How the elements are affecting your distance

By • Category: Features, Golden Tee golf clubs, Hitting out of rough lies

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!

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is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
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4 Responses »

  1. Oh my … another obsessed geek; this is awesome!!!!!

    Thanks for the hard work and what must’ve been a considerable amount of time!

  2. Awesome stuff. Only wish it was with a 3 wood, so that it would cover most club sets. 🙁

  3. Yep, I know…it’s hard to get in situations like that where you’re far enough away to see the distance of your 3-wood on the screen!

  4. Excellent point. I’m amazed at how quickly you were able to respond, & I am a fan of the site. It’s made me better in a much shorter time than had I gone it alone. I thank you, but my girlfriend hates you! 🙂

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