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TOPIC: Changes in golf course strategy with new technology?

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Nickesquire
Changes in golf course strategy with new technology?
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    August 11, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Jack, Freddie, Tiger
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    Olivas Nicklaus T Maderas


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Sunday February 26, 2017 2:40 PM
I have attended the L.A. Open many times going back over 3 decades. I was there to see 16 year old Tiger Woods 1st round on the PGA Tour after reading about the local phenom in the L.A. Times... followed the skinny kid for a few holes on the front 9 that day. Hard to comprehend that was 25 years ago?

Many of you are probably very familiar with #10 @ Riviera, a well bunkered, 314 yard, short, risk/reward par 4.

Having witnessed many PGA groups play that hole over the years, my memory is that back even as recently as 15 years ago the vast majority of PGA Touring pro's laid up with a long iron or fairway metal to set up a full shot they could spin into the green. Only the very longest pro's pulled out a Driver and went at the green in one. No more...

Last week, I worked as a volunteer there, recording all drives for Shot Link on #10 for the part of the field that did not finish round 2 Friday on Saturday morning, then the entire field for rounds 3/4. Shot Link is really cool BTW!

Witnessed around ten drives end up on the green, complete with 5 eagles in the two days. There were eagles in back to back to back groups late Saturday afternoon just before dark, including one tap in eagle from 1', 7" that was nearly an ace!

Two things really jumped out at me after watching around 200 PGA Tour Pro tee shots in my 2 1/2 rounds on that hole.

1) Even with the pin in the back, almost NO ONE did a traditional lay up. They were almost all hitting fairway metals or drivers. Most were going pin high left, then trying to get it up/down for birdie. And many were successful, saw literally dozens of birdies on that hole.

K.J. Choi & Jim Furyk were 2 of the few pro's who played that hole according to conventional, course management wisdom. Laying well back and setting up a full shot they could spin from the fairway to a very narrow green.

2) The accuracy on how far they carried 10-50 yard flop shots to a very narrow landing area, even out of the Kikuyu rough was astounding. There were many more knocked stiff out of poor lies than dropped in one of the bunkers. And I was able to check out many of their lies from up close as I charted their drives... I do not care if they are the best players in the world, many of those lies were nasty!

I had what I will choose to remember as a funny interaction with a notable European major champion during round #4. Many drives that were between the traps on the right side of the green we could not see exactly where they ended up. Therefore, I would walk out with my clipboard before the pro's arrived to chart the balls location. I knew the guy was somewhere right, but did not see the ball bounce. Walked up about 75 yards, checked both traps and did a glance around the rough, no ball. By this time, the players were arriving, so I was going to go back and we would just laser the player, not the actual ball for his location/distance. He asked where his ball was, I said that I did not see exactly where it went. He walked over the next mound and after locating his ball, started cussing about his lie... wanting to know if I had stepped on his F___ ing golf ball... Even though I had not walked out that far and could not see it either at that point, that was going to be a no win argument, so I just walked back to my post.

He got a free drop from a competitor and in spite of that, did not record a good score the hole.

An unfortunate rules violation... In round 2, the pro's were allowed to lift, clean and place due to the wet conditions/rain. Later in the day, when round 3 started and it had not rained for a few hours, they were playing it down. After starting round 3 by driving the green on #10 and barely missing his eagle attempt, Sergio was assessed a 2 stroke penalty on hole #11 when he followed round 2 protocol and lifted his 2nd shot.
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The goal is long and straight! But on the many times I cannot seem to hit them straight, I at least want to hit them long!
 Message #82588
robule
RE: Changes in golf course strategy with new technology?
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 4, 2003


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Sunday February 26, 2017 8:25 PM
Interesting.

Mr Happy go by GM? LOL
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 Message #82595 - This was a reply to message #82588
Itslikeimsayin
RE: Changes in golf course strategy with new technology?
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 21, 2003


Favorite Golfer:
    Phil Mickelson
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    DragonRidge CC


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Sunday February 26, 2017 10:57 PM
I'm sure technology has something to do with it, but at some point the TV telecast also showed statistics during the week that those who "go for it" score far better. I'm sure the tour pros are paying attention to that statistical analysis and realizing that laying up doesn't really lead to better results on No. 10.

Sounds like a fun week, Nick!
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 Message #82601 - This was a reply to message #82588
weber2323
RE: Changes in golf course strategy with new technology?
SoCal Community Staff

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    April 2, 2006


Favorite Golfer:
    David Duval
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    La Jolla Country Club


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Thursday March 2, 2017 9:53 PM
I remember quite a few years ago watching something and the pro was JJ Henry and they asked him about going for it on par 5s and his response was always (given there is no water or something). What he said next was he believes the closer he can get it to the hole the higher chance it has if going in. I thought that was interesting and I bet that is what most of the "young guns" on tour think today.
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 Message #82656 - This was a reply to message #82588

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