Golf Made Simple Blog

Better Golf Swings For Better Scores On Par 5’s

As we were reviewing some past articles from Golf Improvement Weekly, we came across this ‘gem’ from January 18th, 2005 about playing better on the Par 5’s. As many of the people reading this weren’t subscribers 3 years ago and I doubt the people who were subscribers would remember this article – we’re repeating it. Not because we’re lazy – but because it has some excellent points that’ll help you eliminate your ‘Blow-up Holes’.

Why is it that the majority of Golfers that we see are more over Par on the Par 5’s and the Pro’s are more under Par on the Par 5’s. It’s primarily based on 2 factors: Hitting the ball farther off the tee and playing smart.

75% of the Golfers we see average more over par on the Par 5’s than on the Par 3’s or 4’s.

Yet, the Pro’s are far, far more under Par on the Par 5’s than the Par 3’s or 4’s. It’s completely opposite between the best Players in the world and the regular Golfer. Maybe there’s something we can learn from the best Players?

Now many people will say – “well the Pros are probably getting on the Par 5 greens in 2-shots a lot”. Yes they are getting on in 2-shots once in a while, but most likely not as much as you think. Vijay Singh was 125 stokes under Par on the Par 5’s in 2004 (that’s not a misprint – 125 strokes under Par – INCREDIBLE), yet he only had 17-Eagles. I say “only 17-Eagles” not because I belittle his accomplishment (that’s an incredible number of Eagles, more than most people get in a lifetime), but it’s such a small percentage of the 125 strokes under Par. Even without the 17 Eagles, he was 91 under Par!

Contrast that with Mark O’Meara who hit more Fairways than Vijay, but hit the ball 30-Yards less on average with his Driver and was only 57 under Par and had only 2 Eagles on the Par 5’s. Again I say only not because 57 under Par is not good, but because it’s such a huge difference between the #1 Money Earner on the PGA Tour and the #135 Money Earner on the PGA Tour.

And O’Meara was more accurate off the Tee, had less Putts per Round and was better out of the Sand.

When we see Golfers ready to hit their second shots on Par 5’s, it doesn’t matter what the situation is, they always have their 3-wood or 5-wood or 3-iron in their hands ready to go – even before they size up the shot they’re about to play. They get out of their cart, walk right to their bag, pick out their 3-wood, go to their ball, look for the middle of the fairway and then hit the ball.

And they end up taking 2-Double Bogeys and 2-Triple Bogeys every round that account for 10-shots over Par.

So most Golfers are 10 over Par on what should be the easy holes and still have to play the 14-hard holes that are left – where they’ll have to score only 7 over Par if they want to break 90. I say the 14-hard holes because Vijay Singh averaged just under Par – 3.96 shots on Par 4’s and over Par 3.02 on the Par 3’s. So if the Pro’s are scoring Par or over on the 3’s and 4’s – what do you think is happening to you?

So to see if we could help Golfers to start making more Pars and (at worst) Bogey’s on the Par 5’s – we now go out on the golf course and force you to think through every shot like a Pro. And we do this by allowing you on the first day of Golf Made Simple to only use 4-golf clubs on the golf course, your Driver, 7-Iron, Sand Wedge and Putter. And you know what has happened using these clubs? The average score on the Par 5’s has improved, not just a little, but dramatically! Where we used to see a lot of “blow-up holes” of 7’s, 8’s and devastating 9’s – now we see 4’s, 5’s and 6’s. Yet, when most people hear that after they hit their Driver, that they’ll rely on their 7-Iron to get them down the fairway, they often say “How are we going to play the Par 5’s?”

This isn’t to suggest that you should always play your 7-Iron for your 2nd shot on the par 5’s. This is to say that instead of doing the “same old, same old” on the Par 5’s – there might be a better way. Maybe after an OK Drive, you could take your 6-Iron, get the ball 150-yards down the course, and then take another 6-Iron and an end up 20-yards short of the green. From this spot – hit your Sand Wedge onto the green and 2-putt for Bogey or maybe 1-putt for Par.

And some Monkeys will say “Bogey, I don’t want to make a Bogey on a Par 5 – I’m trying to make Birdies!” And I say – OK, keep the same strategy you’ve been using of trying to make Birdies (and ending up with Double’s and Triple’s) and I’ll wager a good sum of money that you’ll make more Double Bogeys than you’ll make Birdies on the Par 5’s. I’ll also wager that you’ll make more Double Bogeys than you’ll make Pars. Guess what, I’ll even wager you that using the strategy of going for it with your 3-wood in order to make Birdie is causing you to make more Triple Bogeys than you make Birdies, Pars and Bogeys combined.

So why is Vijay the #1 player in the world right now, why is he playing the best golf of his life? My vote is that he’s hitting the ball longer and he’s matured as a Player. He’s playing smarter than he did in the past – I’m not saying he was playing un-smart in the past – he’s just playing smarter now.

So have your best year of golf and step off the “I’ve gotta get the ball in the fairway” bandwagon. Hit the ball long off the tee and then play smart to the hole! And if you still think that hitting the ball in the Fairway is more important than Distance ….. then what do you think would happen if we had a match between Vijay Singh (hitting only 60% of his Fairways), Allen Doyle (the most accurate Driver on the Senior Tour hitting 84% of his Fairways) and Seol-An Jeon (the most accurate Driver on the LPGA Tour hitting 84% of her Fairways) – and had them all play from the same distance of 7,000 yards. Who would you lay your money on winning that match? I tell you what – I’ll give you both Allen Doyle and Seol-An Jeon, plus 1000 to 1 odds and I’ll take the long but inaccurate Vijay. Any takers?

Hit the ball long and play smart – the Fairways are clogged with short hitters that don’t score!

The Monkey’s favorite club on a Par 5 is their 3 wood

The Player’s favorite club on any hole is whatever puts them in position to play to their Strengths

Regards,

Marc Solomon

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