D2 would have you never lay up.
Playing Smart Vs Playing Bold
By Kickntrue on 7/2/09
Do you take your driver off every par 4 and longer or do you reach for a club based on the shape of the hole? I feel like a lot of amateurs play for the "glory" of the one amazing shot. Hitting a 3 or 4 iron isn't as sexy off the tee, but a lot of times it's much easier to control.

I know a lot of people I play with SAY they want to start playing smarter, yet person after person continues pulling out the big stick on every hole. I've actually started really trying to play smart and use the right club off the tee the last few times I've played. I'm not sure it's paying off yet, but I'm going to try to stick with it a bit longer.

Hitting a 280 yard drive can make your day, but so can shooting an 85. Which guy are you- and why?

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
I do NOT take driver off of every par 4 or 5. We have a couple of par 4's that call for something else other than driver. I have a 16 degree Cobra Pro hybrid that I LOVE!!! I hit that on a couple of par 4's where driver would be too much. I would MUCh rather play from the fairway than thickish rough. Then again, it depends on the risk reward. Besides, if I shot 85 all the time, I would quit the game - no offense!!!
klangdon says:
Based on the new "off the tee" report on oob, I actually hit many more fairways and greens when I pull the driver out vs a 3 or 4 iron. That changes as I move into 5 iron, but I think a lot of amateurs are still better with a driver than a 3 iron.
TaylormadeGolfer says:
I pull out driver basically on every hole. the only time i dont is if Im playing a very technical course or "tight" course, i.e Trump National or Chevy Chase. klangdon-- if you cant hit a fairway easier with an iron rather than a driver... you need some work. bducharm-- completely agree id rather play from the fairways.
kyfrydan says:
I don't even carry a 3 or 4 iron....
mburgess33 says:
Before every round i go to the range to warm up and i hit each of the clubs that i might hit off the tee (3i, 2h, 3w, D). On any hole thats relatively open i hit driver. On tight driving holes i hit whichever club i was hitting better on the range. Somedays its my driver but others my hybrid. I just go with whatever shot i have that day and dont try to hit a club if im not totally confident with it.
PingRhoda says:
I don't hit a driver off each tee. It really all depends on the layout of the hole i'm currently on. If I know I can fade or draw or go down the middle my driver to a good shot I'll take the risk and hit it. If there's a hazard around my average distance, I'll drop back to my fairway woods or irons pending on how "smart" I want to play
ToddRobb says:
DAMN THE TORPEDOS!!! FULL SPEED AHEAD!!! The only time I don't hit the big dawg is if hitting it straight would be to much club. If you are choosing a club because you "hit it straight", I agree with Taylormade, you need to work on your game. No matter what club I have in my hand I'm thinking I can hit it exactly where I'm aiming, it obviously doesn't always work out that way, but choosing a different club because I don't think I can hit the target is something I never think about. Remember Phil took the driver out of his bag at one of the majors(can't remember which one) and was hitting the ball all over the place? The next day it was back in his bag. If you concede to the golf gods that you can't hit your driver whenever you want, the next step is the ladies tee. LOL
Werepuppie says:
I pick my club based on hole length.Driver for 350 and up.3wood for 300 to 350,5wood for 250 to 300.If a hole is 270 or less and straight I will usually go for the green with the big stick.
jbird899 says:
I actually have been trying something new this season, its taking a little off my swing. I know that I am sacrificing 10-30 yards, however I am far more acurate, and i can hit driver whenever i want. Playing the next shot from a position that gives me an oppurtunity to make birdie is far better than having to scaramble to make par. Try it for a round, it has opened my eyes up to a whole new game.
Cal says:
Has to be driver - I paid good money for that thing, and I'm going to use it!!
dallas251 says:
I agree with several of the other comments that it totally depends on the hole. My 2 iron is probably my favorite club and I can hit the fairway with it nearly every time, but I don't think there's anything "smart" about being 200 yards out on a par 4 just so you can be in the fairway. Let the circumstances dictate the club, not your performance that day (within reason).
aaronm04 says:
Playing smarter may start on the tee, but I see so many people "go for the glory" in other ways. Say, a fairway bunker where you have to carry a water hazard to reach they green. Rather than lay up, most guys will go for it and wind up in the drink. That's just not very smart (in most cases anyway). And their scores show it.

