UPDATED: 9-1-16

There have been many changes on WGT lately and with all of the upper tier brackets players I play against daily, they share in the same misgivings that I have.  Even using correct mathematical equations for shots, sometimes the are long and sometimes they are short.  Wind that doesn’t have an effect on the ball, or not enough effect can drive you crazy.  I also have become friends with the gophers in the hole by rimming shots on my putts all the time.

It’s almost enough to drive you away from playing the money grabber WGT platform, but needless to say, it’s still the best online golf experience available.  Remember the clubs and balls that I use will be different than yours so practice and minor changes to the formulas will be up to you to determine.

I use the following equipment:

  • Driver: Big Bertha – Distance = 287
  • 3 Wood: Big Bertha – Distance = 245
  • Irons: Taylor Made R11 – Distance = 120 – 225 (Same club as Taylor Made RSi2 Level 90)
  • Wedge: Cleveland 56W Level 76 – Distance = 100
  • Wedge: Cleveland 60W Level 78 – Distance = 80
  • Wedge: Cleveland 64W Level 80 – Distance = 60
  • Putter: Odyssey Versa #1 Level 70
  • Ball: Nike Level 71 and Volvik Crystal Level 51 (both play virtually the same)

I’ve always known that it’s important to understand your clubs and the distance that they hit.  A perfect example is that when I make a drive off the T-Box I know with the wind conditions approximately the distance before I will bounce.  This knowledge allows me to manage the course and not let the course manage me.  The second thing that I have been toying with and have been successful with is using spin on the ball to hit a little farther.

An example of using spin on the ball.  My formulas are set with a full backspin (I normally use 90% with my balls).  I come up with a shot of 124 on distance to hit.  I’m comfortable within around a 7 yard range so instead of trying to hit 124 with full back on my 135 club, I hit my 120 club with no spin.  If the shot was 127 I would still hit my 120 club but use about 90% topspin.  Of course doing this takes some additional practice, but I have hit my 225 3 iron on distances of 240 with top and landed right next to the hole when the wind was with me.  Don’t allow the distance of the club to be your guide, instead learn what the club can do.

The following is a list of different formulas that I use on WGT.  Remember that different players have different shots that they use, but I will try to include a few of them that I know of.  Now all balls and clubs have a different amount of roll and distance that they hit.  Because of that I include an “Unknown” variable into the equation.

How to work the Unknown variable:

Maybe the formula doesn’t seem to work because you go long or short on the shots.  Don’t pay attention to it on just one hole, but if it is happening on a consistent basis then add or subtract the unknown variable into the formula.  A perfect example of this would be when I play on Merion or Pebble Beach.  I know that I want to hit under the hole but I see that I’m rolling a couple of yards past the hole leaving me a downhill putt.  I place a negative 2 (-2) into the variable so that I will land at the pin or right below it.

Variables

  • D = Distance – total distance to pin.  Look at top right corner for full distance
  • H = Height – Up divide by 1/2 || Down divide by 1/3
  • R = Rough – will give figures bellow
  • S = Sand – will give figures bellow
  • W = Wind – divide by 1/2
  • U = Unknown

Rough

figures for full swing (please note that some courses may require a little extra):

A tip for everyone…. Cleveland clubs rip through rough.  My suggestion is to only use half the largest number when adding.  An example would be in 30-40% to only add 2 or 3 to the swing.

  • 10-15% = +2
  • 20-25% = +5
  • 30-40% = +10
  • 40-50% = +20
  • Anything above 40-50% you are better off with a punch shot to get back to the fairway.

Full Shot Equation:

D (+/-) H (+/-) W (+) R (+/-) U =

Example:  Distance is 115 (+/-) Height is -24 ft. (+/-) Wind is 12 in my face (+/-) Rough is 0 (fairway) (+/-) Unknown is 5.

  • Notice that height is down 24 divided by 3 = -8
  • wind in my face is 12 divided by 2 = 6
  • Unknown is 5 = +5
  • Total distance that I would swing is: 118

Sand Trap Equation:

figures differ from user to user.  99% of the time I punch from a bunker but some use other types of shots.  I’ve even pitched from the sand trap before and did pretty well with it.

Punch from Sand

Note: If you are too far away from the green in the sand most of the time a punch will not get there.  In this case use a full swing with the equations I gave you for rough.  Be sure to add 1/2 the distance of up to the equation and see how it works for you.  Remember that coming out of sand will have a bounce and a roll out.  Getting on the green is however the most important factor even if you are left with a long putt.

  • Wind on a pitch shot is measured 1 for every 10 MPH.
  • Depth of sand figures into the equation.  See chart bellow.
  • Always use full back spin coming out of a bunker.  It will roll, and normally more than you would expect.
  • The Unknown variable may help you here, but I would say with this equation I may roll past the hole a little but normally I stop right before it.
  • You may need to use your putter to help you line up the roll to the hole, I do and it has improved my bunker shots.
  • If it is a drastic downhill then subtract an extra 5 for the unexpected roll out.

 

Punch figures for sand:

  • 10-20% = +3
  • 30-40% = +6
  • 40-50% = +8
  • 60-70% = +11

D (+/-) H (+/-) W (+/-) S (+/-) U =

 

Flop Figures for sand:

  • 10-20% = +2
  • 30-40% = +4

Flopping out of sand heavier than 30-40% is not advised.  Remember that flopping out of sand will not be in the air long so make sure you are not a long distance from the pin.  The ball will roll out quite a bit be sure to aim for the additional break on the green.  The additional 2 I added to the flop bellow you may not need.

