Thursday, October 3, 2013

The setup shot, aka finding an advantage.

After my last post -"Perspective" - I wanted to spend a second to consider this aspect.

Good players think about and plan out how they are going to attack the course before they ever throw their first shot. If the best angle to the hole for the second shot is only 100’ away from the tee box, tossing your putter to put yourself in that position will give you an advantage over those that don’t have that knowledge.
This is something that I absolutely struggle with. I'll often times see a good place to park it for a much easier 2nd shot - but I will throw past it thinking I'll be able to throw it just a bit further and get around that next stand of trees.

Let me get into a specific example that I regularly screw up.

The red line is the risky shot that can easily put you behind trees,
the green is the shorter shot with less risk.

Hole 2 at Paco Sanchez in the "A" placement is 630' and has one big set of trees just in front of the tee pad - followed by another stand of trees behind that. Throwing my biggest RHBH hyzer I can sometimes clear the 2nd stand of trees or put it just enough to the right of them that I have a straight 200-250' shot at the pin. Sometimes. And sometimes I put into the trees or just enough to block myself from any kind of straight shot at the pin. It's a pretty unnecessary gamble.

If I want to be in the pin in 3-4 throws - then I should be looking to put it by the C pin which will most likely be a shorter throw by about 50' and it's much easier at getting a clean look at getting to the pin. 

Yet most guys - myself included will let our egos get in the way, going for the 400' hyzer, risking OB (the sidewalk) - tree strokes if you land in an evergreen. It's something I have been just recently realizing too, because it's rare to see somebody throwing to the right - which is a shorter throw most likely. 

I'm trying to play holes with my eyes trained to find the risk and avoid it.  The way I see it these 2 scenarios aren't equal: a bogey and a birdie VERSUS  two pars. Bogeying a hole not only makes you feel worse and less confident - it will often give your competitor a mental boost. Sure your score is the same, but that bogey just killed off a birdie. Par, par... might not be as exciting, but you're staying inside your game - you're probably feeling more confident and that's a very good thing.

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