GEA Golf Forum > Iron approaches per round

Full Version: Iron approaches per round

From: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1]
 17 May 2018
To: ALL

With our course getting into well-watered summer conditions, I'm going to be averaging only 9 approach shots with irons or wedges per round, with the others being 22 or 25 degree hybrids. Depending on the wind, on some days some of those hybrids won't even reach. I'll have the occasional 5 wood, but I just put that in the 22 hybrid column for this. Close enough for government work.

This suggests an average approach shot being a 6 iron for me. Not real bad, but getting close to time to move up a set of tees.

Anyway, it tells me I have half my approaches with two clubs, and I need to bear down and get those hybrids working as best I can!

How many iron and wedge approach shots do you have per round? Does it feel less like golf if you are not hitting mostly irons?

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From: jvincent [#2]
 17 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 17 May 2018

From your description, you definitely need to move up.

Not accounting for unusually windy days, I can hit iron into every green at my club assuming I hit a competent tee shot.

Right now competent tee shot is the problem.

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From: Art.. (ARTMBGOLF) [#3]
 17 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 17 May 2018

If you want to be playing the course more like tour pros play
approach shots, you should have a number of short iron
approaches and seldom a hybrid on par 4's.

On the longest par 4's on tour, assuming an average drive, pros have
in the 200 yard range left and most can hit 7 iron from there.

If we are hitting hybrids/woods to our longest par 4's, after a normal
drive, we are playing a harder situation than the tour plays.

None of us should be concerned with playing tees that allow having some wedges into greens, since the tour hits lots of wedges to greens.

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From: Chris_MA (CHRIS_NH) [#4]
 17 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 17 May 2018

Assuming well-struck 1st (par 4) and 1st/2nd (par 5) shots: 17-18. One hole depends upon wind and I might need to hit a hybrid into it - or have as little as 7 iron in.

Sounds like it might be time for you to move up a set of tees. I bet you’ll start having more fun.

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From: Bogeydog [#5]
 17 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 17 May 2018

You made me think about this a little so I'm going to bore everyone with more detail than you need... :)

I'm 52 next week and still hit the ball decently far.

Hole 1 342 forced layup 8-w
Hole 2 410 plays really long 4h-6 iron
Hole 3 183 6 iron usually
Hole 4 554 usually inside 100 for third shot
Hole 5 390 forced layup 7-w
Hole 6 404 usually lay up off the tee so 5 wood - 5 iron
Hole 7 175 6-7 iron
Hole 8 410 8-w
Hole 9 512 forced layup on second shot 7-9 iron
Hole 10 385 usually lay up 7-8 iron
Hole 11 395 Usually wedge
Hole 12 387 layup off the tee 78 iron
Hole 13 154 Plays really long. Usually 6 iron
Hole 14 520 layup off the tee and a chip/pitch third shot
Hole 15 402 7-9 iron
Hole 16 488 chip/pitch third shot
Hole 17 176 5-6 iron
Hole 18 373 forced layup off the tee 8-w

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From: Hook DeLoft (CROUSE99) [#6]
 17 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 18 May 2018

I had a lot of fun when I first moved up to the senior tees. Suddenly I had a lot more wedges thru 8 irons into greens. Suddenly I was hitting more greens. My stroke average improved. Having said that, you can have fun from any tees with the right attitude. Don't forget that 70 or 80 years ago, pros hit a lot of mid and long irons into par 4's and most of them needed a 3 wood to reach "reachable" par 5's. The game has changed a lot.

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From: eers2u [#7]
 17 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 18 May 2018

I mainly play two courses:
Course #1: 4 short irons, 8 mid irons, 6 long irons/hybrids
Course #2: 9 short irons, 7 mid irons, 2 long irons/hybrids

Course #1 is fairly open with wide fairways and big greens, Course #2 has tighter fairways and smaller greens. Good combination I suppose.

Course #1 is a little long for me, but I'm fairly good with my longer clubs so I can still play it fairly well as long as my putting cooperates. Course #2 demands more accuracy, but it is easier if you are hitting it straight.

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From: Mr22putt [#8]
 17 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 18 May 2018

IMO...you should focus on what makes you most enjoy your round and not how many irons, etc you hit into the green...only you can answer this.

