|Greetings from Suzanne||Wednesday, 23 February 2011|
Here’s an astonishing fact: If the USPGA Tour held a 72 hole event on the 14th hole at Pebble Beach the winning score would be +2 and the cut would be +12!
Now the 14th at Pebble Beach is a bit of an exception. It’s recognized as one of the toughest par 5’s in the world – it was actually the most difficult par-5 on the PGA Tour four times in the past decade – but why? Tour professionals, longer hitters and lower handicappers typically target par-5s as their chance to score, where even a regulation Par would be considered ‘a shot dropped’.
In short, the 14th requires near perfection in every discipline; length, accuracy, course management and control over the golf ball’s flight path – 4 facets of the game that, when combined, make for quite a challenge to any golfer; ESPECIALLY a club golfer.
Perhaps that’s why so many of you higher handicappers in particular seem to have so much trouble negotiating the Par 5s. In most instances the hole requires three shots to reach the green, not two or one, and that compounds the odds of a mistake being made. In some (admittedly few) instances the green can be reached with two good blows, but that requires two near-perfect strikes (and let’s not forget the accuracy) with two very long clubs. How many times do you pull that off?
If you’re having trouble with the Par 5s here’s my tip:
First start with course management; that means having a plan for where you’d like to hit your second and third shots from, this will avoid or reduce the chances of failure. Don’t panic if it doesn’t work! Formulate a new plan, but remember your percentages. Don’t chase birdie if you double your chances of making bogey, and, even if you miss the green in regulation, remember that a chip and a putt still makes you a Par.
That’s assuming of course you’ve been working on your short game? If you haven’t you’ve only got yourself to blame; it doesn’t matter how long the hole is – it’s how you close it out when you get to the end. Come into the shop or click here to book yourself a short game assessment if you’re serious about lowering your scores.
See you on my Lesson T!
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