Lou Stagner's Newsletter #46

What Club Off The Tee?

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Weekly Quiz!

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For the typical tour pro from 15 yards in the rough, what percent of shots finish OUTSIDE 10 feet?

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What Club Off The Tee?

This should be very interesting to MANY of you.

What club should this golfer hit off the tee in this situation?

▶️10 index player
▶️375 yard par 4
▶️OB on both sides
▶️68 yards of room between OB
▶️Fairway is 32 yards wide
▶️No fairway bunkers in play
▶️Rough is short, very playable
▶️Fairways/greens are "normal" (not firm, not soft)
▶️No wind
▶️Average size green
▶️No penalty hazards in play around green

▶️Average tee shot is 228.7 yards
▶️52.3% of tee shots hit fairway
▶️13.3% of tee shots go OB

3 wood
▶️Average tee shot is 206.5 yards
▶️57.2% of tee shots hit fairway
▶️9.4% of tee shots go OB

3 hybrid
▶️Average tee shot is 190.1 yards
▶️65.6% of tee shots hit fairway
▶️4.6% of tee shots go OB

These dispersions are based off of actual 10 index golfers. I fed this dispersion info in an app I built that lets me mock up a hole, and then run a million shot simulation for each option to see what club will provide the lowest overall scoring average on the hole.

I posted this exact question on X (Twitter) yesterday. There were very few correct answers!

The correct mathematical play in this situation is the 3 hybrid!

The expected scores were:

  • Driver: 5.08

  • 3 wood: 5.08

  • 3 hybrid: 5.03

My Thoughts

I am sure many of you are surprised. Especially considering I am always telling you to hit driver as often as possible!

You have probably heard me say, “hit the ball as far as possible, as often as possible, making sure to take into account penalty strokes and other hazards.”

The last part of that statement is KEY. In the example above, while the 3 hybrid gives up nearly 40 yards of distance to the driver, the percent of balls that finish OB is significantly less with 3 hybrid. Over 13% of your tee shots are OB with driver. That is A LOT.

Every hole will be a bit different, but anytime you are in a situation where you will be hitting more than 5% of your tee shots OB, you should pause and consider other options. This is why knowing how big YOUR shot patterns are is so important.

See you next week!


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    Have a great week!

Lou Stagner