Golf is a humbling game. Don't be proud. Be smart.

I'm not set on hitting the driver off the tee. Whatever fits my game on that particular hole.

@jbird899: As my father-in-law would say "hit it easy and be surprised at how far it goes."
ipv6freely says:
I use the driver on any par 4, mostly because I cant hit it far enough to hit any of those greens anyway. So I might as well practice with my worst club as much as I can.
TheBrownCrayon says:
There was this one time a couple of years ago I tried to hit something less than driver so I could be in the fairway, but my masculinity said it would leave if I did.
mmontisano says:
i set up to a hole aiming for the 150 yard marker and use whatever club that will get me there.

i do that because that's where i feel i have set up to "my yardage" where i'm giving myself the best shot to hit the green in 2. sometimes it's driver, but most often it isn't.

the only exception is if the hole is 300 yards and shorter though, then i'll go for it off the tee... ; )
cjgiant says:
Side question: what percentage of the time do you make the safe play only to hit your worst shot of the day with the "safe" club?

As for me, I change depending on the hole. But sometimes it's a case of it not really mattering, I can hit a bad shot with any club in my bag. Sometimes it just seems to make sense to be in the trees closer to the hole ;).
twood says:
@bducharm - get over yourself.
Matt F says:
I won't hit driver on every par 4. Depending on the hole I'll use Driver, 3 wood or 3 Hybrid. I'm trying to play smarter, it's my consistency that's holding me back.

brtnsbs says:
Driver is my favorite club in my bag, so much so that I felt a significant drop off in consistency with my 3 and 5 woods. This year I started to practice on the range much more with those 2 clubs as well as my 4 iron (I don't carry a 3). Holes where I used to take driver to have short pitches onto greens I now lay back with my woods or irons and have seen a significant improvement in my scoring. Hitting the fairway is always paramount and my scoring has gone done significantly from my old driver every hole days
k-von says:
I second twood's comment. Does this topic seem like it's directed to scratch golfers? If you're a surgeon with your driver then bully for you.
falcon50driver says:
I do shoot 85 a lot of the time. I'm not too happy about that, but I guess it just goes to show that everything is relative. I use the driver ALL the time, it's, by far, my most accurate club. We have a bunker and water protected 165 yard par 3 that's real small, and if the wind is really strong, I'll take a little poke the driver and hit it more often than not.
RIDuffer says:
I play the course as it was laid out... If it is 200 to the turn on a dogleg, I am gonna hit for the center of the fairway at the turn. Driver stays in the bag more often than it comes out. Off the tee it is frequently about distance to the green on approach,not about distance of the tee...
jrbizzle says:
Played this weekend with three of my closest friends. This course has 6 holes that are set up to fool you into pulling driver. On these shorter, and more "cerebral" holes, I used my driving 3 iron (Ping G2 HL), one buddy used his TayMa Rescue (19 degree) and the other guy used his 4 iron. The fourth guy pulled driver on nearly every hole until it was too late.

The three of us who played smart shot 69, 72 and 81 net after handicap. The fourth guy (Mr. Driver) shot a 92.
mjaber says:
I've started playing a bit smarter this year. On doglegs, especially, or where there is water right in front of the tee box. I will typically pull my 6-iron for those layup/control type shots. I've become a bit bolder with my new driver, though. I was able to drive the green on a short par4 yesterday.
Nethmonkey says:
mmm, love driver. unless there is a water hazard like a stream running through the fairway, I take driver. If it's a dogleg, I (try to) hit over the corner. Taking the risk is often more fun than the 6 iron to the middle of the fairway, for me.
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