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Old 08-15-2011, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How do you judge distance?

Id consider myself a beginner, working on a swing to get to the course. In the books, they all seem to stress knowing how far you can hit each club. One even suggested you pace-off the yardage of your shots! Who in the hell has the luxury of doing that?

I know there are a lot of experienced golfers on this forum; my question is, how did you learn the distances of your clubs?
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you are going to have to pace out at least some of the Clubs, On the practise field hit 20 balls with your 7 iron ignore the nearest and furthest balls then having got your average distance you can estimate that a 6 iron will go 15 yards further and 8 iron 15 yards less and so on through out the set.

There`s no short cut, you really need to this for every iron, even if you only do one of them per visit to the Course.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Moderator, I'm still learning my way around the Forums course and just realized that this post may be more appropriate on the "Golf Tips" subforum. You could move it if you feel likewise.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't stress to much about the section for this post it sort of fits in both. For me it was time spent at the range hit 20 or more balls with the same club have a note pad with you and after each shot or each couple of shots just not how far your shots went roughly for the distance markers and the just take an anverage of that if there were some that were hit baldly and were rather hort you could ingnore them but just kee in mind this can and will happen on the course even more so while your still learn. THe rule of 10-15 is a good starting point but not true for all clubs like me I know that my 9 iron is only about 5m longer the my pitching. Good luck you will always be learning with this game
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Its either pace off each club or use a GPS to check your yardages. If you don't know your yardages it could cost you a shot per hole. And as a relatively new starter you'll need to check them every few months till your swing becomes more refined and consistent.

Translating the distances you know you hit your clubs to the golf course can be a little harder. Some courses have yardage markers out on the course, and again if you have a GPS its easier but I would recommend you get out there and learn to judge the distance by eye. There's no easy way to do this other than practice but ultimately it will pay off, e.g. the yardage marker or GPS might say 150yds but there may be a big dip in the fairway... so what is the club to use??
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have used a GPS, and laser to dial in my yardages with my clubs. I use an empty school play ground sometimes, and other times I might use a dry lake bed. The important measurement for me is the carry distance each club sends the ball. The roll of the ball, after the carry can be influenced by a variety of course conditions. Those conditions can only be factored in at the time of actual play. The carry, and roll of a 160 yard club on course A might be longer, or shorter on course B because of different course conditions.

On a lot of full shots, I don't use a yardage device. When I do, if anything, I will read what the device says, then I will look at the course conditions between my ball, and where I want to hit my next shot from.

Distance while playing, when not using a some sort of yardage measuring device, is what ever the golfer perceives it to be. No two golfers will see the same yardage from point A to point B. Their yardage guess will be in the same ball park, but not exactly the same. The best case scenario for a golfer is to "see the yardage", and then match that yardage up with a specific club he thinks will hit the ball that far. Myself, when I see a shot distance, and from years of previous playing, I just tell myself "that's a 7 iron", or what ever club distance I perceive it be. In other words, I don't see actual yardages. I see a specific club hitting the ball that far. If I see a 6 iron shot, but I need to carry a hazard, then I might decide to us a 5 iron, and change the type of shot I want to hit.

Like some golfers I am guilty of under clubbing myself for the yardage required. It's a quirk I could never really get rid of. The cure was simple. If I see a 7 iron distance, I just pull out my 6 iron. If I see a 7 wood shot, I pull my 5 wood. The only three clubs I don't do this with are my driver, 3 wood, and putter. Another plus for me is that I am able to keep the same swing tempo, timing, and balance when pulling the longer club. My brain thinks I have more than enough club, so it's OK to swing easier. Actually I think most golfers would score better if they did this on all their full shots.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rothenfield View Post
I’d consider myself a beginner, working on a swing to get to the course. In the books, they all seem to stress knowing how far you can hit each club. One even suggested you pace-off the yardage of your shots! Who in the hell has the luxury of doing that?

I know there are a lot of experienced golfers on this forum; my question is, how did you learn the distances of your clubs?
I learned just by playing - I took up the game long before the advent of electronic toys. Most courses had nothing more than 150 yard markers then, so I estimated my location from those. If I was 150 yards out, I picked a club that seemed about right (I'd start with a 7I or 8I from there and see what happens), and when I got to the green I could tell by where the ball ended up if it was close to what I'd hoped. It really didn't take that long to get a fair idea of how far I typically hit each club. Once you get a good idea for one club, just figure about 10 yard spacing up and down for each club in the set. When you are just starting out, you will be rather inconsistent anyway, so all you need is an approximation. As you get better with your ball striking, you can dial it in better.

On the course, distance is modified by conditions too. Lie, wind, elevation change all will affect carry and roll, and again the only real way to learn is to do it. Just get out and play.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrogsHair View Post
No two golfers will see the same yardage from point A to point B. Their yardage guess will be in the same ball park, but not exactly the same. The best case scenario for a golfer is to "see the yardage", and then match that yardage up with a specific club he thinks will hit the ball that far.
This statement makes so much sense to me, and, of course, must have been the way it was always done before the hi-tech gadgets allowed a precise measurement. A good golfer must have amazing depth perception. After watching Keegan Bradley and the others vying for the Pro Championship whack a ball from 182, or whatever, yards away over a water hazard and plop it dead, hole high, 5 feet from the pin; I just assumed that magic elves were involved at some point in a golfers development.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rothenfield View Post
This statement makes so much sense to me, and, of course, must have been the way it was always done before the hi-tech gadgets allowed a precise measurement. A good golfer must have amazing depth perception. After watching Keegan Bradley and the others vying for the Pro Championship whack a ball from 182, or whatever, yards away over a water hazard and plop it dead, hole high, 5 feet from the pin; I just assumed that magic elves were involved at some point in a golfers development.
Actually, this raises a question I've often wondered about. I know what distance I hit my clubs but I'm also aware that that varies by a few yards each week I go out.

My question is "why do I hit so many irons pretty much pin high even when I'm between clubs?" How do I know how hard or soft to hit some shots?
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You are a much better golfer than most. The better golfer swings the club more in their subconscious than their higher handicap counter part does. In other words, you just hit those pin high shots with out thinking about it. Ever drove some where, and after you arrived you didn't remember things that happened, or even the route you took while driving there? Same thing with your golf swing. Mental swing guru Bob Rotella has a name for it, but I can't remember the term.
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Originally Posted by Big Hobbit View Post
Actually, this raises a question I've often wondered about. I know what distance I hit my clubs but I'm also aware that that varies by a few yards each week I go out.

My question is "why do I hit so many irons pretty much pin high even when I'm between clubs?" How do I know how hard or soft to hit some shots?
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