Over 90% of the Golfers we see average more over par on the Par 5’s than on the Par 3’s or 4’s. While 100% of the PGA Tour Players average more under par on the Par 5’s than they do on the 3’s and 4’s.
Maybe there’s something we can learn from the best Players?
For example: Adam Scott’s average score on the Par 5’s is 4.4 strokes per hole. On the Par 4’s … his average is 4.03. And on Par 3’s is 3.17.
So Adam Scott – one of the best Players on the Planet – averages over par on the 3’s and 4’s. But he makes his best scores (in relation to par) on the Par 5’s.
Yet, most of the Golfers you play with average more over par on the Par 5’s and the least over par on the Par 3’s.
Why is this?
When we see the regular Golfer ready to hit their second shot on a Par 5 – even before they size up the shot … they get out of their cart, walk to their bag, and pick out their 3 wood.
And they end up the round with 1 Bogey, 2 Double Bogeys, and 1 Triple Bogey … to go 8 over on the Par 5’s.
So most Golfers are 8 over par on what should be the four easy holes and still have to play the fourteen difficult holes – where they’ll have to score only 9 over par if they want to break 90. I say the 14 difficult holes because the best Golfer in the world averages over par on those holes.
Years ago we did a test to see if we could help Golfers on the Par 5’s so that they could start making more pars and (at worst) Bogey. We believed by walking through every shot like a Pro, instead of just mindlessly grabbing their 3 wood … that they would score better.
So we allowed the Golfers to use only 4 clubs on the course – Driver, 7 Iron, Sand Wedge and Putter. And you know what happened using these clubs? The average score on the Par 5’s improved dramatically!
Where we used to see a lot of “blow-up holes” of 7’s and 8’s – now we see 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 is not to suggest that you should always play your 7 iron for your 2nd shot on a par 5 and to never play your 3 wood. 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 safely down the fairway, and then take another 6 iron and end up just short of the green. From this spot – hit your wedge onto the green and 2 putt for Bogey or maybe 1 putt for Par.
And some Golfers 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 and I’ll wager a good sum of money that most people will make more Triple Bogeys than you’ll make Birdies on the Par 5’s.
Guess what … I’ll even wager that using that same strategy is causing you to make more Double Bogeys than you make Birdies and Pars combined.
The best Golfers make a PLAN on every shot based on what they do best (Strengths) and what they do worst (Weaknesses). They then play the hole based on their Strengths … not based on what everyone else is doing.
The Monkey is a creature of habit … regardless of whether that habit is negatively effecting their scores or not … the Monkey continues doing the same thing
The Player’s favorite club on any hole is whatever puts them in position to play to their Strengths
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life