I always like to challenge myself...I could play the white tees and have shorter approach shots and generally lower scores...but that wouldn't make me happy.

I want to play the blues, blacks or a combo of them...I want to be able to hit all my clubs in my bag as approach shots...even if I have to use a 4W on one or two holes.

For my distances...playing a course in the summer from 6400 to 6700 is my normal sweet spot for enjoyment.

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From: Chicken wing swing not SO bad! (FITZ) [#9]
 18 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 18 May 2018

When I'm compelled to play from "way back" all I can say is Driver 3wood 7 iron makes for a long long day. My chipping pitching can be good at times so I do better than most that are somewhat longer than me. But why?

Anyways if I was committed to those tees and those approaches. I think the answer is pretty straight forward. In Dave Pelz's Shortgame bible he has his PEI Pelz Error index and he mentioned for the players he measured in the 1970's they may have averaged about 7% from the targets he thought they were going for.

With that said you've got to find a way to decrease your miss %'s with those clubs.

I'd suggest either with your phone or a small notebook to track your practice and or improvement. Just knowing that your PEI is say 20%
will help you to KNOW how well you are playing on any one shot and or when to move up a set of tees etc all.

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From: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#10]
 18 May 2018
To: ALL

I can move up, although the rest of the group is not receptive. They need it just as badly as I do.

When I move up, I can only hit driver on 7 holes, though. What we should do is move up on about 4 to 6 holes. Then I'd have to work out the slope or whatever so I could post the rounds.

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From: jvincent [#11]
 18 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#10] 18 May 2018

Our club created official combination tees a couple of years ago to address guys who really needed to move up but not necessarily for all 18 holes.

We now have blue-black, blue-white, white-green combination tees that are officially rated. You might need to get your state golf association to do the rating, but if the club asks it's pretty easy to do.

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From: Spalding,GetYourFootOffTheBoat (FLOPSHOTBOY) [#12]
 18 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#1] 18 May 2018

At my home course with no wind from the back tees?

I hit irons into all the par 3's and irons or wedges into all the par 4's.

For the par 5's, I can reach the first one with a 5 wood with a good drive and an iron with a great drive; the second is pretty much unreachable from the back tees for me (about 580), so I usually hit a wedge third; the 3rd one is a metal wood or layup; and the last one I usually hit 4 or 5 iron for my second shot.

Course is 6950.

If it's calm, a course doesn't start to feel too long to be fun until about 7250 or 7300 yards long. I don't mind a long par 4 where I need to hit 4 iron or 5 wood once or twice per round, but anymore than that and it starts to feel like a slog.

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From: Spalding,GetYourFootOffTheBoat (FLOPSHOTBOY) [#13]
 18 May 2018
To: Art.. (ARTMBGOLF) [#3] 18 May 2018

Art, with all due respect, most PGA Tour players are not hitting 7 irons from 200.

Most carry 7 iron around 165-175.

Do we see 200 yard 7 irons? Sure. But when they flash those graphics up on the screen, make sure you pay attention to wind, elevation, and green firmness. If you are hitting a 200 yard shot that needs to land 190 because it's going to take a big bounce and you are 30' above the green with a 5 mph tail wind, it's probably a 175 shot.

Also, keep in mind the TV likes to show the big hitters and, on weekends, TV shows the guys that are in the hunt. When you're looking at guys that have a chance to win on Sunday with 4 or 5 holes left, they are also getting 8-10 yards worth of adrenaline.

Even still, you're point is valid. Most everyone on the tour can hit it 285 off the tee and a 175 yard 7 iron. So any par 4 under 460 is a short iron hole.

Just looking at the ratios, if tour players average 7200 yard courses and average 192 yards of carry with 5 irons, than 37.5 times your 5 iron distance is basically the equivalent. I've always heard 36 times your 5 iron is a good rule of thumb and if you assume the tour guys can play a little longer course than we can because they hit it pure, 36 times 5 iron is a good rule.

If a guy hits a 175 yard 5 iron, 6300 is probably a good guide.

That said, some courses play longer or shorter because of design. When I go on vacation, I usually don't look at yardage. I play the tees that have a course rating close to 72.

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From: Combat Catcher (NINEMILESKID) [#14]
 18 May 2018
To: Problem Golfer (DON M) [#10] 18 May 2018

quote: Problem Golfer (DON M)
I can move up, although the rest of the group is not receptive. They need it just as badly as I do.

