'm actually likely to score better on the hole by pulling 3w than 4i even if I also know that my odds of hitting the 3w solidly are not all that high...somewhat counter-intuitive but completely verifiable by data.

Also, to others point there's nothing worse than botching the "safe" shot when choosing to play conservatively.  However, it's important to keep that possibility in mind in the initial calculation--too often I see guys hit 3i off the teem and then are fuming when they knock it offline and into the trees: "I never hit that 3i that poorly..." Well, yes you really do sometimes and just because a 3i is an easier club to hit straight than a driver DOES NOT MEAN that it's foolproof, and shouldn't be treated as such.  Now it's easy to get carried away with this line of thinking and just opt for driver on every hole (which is also wrong) but really you need to be honest with yourself about the odds of missing with each shot and what those misses will look like (i.e. knowing your misses) if you are really to make the "right" shot choice.

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#53 Roody

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:13 AM

View Post3sip, on 10 January 2018 - 06:28 PM, said:

there is nothing worse than f#!king up a "smart shot". Short par 4 trouble all around, so I'm smart I hit 3I of the tee and hook it off the planet. Then I get stupid and try the hero shot to save the hole. I think it has worked once maybe but everytime I f it up, I remember that one time.... I'm stoopid
I know that feeling. I lost count the number of times I've hit 3-iron off the tee because I'm usually able to control that better, but pull it into a hazard and then say to myself "I could've yanked it into a hazard with driver, way to play it safe dumba$$"
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#54 Sean2

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:20 AM

The game is all about scoring*. Whatever gets the ball in the hole with the fewest strokes.

*at least I think it is, reading some posts/threads I wonder if it's about how far you hit the ball, being "macho", or whatever. lol
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#55 MountainKing

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:11 AM

I don't really lean either way.  I tend to play a bit more aggressive but some of it depends on how my warm up was and how the first couple holes play out.  If I'm hitting the ball well it's all guns blazing with realistic expectations, I'm not gonna try to fly a dogleg over a hazard that I know is out of my range.  On other days I find myself backing off so I can keep the ball in play and adjust as things during the round adjust.


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#56 gripandrip

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:17 AM

I always think I am playing pretty safe, but still aggressive.

Some of my playing partners would laugh if I said I was playing safe. If playing for tourney or $$$ I would say I tone it down a bit, but sometimes with the buddies it’s just go big or go home. I’d say 80% of the time, I’m going to the green in two on a par 5.

I figure if I don’t challenge myself with the difficult shots when it really doesn’t matter, I will never get comfortable making them when I need them.

Edited by gripandrip, 11 January 2018 - 11:20 AM.


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#57 bazinky

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:57 AM

It depends on how good I feel about my short game.

I find it a LOT easier to play conservative or pitch out of bad situations when I feel I have at least a decent chance of scrambling to save my score.

When my putter and wedges are feeling dicey, I tend to try a lot more stupid shots ...
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#58 finleysg

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:15 PM

The most lasting thing I've taken from multiple readings of Bob Rotella is conservative strategy, aggressive swing.

Conservative doesn't always mean less club, but I want to take a club and line that minimizes trouble. The confident, aggressive swing is the harder part.
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#59 Sean2

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:22 PM

View Postfinleysg, on 11 January 2018 - 01:15 PM, said:

The most lasting thing I've taken from multiple readings of Bob Rotella is conservative strategy, aggressive swing.

Conservative doesn't always mean less club, but I want to take a club and line that minimizes trouble. The confident, aggressive swing is the harder part.

My son likes to say, "Swing with a purpose."
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#60 white03

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:32 PM

Depends.............

If I'm playing for a score, or betting on my ball, then I'll play smart.

But most often I play team games against other teams, then I'm a "dumb" golfer.  Because team games are really birdie games, par wins nothing and even loses.

If I'm in the trees on the right and playing for my score, then I'll take the safe out.  But same situation and in a team game, then I'll try to hit the low hook onto the green.


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