Sunday's final round at The Players Championship provided more than the recommended dose of drama.
One of the most surprising moments came when Sergio Garcia, who was tied for the lead at the time, rinsed his tee shot on the infamous par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass.
It was then decision time: head to the drop area or re-tee?
Sergio chose the latter, and found the water again. He then re-teed a third time and finally landed safely on the left side of the green.
What should amateurs do when faced with a similar situation?
We asked SwingFix instructor Justin Bruton for his advice.
"Great question! It really depends on the distance and angle to the hole from the tee markers versus the drop area,” Bruton said. “For instance, at The Players Championship, the distance to the hole was more or less 130 yards, and the drop area was around 60 yards. For this hole, I would recommend hitting the second ball from the tee markers where you can place it on a tee and give yourself a perfect lie with a full swing. That 60 yard shot from the turf is a tough shot to judge and very easy to hit fat or thin when using less than a full swing.”
Bruton, however, was also quick to point out that re-teeing isn’t always the correct choice and cited a example.
"At my home course, the Biltmore in Miami, we have a 212-yard par-3 that has water in front and to the side of the green, and the drop area is around 90-100 yards, Bruton said. “This would be a good example of a hole where you would rather take a drop and hit a 100-yard shot instead of re-teeing from 212 yards with a long iron, hybrid or fairway wood. It ultimately comes down to the golfer and which clubs and shots he or she feels most comfortable playing.”
In summary, Bruton offered the following tips for players faced with the decision to re-tee or drop.
"Take into consideration length of shot first and then look at angle to the hole from both locations,” he said. “Figure out which shot gives you the most direct line to the pin with a large amount of green to work with, and then finally check out the surface conditions of the drop area. If that drop area lacks grass or is wet from rain, it might be wiser to re-tee and give yourself a perfect lie to work from."
Take an online lesson with Justin Bruton.