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Kevlar10

Averaging Double Bogey on Par 5s

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20 hours ago, Shindig said:

What's your handicap level?  This might affect some of the advice being given.

Good question! 

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I’m a 13-14.  I actually played the par 5s this weekend pretty well.  I approached them with the plan to get on the green in 3 most of the time.  I tried to put my second shot within 60 yards and it seemed to work out well.  I only had one bad hole where I went for the green in 2 and wound up in the water and put up a 9.  Other than that I was mostly 6s, a birdie, par and a double.

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On 8/15/2019 at 3:29 PM, Kevlar10 said:

I think I approach the par 5s with a go for birdie mentality which seems to consistently fail.  What is the best approach for a mid handicapper?

Birdie mentality for a mid handicapper??? your spectations are far far away from reality. Moreover if your average on those holes is double. 

You need to adjust your strategy according to your current ability, and be more realistic about your scoring spectations. 

As your caddie i would suggest to play for an easy bogey. Sometimes you will get lucky and make some pars. Triple or birdie should be out of your mind.     

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33 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

Birdie mentality for a mid handicapper??? your spectations are far far away from reality. Moreover if your average on those holes is double. 

You need to adjust your strategy according to your current ability, and be more realistic about your scoring spectations. 

As your caddie i would suggest to play for an easy bogey. Sometimes you will get lucky and make some pars. Triple or birdie should be out of your mind.     

I appreciate a lot of the responses but “far, far, away from reality”?  If you see my latest post, if I play with a solid plan, there still are birdie opportunities.  

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1 hour ago, p1n9183 said:

Birdie mentality for a mid handicapper??? your spectations are far far away from reality. Moreover if your average on those holes is double. 

You need to adjust your strategy according to your current ability, and be more realistic about your scoring spectations. 

As your caddie i would suggest to play for an easy bogey. Sometimes you will get lucky and make some pars. Triple or birdie should be out of your mind.     

Agree and disagree here - If you are a mid handicapper your first goal / expectation should be to make par.  I personally would not play for easy bogey.  Most likely the best way to do that is to plan your shots so that you have an easy third shot into the green.  It's probable that you can wedge a shot in to have a look at birdie, maybe even a good look at birdie, but it's also probable that even your misses with a wedge won't be so bad that you have a realistic chance to get up and down.  Worse case you are talking bogey, but as a mid handicapper you certainly have the ability to be thinking par/worst case bogey/best case birdie by simply playing smart.

The rest of the strategy probably depends on your game and the par 5 holes you play.  If you are long enough to reach some of them in two, sure its fine to hit driver off the tee (as long as there are no penalty hazards to avoid).  If you have a good chance to go for two (again avoiding potential penalties) you can go for it, but if not just hit a safe shot to give you a wedge in.

If you don't have to for it in two opportunities, really think about what two shots are going to put you in position.  Avoid penalties and penal bunkers - you may be best to avoid driver off the tee.  But maybe the tee shot is wide open and the second shot is perilous - I face this most weekends - so I hit driver off the tee and then a little have swing 6i iron to just scoot down fairway to the safe wedge distance (my alternative would be to hit 5W off the tee and then 4H - gets to same layup spot but my experience shows greater chance of a screw up).

Sorry to go on but this is what makes par 5's fun and interesting - there are so many ways to approach and play them.  But if you are really making a lot of DB's as a 13-14, then the opportunity is there to get a lot better quickly.  

 

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14 hours ago, Kevlar10 said:

I’m a 13-14.  I actually played the par 5s this weekend pretty well.  I approached them with the plan to get on the green in 3 most of the time.  I tried to put my second shot within 60 yards and it seemed to work out well.  I only had one bad hole where I went for the green in 2 and wound up in the water and put up a 9.  Other than that I was mostly 6s, a birdie, par and a double.

Exactly this description.  If your handicap is in the low teens, most par-5s you play (usual caveats here) should be GIR or at minimum near-GIR.  When I don't get at least a near-GIR on a par-5, I feel I played it poorly.  

