Par-5s are both a challenge and an opportunity. Since they are the longest gaps, things can go south quickly if you don’t plan well. But on the other hand, short par-5 tools can provide excellent opportunities or opportunities for birds – and one truly A good shot can make the rest of the hole a lot easier. The key, though, is in any three bullets you think of your way through the hole. Here are 10 ways to better manage par-5s:
1. Map the hole in your head before setting off
Although intent and execution don’t always intersect, you should still try to come up with a plan when you’re in the tee box. How long is the hole? Where are the shelters or hazards? Having a plan in your head will tell you when to be aggressive and when to be more conservative with your tee shot or quick shots. I’m a fan GolfLogix GPS, because the app knows my club distances and can help in choosing a club. (GolfLogix is a subsidiary of GOLF.com.)
2. Driving the ball into play
Hitting your drive on the right track is a huge advantage. Finding short objects not only allows you to play more sequentially, but makes every shot after that easier. Getting out of play or going out into the open only starts a domino effect for each shot that gets longer or more difficult
Something as simple as choosing a smart angle for your tee box can make a big difference. Don’t put a tee in the ground without planning ahead. If moving to one side or the other side of the tee can give you a better angle on the trail or downwind, take full advantage. Sometimes you can avoid having to run past hazards by putting the ball on the far side in a tee box. This makes for a less stressful shot setup, and if you miss the ball a bit, you’re more likely to still be in play.
3. Respect the width of the aisle
Consider the width of your corridor – where it pinches and where it opens. When the driveway becomes narrow due to stakes, bunkers, or a little short and coarser grass, keep this in mind. It might be smarter to re-order your tee shot and make your ball land in the widest part of the fairway to avoid dangers. Knowing the exercise distances and thinking ahead to avoid the need to insert the thread with the needle can make making the hole easier.
4. The second shot is the key
Assuming your drive is on, a powerful second shot is essential to setting up your technique. You might think that you should always hit any club that will get you closer to the green, but this may not always be your best option, especially if you are not comfortable hitting, say, 3 woods from your deck. You need to determine the longest club you have that you hit consistently.
5. Find the best angles for all three shots
How often do we split the lane? Not as much as we would like. But you can use that to your advantage when planning your par-5 strategy. With every shot you take, you should also think about next one shot. If, say, shooting to one side of the lane will allow your second shot to avoid a danger or a tight area, then do it! The second shot should allow you to get the path of least resistance to the green. Always plan one shot ahead.
6. Avoid shelters and hazards in the corridor
While I realize this may be easier said than done and no golfer intends to find a problem, being aware of staying clear of penalty kicks and bunkers in the fairway is important. If playing too far from hiding or risky could lead you to rough play, that could be the better of two evils.
7. Know when to take your medicine
When you miss a shot and have a problem, you need to assess the damage and determine how aggressive or defensive it is. I get it! Playing the safe shot is boring, but there’s also no glory in pushing your ball 10 yards off the plank or having a hole shot in the fairway that catches the lip and falls back to your feet. In most cases, it is best to take medication and get the ball back into play safely.
8. Plan your preferred approach distance
Perhaps you have a preferred distance or racket in the greens. Keep this in mind when hitting your shot Before your approach.
Also consider the specific type of shot you want to play. For example, if I can get close enough to play a simple slide or hit and run, I’ll try to do that. But if the green isn’t able to take that kind of shot, I might leave the ball out on purpose so I can make a bigger swing, which gives me a better chance of catching the green.
9. A good short game shot can save you
Flips in time can save your score to 5 points (or any hole for that matter), so think about the type of shot that makes the most sense to play around the green. Risk management by playing the chip instead of the court can save shots because your ball will fall to the ground more quickly and roll like a knockout. Obviously, being a great bat can save your score, too. The extra practice time geared toward a solid short game can result in more pars on even the longest holes.
10. Take your time to hit the last
Patience is a virtue – especially at 5 EQ. You have to keep your focus until the last hit. One big throw key: stay steady throughout your stroke until the ball drops. This can be difficult because it goes against our instincts to watch the ball go into the hole. But stroke and then look. You will be rewarded with more last shots and lower scores.