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How the elements are affecting your distance

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With the introduction of the dynamic distance indicator in Golden Tee Live 2010, players now get to see how differing conditions affect the distance of any particular shot.  The amount of rain in combination with the lie of your ball triggers a formula that calculates the number you see on the distance marker with any specific club/ball combo.  Sure, we all know that rain kills roll when the ball lands and that you can’t hit the ball as far out of a tough lie, but have you ever stopped to pay attention to all the situations that Golden Tee takes into account?

I’ve been working on this project for a while now, and it’s still got a ways to go, but I wanted to report my findings thus far.  This attached file has a ton of information across many tabs, but I want to focus on how each specific lie/weather combo affects your distance.

The tab I’m most interested in completing right now is the “X22s-Gamer2s + Conditions” tab (now Flares and Trackers).  These are the clubs and balls I’m currently using on each 2010 course, and so I’ve started recording the distance that shows on the distance marker with each club in that set.  There are many situations I haven’t come across yet, as you can tell.

Now, if you pull just a specific club and a specific ball, like my 9-wood and the Gamer 2.0, here’s how the grid now looks (distances in blue are confirmed, while distances in black are best guesses):

X22 9-wood + Gamer2s
(now Flares + Trackers) 
Lie / Weather Dry Wet Light Rain Heavy Rain
Teebox 195 192 188 182
Fairway 193 190 187 181
First Cut/Shortcut Grass 194 191 188 182
Second Cut of Rough 180 177 174 168
Heavy Rough 167 164 161 156
Mud 97 95 93 90
Sand/Dust 146 143 140 135
Dirt 137 134 131 127

Now if we order the possible conditions by distance, we end up with this grid:

X22 9-wood + Gamer2s
(now Flares + Trackers) 
Distance % Decrease
Teebox + Dry 195 0.00%
First Cut/Shortcut Grass + Dry 194 0.51%
Fairway + Dry 193 1.03%
Teebox + Wet 192 1.54%
First Cut/Shortcut Grass + Wet 191 2.05%
Fairway + Wet 190 2.56%
Teebox + Light Rain 188 3.59%
First Cut/Shortcut Grass + Light Rain 188 3.59%
Fairway + Light Rain 187 4.10%
Teebox + Heavy Rain 182 6.67%
First Cut/Shortcut Grass + Heavy Rain 182 6.67%
Fairway + Heavy Rain 181 7.18%
Second Cut of Rough + Dry 180 7.69%
Second Cut of Rough + Wet 177 9.23%
Second Cut of Rough + Light Rain 174 10.77%
Second Cut of Rough + Heavy Rain 168 13.85%
Heavy Rough + Dry 167 14.36%
Heavy Rough + Wet 164 15.90%
Heavy Rough + Light Rain 161 17.44%
Heavy Rough + Heavy Rain 156 20.00%
Sand/Dust + Dry 146 25.13%
Sand/Dust + Wet 143 26.67%
Sand/Dust + Light Rain 140 28.21%
Dirt + Dry 137 29.74%
Sand/Dust + Heavy Rain 135 30.77%
Dirt + Wet 134 31.28%
Dirt + Light Rain 131 32.82%
Dirt + Heavy Rain 127 34.87%
Mud + Dry 97 50.26%
Mud + Wet 95 51.28%
Mud + Light Rain 93 52.31%
Mud + Heavy Rain 90 53.85%

There are many things to note when looking at this data.  The first thing that confused me is that you see a longer distance from the first cut (or “shortcut” grass that exists on several courses) than from the fairway!  I asked around and found out that the ball is somewhat ‘teed up’ on the taller grass compared to the fairway, which gets the club under the ball better (also referred to as a ‘flier lie’) — so, that’s pretty cool that IT incorporated this aspect of golf into the game! You can see how mud cripples your distance, cutting it in half, while dirt, dust and sand cut off between a quarter and a third of your distance.

I never knew so many unique conditions on the course were measured so acutely!  You don’t just have rain — you have wet, light rain, or heavy rain.  And I’m sure I haven’t captured all the possible lies yet either (snow and ice aren’t included, for example, and neither is tall grass).

And if you think you can find just one number constant and use that as a factor in which to calculate the reduction in distance — think again.  I tried, and the reduction factor differs per club!  And if you think about it, it should, because of how each club is shaped and functions.  So whatever formula the guys at IT are using to calculate distance given these conditions cannot be easily cracked!

Hopefully this article opens your eyes to the wonderful complexity of this game we all love.  Let me know if you can help me fill in some of the gaps in my distance grids, and I’ll keep the attachment updated as I gather more data!

Sand shots in Golden Tee

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Golden Tee tips tricks hints shortcuts golf game 2007 2008 2009 live arcade rough lies sandHitting shots out of the sand in Golden Tee is really not that difficult. The game will tell you how far your ball will go with the club you have selected, so there’s not much difference in gaging distance from this shot and a fairway shot. The punishment is the distance you get out of this sand shot as compared to a fairway hit. The one big tip here is that you won’t be able to get much backspin on this shot in Golden Tee, so you can’t fly the hole and expect the ball to back up towards the pin.

Thick rough

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Golden Tee tips tricks hints shortcuts golf game 2007 2008 2009 live arcade rough liesPlaying out of thick rough in Golden Tee will certainly take a chunk out of your distance, as it should. As always, a good tip is to gauge your distance from the club that Golden Tee recommends you hit, and then adjust accordingly. Remember that you cannot generate as much backspin when hitting out of thick rough!

Another important note is that if you try to hit a big A1 or B3 out of the rough, you will actually LOSE distance! Your ball won’t hook as much either. So, keep this in mind if you’re planning to hook a driver out of the rough to gain distance in Golden Tee, because you’ll actually lose 20-30% of the distance off a straight shot!

Snow shots in Golden Tee

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Golden Tee tips tricks hints shortcuts golf game 2007 2008 2009 live arcade rough lies snowSnow shots are unique enough to warrant a separate discussion in Golden Tee. With the introduction of the 2008 courses, in particular the course Summit Lakes Country Club, you can land your ball on ice or snow! Hitting off ice is similar to hitting off pavement or rocks (see “Other Various Lies“), but snow is a bit different.

First, if you’re unfortunate enough to land in the snow in Golden Tee, you’ll notice the ball just stick and get buried. That’s realistic, so kudos to Golden Tee for capturing that. There’s no roll to be had through the snow…wherever it lands, it stays, thus costing you distance. So, a good tip to consider when flirting with the snow is whether or not you’ll be able to get to the green in your next shot if you do land there. In most cases, you won’t be able to advance the ball very far.

Snow really seems to take a lot of distance off the shot, and it should. Be prepared to get only about 50% distance on your next shot if you plop one in the snow!

It is possible to slowly roll the ball into the snow and have it sit up more, similar to sand. I had a ball roll down a hill into snow, and I ended up with a decent lie. It’s best to assume that your ball will end up buried though if you plan on flirting with the snow in Golden Tee!

Other various lies

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During the course of a round of Golden Tee, you’ll find yourself on top of all kinds of other various lies too, such as pavement, cart paths, rocks, ice, and hardened lava. You’ll notice that you lose some distance when having to hit from these lies, and as with other situations, you won’t be able to backspin the ball very much. A good tip is to gauge the distance from what club the Golden Tee game recommends you hit, and then adjust for wind and slope before your shot!

UPDATE — In Golden Tee 2009, get ready to hit out of mud and tall grass!  I’ll size up these lies after I get some experience hitting out of them!