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When 'Playing Safe' didn't quite work out...

  • 16-07-2021 3:09am
    Registered Users Posts: 143 ✭✭

    There's a couple of holes towards the end of my course where I might decide to 'play safe' if I'm looking at a good score and take an iron off the tee or lay up etc to try and ensure a bogey at worst...but it doesn't always work out...

    Anyway, worst one was a while back in a stroke play where I decided to 'play safe' off the first tee. Short enough par 4 with out of bounds down the right and trees down the left so I decided to 'play safe' - wind was helping and didn't want to ruin the round after one hole with a potential double or something...but as it happened...

    Shot1 - duffed a 5 iron about 100yds, barely made the fairway

    Shot 2 - went for the green but pulled a 5 wood into the trees on the left

    Shot 3 - no shot to the green so chipped out of the trees back on to the fairway

    Shot 4 - wedge over the back of the green

    Shot 5 - duffed the chip

    Shot 6 - wedge to about 5 feet

    Shot 7 - putt lipped out

    Shot 8 - in the hole

    Playing off 8 at the time so half my shots were gone after one hole (and a relatively easy one at that). Anyone else got any horror stories when playing safe just didn't work out???


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,692 ✭✭✭dan_ep82

    First ever competition and it was sponsored by BMW so they had a car behind the tee box, you got a little goodie bag etc and a fair few people standing at the first.

    It's a par5 but I took a hybrid for "safety" . Managed to hit the clubface through the nerves but also managed to hit the tree 20yards to the left of the tee box and have it ricochet straight back at me, the car and the other people on the tee box at the speed of light. Que everyone flinching,ducking and "watch out!" being shrieked. Not my favourite moment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,378 ✭✭✭Trampas

    People here on tv a iron or 3 wood for safety when in reality the vast majority of people plain and simple not good enough to take do it. Swing changes and they try and steer the shot and make it worse.

    Like fourball match play. Partner gets one down the fairway. I’ll take the driver and try and burst it but really their partner plays off 12 and really he could still take a 7 from there.

    to much listening to tv and thinking they can do the same

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,524 ✭✭✭Deeper Blue

    It must've been a fairly high level if there was a BMW on the tee box?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,692 ✭✭✭dan_ep82

    Tee box is raised , car was parked parallel to it in the right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,524 ✭✭✭Deeper Blue

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,424 ✭✭✭spacecoyote

    Is there not a distinction here between playing safe and hitting bad shots?

    Had one myself recently. Playing my best round ever. Walked on to 16th tee, which has OB up the right. Hit driver but overcompensated and pulled it left. Went for playing safe with my second shot, just trying to knock a 9 iron out and down the fairway. Hit a poor strike, clipped the top of a tree and dropped down into a fairway bunker. 2 shots to get on the green which was fine, but then 3 putted.

    So my 1st and second were attempts at safe shots that I just hit poorly. If I'd made decent strikes the options I took were perfect, I just didn't execute.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,985 ✭✭✭youcancallmeal

    I used to have trouble getting height out of deep greenside bunkers so one time when I landed in one during a stroke play comp I decided to play it safe and hit out backwards and chip it on from there. I bladed my bunker shot 100 yards back down the fairway and then chunked my approach. Eventually got on in 3 from the bunker

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,091 ✭✭✭✭PARlance

    You played safe for shot 1 and then abandoned it for shot 2.... an 8i or something similar was the shot for shot 2.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,499 ✭✭✭blue note

    The truth about mid-high handicappers playing safe is that it's far from risk free. It always annoys me slightly when I see people say just play the as a par 4 to rule out double bogey. I tend to bogey par 5s. If I play it as a par 5 I'm probably giving myself a 50% chance of a double bogey! The most common problem I have is laying up on a par 4 to a half shot. The number of these I mishit is huge. If there's bushes or links rough or water the chances of me finding it and potentially losing a ball are huge. And before that there's always the chance of slicing your iron off the tee or pulling your layup or whatever. It should be less likely than with your driver, but before choosing to play safe work out whether or not it's actually the right call for you.

    And as for playing safe and having a disaster - I do have one of those. I was a beginner playing in Gold Coast golf club in Dungarvan. The drive on one of the par 4s is over a little cove. Very little, I played it years later and I would possibly have cleared it with a wedge. But as a 13 year old who was prone to knocking drives and couldn't afford (literally) to take on shots where I might lose a ball, I was scared of the drive. So I aimed right. And then I sliced it. And it hit a tree and went back into the cove. Had I aimed for the middle of the fairway and hit that drive, it would have been a good drive, in the rough on the right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 143 ✭✭phelimb

    Ah, I remember many years ago being on holidays and renting a house over looking the Gold Coast course for a week. The house we rented was owned by the son/some family member who owned/managed (not sure) the course and he gave me a loan of his clubs and gave me free reign to the course...happy days. Not a bad track, and no 'playing safe' if I remember correctly.

    Maybe as you become more familiar with a course and know the possible pitfalls that you err on the side of caution somtimes. Anytime I play a new course I go for everything 😀

    Definately playing a half shot is just asking for trouble...

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