D +2 (+/-) H (+/-) W (+/-) S (+/-) U =

Full swing figures for sand:

A lot of people use full swing from the sand, but I don’t unless I’m in a bunker and hitting back to the fairway.  These figures bellow are rough estimates, and I will update them again as I start to test using full swing from bunkers.

  • 10-20% = 5
  • 30-40% = +10
  • 40-50% = +20
  • 60-70% = +35

D (+/-) H (+/-) W (+/-) S (+/-) U =

Full Shot Equation:

D (+/-) H (+/-) W (+) R (+/-) U =

Example:  Distance is 115 (+/-) Height is -24 ft. (+/-) Wind is 12 in my face (+/-) Rough is 0 (fairway) (+/-) Unknown is 5.

  • Notice that height is down 24 divided by 3 = -8
  • wind in my face is 12 divided by 2 = 6
  • Unknown is 5 = +5
  • Total distance that I would swing is: 118

Punch Equation:

This depends much on distance.  When I say that it means that there is the long shot which 99% of the time has full top spin that you aim for the fairway for the bounce and a great roll to get you in range for a nice approach shot or putt.  I normally use a 4 iron or 3 wood punch for this purpose, unless of course I might be hitting too far, but that’s what it normally boils down to.  The best example that I can give is landing in 40-50% off the drive.  Use your mini map on the right to help you ensure that you are going down the fairway because you will not get much height on a punch like this.  Your shot is mostly going to be bouncing and rolling all the way up the fairway.  For long distance punch shots use the rough calculations I gave you above.  Here is a perfect example for you.  Hole 1 Bethpage your drive lands in 40-50% rough and your distance to hole is 120 yards.  Punch that shot with half to 3/4 top spin 140 making sure the flight path has no obstacles in the way only fairway.  Your shot should be pretty close but you may find that more or less on the top spin may be in order to be more accurate.  Once again remember that equipment being used and different balls will react different.

Punch Shots within 84 yards.  Remember I use Cleveland wedges so there may be some variations using different clubs.

  • Wind on a punch shot is measured 1 for every 10 MPH.
  • The rough is added by taking the larger of the 2 numbers.  (40-50% would be adding 5).
  • I have high level clubs so I usually don’t use backspin except on smaller numbers.  If I use backspin I add extra to the shot.
  • I started adding the extra to the shot the same as you might using the unknown variable because I was coming up a little short.

Backspin on punch for me (Please note that these numbers may not work for you this is my unknown variable for a punch):

  • If the distance is under 30 I add 5 to the shot and use full back spin.
  • If the distance is between 30 and 40 I add 4 to the shot and use full back spin.

D (+/-) H (+/-) W (+/-) R  (+/-) U =

Pitch Shot Equation:

  • Wind on a pitch shot is measured 1 for every 10 MPH.
  • Ignore the rough on a pitch shot it rarely if ever comes into play.
  • If you use back spin add 1 to the shot (Your clubs and balls may be different use the unknown variable here).
  • Expect the roll out especially if the down is in feet and not inches.
  • Use your putter to aim for the break (Normally a pitch is in the air longer so only look at the last couple of feet before the hole).
  • It does take a little practice to get good with the pitch shot, but once you have it down you find that you will sink more with a pitch than you will a flop.
  • For every 12 inches (1 foot) down subtract 1 from the shot.
  • If you are using a larger club for the pitch shot and pitching a 20 subtract 2, there will be more roll out with the larger club.
  • Long distance pitches with top spin are great if you learn the measurements.  Normally a subtraction of 5 or 6 from the total with 1/2 to 3/4 top has made me some great eagles.

D (+/-) H (+/-) W (+/-) U =

Flop Shot Equation:

  • Most of the time you can ignore the up because the ball goes up before it hits.  However, you may find on certain holes if you are coming up a little short to use a second unknown variable just for that hole.
  • Wind = 1 for every 10 MPH.
  • You may have roll out but always use full backspin on a flop shot.  They are suppose to stop, although occasionally they will roll.
  • Some people play the first line on the meter bar for the shot, I however do not find that reliable.  I use reverse view and move a box for every 10 yards.
  • If you have cross wind for every 10 MPH that is considered one box of movement.  As you move the box to the left (right in reverse view) for the slice look at the wind.  There are times I don’t move it at all and there are times when a 20 yard flop I have to move out 4 boxes because of the wind.
  • Rough is added as you do with the punch shot.  Add the larger number (30-40% = +4)
  • Add an additional 1 for every 3 foot up the shot is.

D (+/-) W (+) R (+/-)  U (+/-) U (this second unknown is 2 for me) =

Chip Shot Equation:

  • Wind rarely comes into play with such a short shot.  I never chip anything farther than  7 yards.
  • Chips pop up and down quick.  Make sure that you are within a foot of the green or you will land in the rough again.
  • Aim with your putter for the break.  Remember a chip rolls a lot farther than a pitch does so aim like you would a putt.
  • Normally I hit a chip with 100% backspin to slow it down.
  • I normally subtract 1 from the distance and more if it is down.
  • Do not make chip shots your best friend, they are not reliable shots.
  • If the chip is going uphill do not subtract 1 and hit it even instead of using back spin.
  • I will only add the unknown variable in case you are still rolling out to far.

D -1 (+/-) H (+/-) U =

Conclusion:

Practice with this information and I have included a notepad document of this text for you to download.  Practice with the equations and make any changes you may need to fit your equipment and balls.  I hope this information is helpful to all of the players on WGT.  Like I said at the beginning of this article, these are the basics of the formulas I use on WGT and I think that all new members will benefit from the use of it.  When you get higher level clubs you will find that a lot of your shots will change, and you may even find that you do not need the Unknown variable as I rarely use it.

Pull the Rip Cord!!