When I move up, I can only hit driver on 7 holes, though. What we should do is move up on about 4 to 6 holes. Then I'd have to work out the slope or whatever so I could post the rounds.


That's not good. I think hitting driver is perhaps the most fun shot in golf.

On the rare times I go out, I want to play a course that allows me to hit the driver at least a dozen times, and a lot of approach shots with an 8-iron or less.

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From: Spalding,GetYourFootOffTheBoat (FLOPSHOTBOY) [#15]
 18 May 2018
To: jvincent [#11] 18 May 2018

Yep.

We've got the "player's tees" at our place that play in between the back and member's tees. There were about 12 guys in the 4-10 handicap range that got that done.

They've even got their own club championship division now. It kind of sucks, because they eliminated the B flight from the club championship. Although, this may be the year I move up.

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From: Spin Back (GUNNI) [#16]
 18 May 2018
To: Bogeydog [#5] 18 May 2018

How many GIR's ere there? How many do you average a round?

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From: Bogeydog [#17]
 18 May 2018
To: Spin Back (GUNNI) [#16] 18 May 2018

I'm not a big stats guy, but I hit somewhere between 8-10 per round.

The course is pretty penal off the tee so any shot that is offline is either a punch out, penalty or some type of hooking/slicing recovery shot.

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From: Art.. (ARTMBGOLF) [#18]
 18 May 2018
To: Spalding,GetYourFootOffTheBoat (FLOPSHOTBOY) [#13] 18 May 2018

It seems like every week we are seeing the 200 yard 7 irons, but I
agree that they are the leaders and often the big hitters.

The 36 times 5 iron distance is a good guideline for course length to
play.

Courses that are par 70 or have 4-5 really short holes, play longer than
the length.

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From: HTG (HOUTEXGOLFER) [#19]
 18 May 2018
To: Art.. (ARTMBGOLF) [#18] 18 May 2018

Total yardage can be deceiving too. One course we play is 6100 yards from the "senior" tees. That would predict ideal for a 169 yard 5 iron. So it is a bit long for most seniors who only hit 140 to 150 yds.

But that isn't the whole story. Two of the par 3s are very short, as are two of the par 5s and two of the par 4s. Which means several of the par 4s are in the 380 to 390 range, way too long for a golfer who does well to hit a 200 yard drive. So many of those long par 4s are played like "short par 5s, hope to get a birdie 4 today."

This one below does it right, The Tradition. From the black tees it hosts tournaments like Monday qualifying for the Houston Open. The blue tees are for regular young, single digit handicap golfers. The whites for most non-senior men, the silvers for senior men, and the copper tees for the ladies and men who really can't hit it very far.

Most of our Thursday gang play the silver tees which at just under 5500 yards computes to a 150 yd 5 iron. It is an enjoyable course because it isn't too long and it is good to hit a drive and PW or 9 iron on many par 4s. Yet tee boxes, fairways, and greens are first-rate as you expect for a premium course.

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From: Bogeydog [#20]
 18 May 2018
To: HTG (HOUTEXGOLFER) [#19] 18 May 2018

The course in my neighborhood is private and I don't play there very much is deceiving.

Blue 7,007 74.2 137
White 6,536 72.0 130

I shoot the same scores from either set of tees because most of the lenght difference is on par 5's and short par 4's. From the tips I can still get within 100 yards on the par 5's and reach a couple with two good shots.

On a few of the shorter par 4's where I can't hit driver from the whites, I can hit it from the blues and leave the same approach.

My index got silly low for my ability level so I stopped playing from the tips.

For a mediocre golfer who is almost 52, I hit the ball fairly far. For example, off the tee, I carry my 3 wood just a little over 240 and I hit my 7 iron around 165. I'm also 6'2" and I work out 5-6 days a week so I think that helps.

I play with my FIL sometimes at his club. We play from 5,800-6,100. He's short and crooked off the tee so he can't play any further back, but if I were to move back, he would too, so I just play it shorter. I hit a lot of irons off tees because I'm just having fun.

You are right. You should probably seldom play from yardages where a well struck shot on a par 4 leave you where you can't reach the green unless you hit an exceptional shot.

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