Watching the coverage on both Golfchannel and CBS, I was surprised to see how short the ball was flying at Riviera. Considering it was in the best shape that the announcing team has ever seen it, it must have been a combination of the low temperatures, sea level and kikuya grass, that shortened the distances for the pros.
I was honestly shocked at the number of shots that were coming up short, as well as the clubs that players were using. One a shot of 160, you’d normally expect 9 irons, however, not only did we see a lot of players using 8 irons, but even 7 irons.
The drives on the 290 yard par 4 tenth were coming up short even from an elevated tee.
The lesson here, be careful with your club selection and really take into consideration factors such as the temperature, sea level and local grasses. Short shots at Riviera were made worse by the sticky kikuya grass, that made the ball hop straight up or even backward.
Considering as amateurs we don’t often get to play on courses in PGA tour conditions (fast fairways and greens), it’s no wonder as amateurs we often underclub. If we let our egos control our club selection we’re likely to come up short and get into trouble.