Great article. But I wonder about the analysis. Sure, if the only cost of a 3-wood is 1% accuracy, and the penalty is just rough, bomb away. Totally agree.
But the illustration Jon chose shows a common situation. A 222-yard drive brings trees and a bunker into play. But the only penalty for a missed 194-yard 3-wood is rough.
So wouldn’t the calculation be something like this?
Driver = 46% fairway chance + 20% rough chance (-0.3) + 10% chance of trees (-1.1) + 24% chance of sand (-1.4)
3-wood = 48% fairway chance + 52% rough chance (-0.3) + 100% chance of lost distance (-0.3) whether fairway or rough
With my admittedly made up calculations, it tilts the decision a bit back to 3-wood.
D = -.06±.11±.34 = -.51 of a stroke
3 = -.16±.30= -.46 of a stroke
Bottom line: For any tee shots where trees or sand are in play for driver, but not for 3-wood, doesn’t that drive the calculation?