If you can hit two shots to get to within 60 yards, that's great, because you probably know what your 60 yard shot is.  

Next time you play, look backward from the green at every par-5 and figure out a good spot to play your third shot from that maximizes your chances to get on the green in three.  I know where those spots are at my home course and I play for them in two.  

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For those having inconsistent long games, par 5s are the toughest as you need to hit 3 long shots.  For those with good long games, par 5s are the easiest as they can often get there in two.  So it's not surprising to see weekend duffers struggling on par 5s whereas pros are looking to score on par 5s.

Reason that par 5s are often rated HC 1 is because for bogey golfers, they typically cannot hit three good long shots and tend to mess up somewhere.  Hence their scores are often higher on par 5s.

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Most hi-handicappers have trouble hitting 3W. I know I can't hit one off the deck. I struggle with a 5W. But I can hit a 3H and a 4H. Most par 5s are going to be about 500 - 550. It's rare you'll see one longer. And even on the long ones there's a strategy.

I say tee it high and let it fly. Use your hybrid for your 2nd shot. It's more forgiving than your FW. If you get a decent drive and a decent 2nd shot, most of the time you'll be in wedge range for your 3rd shot. Just don't try to kill the ball with your hybrid. You should have a GIR or nGIR. This means birdie opportunity or par. nGIR = up and down for par. Bogey at worst. 

My nemesis hole was the #1 handicap hole on my home course. No matter how bad my round is going I can now look forward to a par and sometimes a birdie on it. If my 2nd shot goes to the right side of the FW I can run it up onto the green. If it goes left, it's a full 58* wedge. 

 

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8 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

Most hi-handicappers have trouble hitting 3W. I know I can't hit one off the deck. I struggle with a 5W. But I can hit a 3H and a 4H. Most par 5s are going to be about 500 - 550. It's rare you'll see one longer. And even on the long ones there's a strategy.

I say tee it high and let it fly. Use your hybrid for your 2nd shot. It's more forgiving than your FW. If you get a decent drive and a decent 2nd shot, most of the time you'll be in wedge range for your 3rd shot. Just don't try to kill the ball with your hybrid. You should have a GIR or nGIR. This means birdie opportunity or par. nGIR = up and down for par. Bogey at worst. 

My nemesis hole was the #1 handicap hole on my home course. No matter how bad my round is going I can now look forward to a par and sometimes a birdie on it. If my 2nd shot goes to the right side of the FW I can run it up onto the green. If it goes left, it's a full 58* wedge. 

 

I agree with the management aspect but a, I hit my 3w reasonably well, and b, I don’t have hybrids.  I actually played this weekend with the intent to hit my 2nd shot to a good distance, within 60 yards to set up a better 3rd.  I actually rolled 2 shots up the fairway and they stopped on the green for eagle putts.  I didn’t make either but I scored better on the holes.  I realize that it’s not about managing missed, but reducing them.

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3 hours ago, Kevlar10 said:

I agree with the management aspect but a, I hit my 3w reasonably well, and b, I don’t have hybrids.  I actually played this weekend with the intent to hit my 2nd shot to a good distance, within 60 yards to set up a better 3rd.  I actually rolled 2 shots up the fairway and they stopped on the green for eagle putts.  I didn’t make either but I scored better on the holes.  I realize that it’s not about managing missed, but reducing them.

This depends on the hole, right?  There are a few par5s I play often enough to remember how they go.  Park Ridge has six par5s.  Two of them have almost no protection, and one of those is not very long.  This really is a birdie hole - not that I can remember ever achieving it.  But it is smart to go for it if you are decent with a 3-wood.

But then at Osprey Point, the par5s all seem to have constricted fairways surrounded by thick brush instead of rough, especially around the green.  Those are sucker holes.  It took me awhile to recognize why I scored so poorly on those holes.  I still do not par them often, but I do not get those awful 7s and 8s much anymore either.  Even without improving ball striking in this equation, I have definitely peeled several strokes off my game at this course.  And that is all managing the missed shots.

 

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