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Thread: Trees and Bunkers in Fairways, Graphite Irons Shafts, and Other Random Musings

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    Trees and Bunkers in Fairways, Graphite Irons Shafts, and Other Random Musings

    Ok, even with Pebble Beach being as iconic as it is, I hate when there are trees and bunkers in the middle of the FW. Or even trees guarding the green such as the tree to the right at Pebbleís 18th. To me that shouts at tricked up golf. I donít like that personally. If you hit a good shot it should be rewarded. I know that you need to hit a good shot to avoid that stuff. But hitting the FW shouldnít be punished. On my day to day courses, one has a center of the fairway bunker (only comes into play into the wind but itís ALWAYS into the wind) and one has a very tall tree that isnít in the FW but blocks out the entire right 2/3ís of the FW for most golfers. Itís not a huge issue for me since I hit the ball extremely high, but Iím the only golfer Iíve played with that doesnít have to worry about it too much. I can elevate over it unless I have a bad lie or get too close to it. I still hate it as it often forces me to hit a shot I donít want to hit. Iíll have to hit a fade that starts out over water, which is a recipe for disaster.

    Next musing, am I wrong about graphite iron shafts? Gary Woodland for sure out guns me, and heís got at least some of his irons in graphite. Including a short iron or wedge. Iíve always wrote them off. I know there are shafts that are appropriate for me, I just havenít gone down that road. Seeing GW play them, am I just being obstinate? I havenít met any that I like, but Iíd be willing to give them a go at this point.... If someone was willing to show me their virtue. Iím a fish out of water with them. The only ones Iíve ever swung with were WAY too light (not in flex but weight) for me. Seeing someone on tour that swings hard playing them, I know they build them to specs that would fit. I just donít know a damn thing about them and it would be hard to self fit myself into them, so I donít mess with them. I do know that I can play virtually any steel shaft between 105-120 gram. Maybe I need to find a graphite shaft in a similar weight? The ones Iíve tried I think have been way lighter and I just canít hit them. Iíve got an OG TaylorMade Burner Bubble 9i that in dozens of swings, Iíve yet to hit a ball decently with it. That was my barometer for graphite shafts in irons. Itís an evil club, one Iím not sure how to tame.

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    Well, I canít say much about the first thing, but it doesnít bug me as long as the course plays fair, and looks nice, I donít much care if thereís hazardous stuff in the fairway.

    As for graphite shafts....yeah you can find something for your swing speed, no question. Iím not swinging like a long drive competitor, but Iím relatively young (shut up @kev) and I swing in 100mph range with my woods, and I play graphite throughout my bag, and I vastly prefer it to steel for a lot of reasons. Iíve had no problems with graphite in my wedges or any of my irons. Like any shaft, itís a matter of finding what works for you, in a weight youíre comfortable with. Itís probably easier to get that info from a fitting, just because a fitter will have a variety of shafts to try out. I wouldnít eliminate anything, graphite or steel until you know it doesnít work for you.
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    Is it possible Woodlandís shafts are black steel?

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    I think at the pro level there should be "hitting the fairway" and "hitting the right part of the fairway." No one minds certain courses that do this. No one minds that Augusta has holes like 13, where you can hit it to the "safe" side of the fairway where your second will be a mile above your feet into a sloping green, but if you want to challenge the hazard down the left and make it happen you get a flatter lie. Pebble does similar things. Flirt with bunkers, be rewarded with shots that require less shape into the green. Or take the safe side of the fairway and have to carve your shot around trees to get it to safest part of the green.

    As for fairway bunkers, some are used as aiming points. Aim at the edge, and carve your tee shot away from it. Fairway bunkers are helpful alignment to keep from having to aim at much more arbitrary points on the course. Sometimes you have to flirt with them. That's the point.

    Graphite shafts in irons are awesome. I don't think they're a matter of swing speed so much as swing tempo that determines if they're right for you. Also, they've come so far, I think realistically the only way to determine if they're right for you is to go and get fitted. I've gone from steel to graphite and back in the past 6 years, and I couldn't tell you which one is better at this point. It really comes down to fit and feel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiter View Post
    Ok, even with Pebble Beach being as iconic as it is, I hate when there are trees and bunkers in the middle of the FW. Or even trees guarding the green such as the tree to the right at Pebbleís 18th. To me that shouts at tricked up golf. I donít like that personally. If you hit a good shot it should be rewarded. I know that you need to hit a good shot to avoid that stuff. But hitting the FW shouldnít be punished. On my day to day courses, one has a center of the fairway bunker (only comes into play into the wind but itís ALWAYS into the wind) and one has a very tall tree that isnít in the FW but blocks out the entire right 2/3ís of the FW for most golfers. Itís not a huge issue for me since I hit the ball extremely high, but Iím the only golfer Iíve played with that doesnít have to worry about it too much. I can elevate over it unless I have a bad lie or get too close to it. I still hate it as it often forces me to hit a shot I donít want to hit. Iíll have to hit a fade that starts out over water, which is a recipe for disaster.

