GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

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GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby 7ontheline » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:45 am

I still haven't learned my lesson about playing for bogey. I see a small window line for par and more times than not I throw from one bad lie to another and end up with double bogey. :oops: Should I continue to struggle and bring double bogey into play, which is happening less than it used to as my upshots/bailouts/utility shots are getting better, or should I play it smart and take my medicine? If I pitch out to the fairway I don't get as much practice on the difficult shots so that part of my saves game doesn't progress as quickly. I rationalize my bad decisions thinking that if I make more pars than double bogeys then I'm coming out ahead in the long run, and the long run is what really matters to a rookie like me.

What do you think?
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby Frank Delicious » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:50 am

Do you actually want your mind changed or are you hoping for validation?
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby Timko » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:52 am

Depends on what you're playing for.

If you're playing to get better, then trying tough shots gives you some experience when you need to play them.

If you're playing a tournament (or playing for anything in general), I often let me confidence and the situation determine if I'll play it safe or go for the hero shot. This is all about course management; that 5 1/2 inch space between your ears (where Bobby Jones said competitive golf is won and lost).
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby 7ontheline » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:54 am

I'm playing Am Adv. Masters so I don't get to see what the Pro Masters are doing when the chips are on the line.
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby nohr » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:45 pm

Take your medicine in those situations (pitch out). You do want to go further down the fairway but having the perfect shot is unlikely. Look at all the lines and see which one is the easiest to hit. Asking your disc or shot to do too much is going to end up badly.
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby TOURNEYPLAYER » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:13 pm

Def pitch out in a tourney. losing two strokes is much worse than gaining one is good. in casual play....run that motherfucker!
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby JHern » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:41 pm

7ontheline wrote:I'm playing Am Adv. Masters so I don't get to see what the Pro Masters are doing when the chips are on the line.


Hook up with some Pro Masters in casual rounds. They're generally the most generous with advice, and also have a great mental game. Hopefully you live some place where this is possible.

But yeah, you should play casual rounds aggressively so that you at least know what you are capable of doing. And do it a lot, so you have a fair idea of what your percentages are like. Then you can estimate the probability of taking a 2, 3, 4, or 5 for a given shot selection, and decide what you will do from there.

Anyways, I find that even playing "boring par golf" in tournaments is still a challenge at times, which makes it less boring because it is challenging. And it is still important to have a good drive off the tee. It doesn't have to be a great drive, but it has to make your upshot relatively easy...that way you don't force yourself into having to make tough putts. Playing safe really requires solid quality shots on every throw, you can't have any weak links, or else you'll suffer a bogey.

Regardless of advice, most of us shoot for a birdie off the tee every time, and then decide what to do when we're not in an ideal placement. What we have to do is modify our game from there, and plan better when it is needed. And to play smarter when things aren't going well.
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby Dogma » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:26 pm

Push yourself in casual rounds so you learn.

But in a tournament you are usually better off being cautious. Run the numbers: You're playing a par 4 and you end up deep in the rough. It looks like it's going to cost you a stroke. The made hero throw saves you a stroke and you recover with a 4. The blown hero throw costs you another stroke and you end up with a 6. The conservative pitch out costs you the expected stroke and you take a 5. So the question is, how often will you execute that hero shot? If it's 50% of the time, then do whatever you want to. But if your odds are under 50% then you are statistically better off pitching out.
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:25 pm

7ontheline wrote:I'm playing Am Adv. Masters so I don't get to see what the Pro Masters are doing when the chips are on the line.


It doesn't really matter what the Pros do, or other players do in those situations. What matters is what you should do given your skill level, how you are playing that day and what the competitive situation is. Sometimes the choice is easy. On the last hole, trailing by one stroke you will be more aggressive. On the last hole leading by two, taking the safe bogey may insure your victory. With enough experience you will learn your own strengths and weaknesses and be better able to make wise choices.

One thing I see players do poorly is pitch out haphazardly, as though it doesn't matter precisely where their pitch out lands. A player is pissed off that he has to pitch out. So he tosses it out only to land in another poor location, handcuffing his upshot. This upsets him even more and a bogey grows into worse.

On the rare situation where I am pitching out to a tight fairway I will pick up a big leaf and place it exactly where I want my pitch out to land. It is easier to hit an exact spot with a target to aim at. In choosing the exact spot it will help you plan the upshot and increase your chance of success.

In the lower divisions avoiding mistakes is more important than occasional brilliance. If you play it safe you may find that winning is seldom boring.
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby sunspot » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:47 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:
One thing I see players do poorly is pitch out haphazardly, as though it doesn't matter precisely where their pitch out lands. A player is pissed off that he has to pitch out. So he tosses it out only to land in another poor location, handcuffing his upshot. This upsets him even more and a bogey grows into worse.

On the rare situation where I am pitching out to a tight fairway I will pick up a big leaf and place it exactly where I want my pitch out to land. It is easier to hit an exact spot with a target to aim at. In choosing the exact spot it will help you plan the upshot and increase your chance of success.


One of my buddies was forced to pitch-out during our round today. Instead of "haphazardly" throwing his disc in the fairway, he came out to where he wanted to throw it to see what kind of shot he would have next. He was able to make good use of his pitch-out by doing so.
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby Smyith » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:17 am

Mark Ellis wrote:On the rare situation where I am pitching out to a tight fairway I will pick up a big leaf and place it exactly where I want my pitch out to land. It is easier to hit an exact spot with a target to aim at. In choosing the exact spot it will help you plan the upshot and increase your chance of success.


thats a reall great strategy with the leaf. its not always easy to spot the correct landing spot when pitching out. thanks for the tip
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby juju » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:22 am

Smyith wrote:
Mark Ellis wrote:On the rare situation where I am pitching out to a tight fairway I will pick up a big leaf and place it exactly where I want my pitch out to land. It is easier to hit an exact spot with a target to aim at. In choosing the exact spot it will help you plan the upshot and increase your chance of success.


thats a reall great strategy with the leaf. its not always easy to spot the correct landing spot when pitching out. thanks for the tip


Unfortunately, that is illegal in pDGA play. :lol:
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby Smyith » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:53 am

juju wrote:
Smyith wrote:
Mark Ellis wrote:On the rare situation where I am pitching out to a tight fairway I will pick up a big leaf and place it exactly where I want my pitch out to land. It is easier to hit an exact spot with a target to aim at. In choosing the exact spot it will help you plan the upshot and increase your chance of success.


thats a reall great strategy with the leaf. its not always easy to spot the correct landing spot when pitching out. thanks for the tip


Unfortunately, that is illegal in pDGA play. :lol:


really what rule does that break? as long as its a dead, un-attached leaf i dont see the issue.
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby nohr » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:55 am

I am also interested in what rule this breaks. I could see a speed of play issue with finding a leaf/placing a leaf before your shot.
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Re: GO FOR IT or play it safe and boring?

Postby Jesse B 707 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:18 am

Having a good score at the end of the round is usually more exciting than going for a shot thats clearly dumb
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