    Next musing, am I wrong about graphite iron shafts? Gary Woodland for sure out guns me, and heís got at least some of his irons in graphite. Including a short iron or wedge. Iíve always wrote them off. I know there are shafts that are appropriate for me, I just havenít gone down that road. Seeing GW play them, am I just being obstinate? I havenít met any that I like, but Iíd be willing to give them a go at this point.... If someone was willing to show me their virtue. Iím a fish out of water with them. The only ones Iíve ever swung with were WAY too light (not in flex but weight) for me. Seeing someone on tour that swings hard playing them, I know they build them to specs that would fit. I just donít know a damn thing about them and it would be hard to self fit myself into them, so I donít mess with them. I do know that I can play virtually any steel shaft between 105-120 gram. Maybe I need to find a graphite shaft in a similar weight? The ones Iíve tried I think have been way lighter and I just canít hit them. Iíve got an OG TaylorMade Burner Bubble 9i that in dozens of swings, Iíve yet to hit a ball decently with it. That was my barometer for graphite shafts in irons. Itís an evil club, one Iím not sure how to tame.
    Pretty sure Woodland is playing steel shafts from KBS with black coating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Milk Man View Post
    Pretty sure Woodland is playing steel shafts from KBS with black coating.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I couldn't tell you which shafts Woodland is playing, but I have a set of murdered out KBS $-Tapers and they are some great iron shafts. I don't know that you can tell you're playing the right shafts by how poorly you hit almost anything else, but if that is the case, then I need to stock up on $-Tapers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
    I couldn't tell you which shafts Woodland is playing, but I have a set of murdered out KBS $-Tapers and they are some great iron shafts. I don't know that you can tell you're playing the right shafts by how poorly you hit almost anything else, but if that is the case, then I need to stock up on $-Tapers.
    I played the murdered out $ tapers for a season. THP and KBS were nice enough to give me some and others to review. Currently playing murdered out KBS tour

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    GW is playing black Ctapers.
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    On the first point, I get your complaint about bunkers, tree, etc, that encroach on what looks to be the normal lines you would otherwise play, but designers/architects have been doing this forever. I don't consider it "tricked up", just another challenge.

    On the second, as others have said, graphite iron shafts have come a long way. Just a few you could look at, Recoil 110s, and Recoil 125 Prototypes by UST Mamiya, or Steefiber i110 and Steelfiber i125 from Aerotech.

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    The only obstacle I'd hate is a bunker in the middle of the green. Rare I know, but they do exist and IMO, it's romper-room nonsense.

    Tree in the fairway, bunker in the middle of a fairway, I don't have a problem with that. Only the green... anything other than an unadulterated putting surface is sacrilegious to me.

    As to graphite iron shafts, I've played with guys swinging in the ballpark of 125 mph with driver who played Steelfiber or Recoil iron shafts.

    Today's graphite iron shafts blow away the offerings from years past.
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    The fairway is almost 50 yards wide where the tree is. It is still 30-35 yards wide left of the tree. You can lay back and have an easy fairway or for bad golfers there drive only gets to the wide part before the tree. You can choose if you want to take on the tree. Choices make good golf. Now if there is a center line bunker with 10 yards on each side that is silly and dumb.

    Multiple angles make for good golf. 20 yard strips of fairway while being a good test of golf it is totally mindless no strategy boring golf.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMac19 View Post
    The only obstacle I'd hate is a bunker in the middle of the green. Rare I know, but they do exist and IMO, it's romper-room nonsense.

    Tree in the fairway, bunker in the middle of a fairway, I don't have a problem with that. Only the green... anything other than an unadulterated putting surface is sacrilegious to me.

    As to graphite iron shafts, I've played with guys swinging in the ballpark of 125 mph with driver who played Steelfiber or Recoil iron shafts.

    Today's graphite iron shafts blow away the offerings from years past.
    Didn't that hole start as 2 different greens or am I thinking of a different course?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntanygd760 View Post
    Didn't that hole start as 2 different greens or am I thinking of a different course?
    Oh, I don't know. I just know that the nanosecond that I saw one, I hated it.
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    I believe fairways should be pristine, no bunkers, AND no trees, either on the fairway or blocking your shot to the green (except doglegs). Golfers should not be penalized for hitting a fairway. Just my 2 cents.
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    Thanks for all the replies and I get everyoneís points. I guess I just personally donít care for them. I didnít even think about that center of the green bunker that the tour pros play.

    Google earth just confirmed for me that itís Riviera. Itís a huge green, but what do you do when you are directly across the bunker to the hole? Be a shame to take a chunk out of that green hitting a flop, but thatís your only real option. I certainly wouldnít do it in a casual round, but in a tournament...

    I didnít even think about that with Woodlands shafts, duh. :)

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