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"Blue Collar" Pars


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Let's hear about your recent blue collar pars. These have become quite a staple in my game, not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

For those unfamilar with this term, it's when you make a bad shot, or a series of bad shots on a hole but still scramble for par, but it ain't pretty!! Thing is, if you made par, there's usually one good shot in there somewhere. My blue collar pars typically start with a poor tee shot. Here's an example from my round yesterday (had a bunch of them actually).

13th hole, nothing special, par 4 that bends a little to the right as you get close to the hole. Pretty straight forward. Well, I block my tee shot dead right, almost into the other fairway. Not much I can do, no way to get to the green because there are these huge trees in my way, but I have enough room to at least hit a short iron over some of the trees and get back into play. I go up over the trees, ball lands in the rough, about 50 yards from the hole. Hit a pitch shot to about 15 feet and then sink the putt.

Ugly, but I'll take it.

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Uphill par 4, about 330 yds, last friday. Hit my tee shot (3w) nice and straight, middle of the fairway. Hook my approach badly into a tree, spits out into the front greenside bunker. Blast out of there, ball trickles into the back bunker. Play a chip out of there that hits the pin and drops in. That's about as blue collar (and lucky) as it gets - Would've easily been a double bogey if it doesn't hit the pin.
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Long par 5, dead into the wind. I try to hit a low draw up the right side, I wheel on it and pull it up the left side. It stays low and out of the wind, so it turns out OK. I try again with the low draw, this time with a 3W (couldn't reach, just playing position). I top it, leaving a three-foot skidmark, goes about 75 yards. Next shot, I think I took a 5I, once again, trying to hit a little, low trap draw. I don't get through it, and it gets ballooned out to the right, about even with the front of the green, maybe 20 yards right. To a tricky green, I throw a lob wedge up high that rolls out, takes the break and finishes about six feet past the hole, and I drain the putt. I'm tired just writing that out.....
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I don't make too many. One from today: good drive on a par five, good second shot. 60 yards to the pin, but it's up front and the green slopes front to back. I try to get REALLY cute with it and fat it. My next shot lands perfectly where I want but bounces backwards, so now i'm 25 feet from the pin and still in the fringe. I hole the putt.

That's not exactly a blue collar par, but it's as close to one as I've come lately. I don't usually hit it all over the lot...

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I'm capable of making the ugliest pars someone's ever seen. Hit a shot into the trees, punch out sideways and somehow get up and down from 150+ yards. Excellent drive, terrible second shot, third shot, chip in. Or something like that. I'll make a couple ugly pars per round. A par is a par though, I'll take 18 of them all day even if I did it with a featherie.
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I don't make too many. One from today: good drive on a par five, good second shot. 60 yards to the pin, but it's up front and the green slopes front to back. I try to get REALLY cute with it and fat it. My next shot lands perfectly where I want but bounces backwards, so now i'm 25 feet from the pin and still in the fringe. I hole the putt.

I suppose it's a relative term. For a 3 index, that's probably as "blue" as it gets.

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My all time favorite wasn't a par it was a birdie. I was playing with a guy who wasn't that good but was really full of himself. I listened for 18 holes to how wonderful he was. So anyway a par three and he hits a great shot. ened up 2 feet from the pin. I hit a little thin push and end up short sided and about 40 feet from the pin. I get a lecture on staying down and getting through on the way to the green. So I'm in bad rough and I just decide to get it on the green and hope for a bogey. No way to get it close. I pick out a landing area and hit the best wedge in my life. The ball floats up and hits exactly where I'd hoped, takes a bounce and trickled into the hole. It got even better when mr. mouth rammed his putt and pulls it, then missed the 4 footer coming back. Too rich.
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340 yards par 4 second hole at Mohawk..our local muni. Drive goes right to next fairway embarassing close to the 5th green. put the ball back in my stance and go under the canopies of a few trees and make it to the 150 yard marker. My third was tour quality!!..creating a small crater on the green six feet from the pin. Never a doubt about the putt.
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My all time favorite wasn't a par it was a birdie. I was playing with a guy who wasn't that good but was really full of himself. I listened for 18 holes to how wonderful he was. So anyway a par three and he hits a great shot. ened up 2 feet from the pin. I hit a little thin push and end up short sided and about 40 feet from the pin. I get a lecture on staying down and getting through on the way to the green. So I'm in bad rough and I just decide to get it on the green and hope for a bogey. No way to get it close. I pick out a landing area and hit the best wedge in my life. The ball floats up and hits exactly where I'd hoped, takes a bounce and trickled into the hole. It got even better when mr. mouth rammed his putt and pulls it, then missed the 4 footer coming back. Too rich.

That's awesome. Too funny.

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I hit a decent draw on a par five and I am left with 240 to the hole but with a downslope lie. Hit the hybrid like a rocket into the bush like tree 40 feet away for a sideways kick into the fairway (this is one small tree that I thought I would and should have cleared). Hit the hybrid to the right of the hole just off the green from 220 and it rolls down the cart path. Flop it from 25 yards to 10 feet and make the putt. Nothing to it.

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Sunday afternoon, 2nd hole at Maryvale, par 3 213 yards. I hook a 4 hybride about 25 yards left of the green, ball comes to rest on a cart path, I drop right behind the path. Pin is behind the bunker and I have tree branches overhead. I take a 5 iron (my longest iron) and punch it through the rough onto the green about 10 feet above the pin and proceed to drain the down hiller for a free beer from my brother.

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Last night, playing the par 5 6th. Around 510 yards dogleg left. Lined with trees.

Drive struck great but not enough draw on it. Sails into the trees about 280 yards on the right. Get down there and find it within seconds behind a tree. Pitch out sideways into the fairway, about 210 to go. Pull out a hybrid, good strike again but into the greenside bunker. Catch the bunker shot a bit fat, too much sand, leaving about 15 feet for par,downhill, big swing from the right. Putt was never in doubt! SOLID :)
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My favorite was actually a birdie. It's a par 5 dog leg left. I'm playing by myself and these two guys in front of me drive and then let me play through. I hit a really pretty draw (by complete acident) and it ends up in the middle of the fairway. I pull out a 4 iron and hit what I thought was a good shot but ended up far left behind the cart path but still in bounds. I walk over there to find my ball and a huge cottonmouth scared the crap out of me so I was a little shaky on the next shot. Took out a PW and hit it over the green into a bunker. Same club, hit a nice shot out of the bunker and it just rolled down into the cup for a birdie.
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I've seen two good pars, but they were both eagles with two penalty strokes, so I'm not sure they qualify either.

On one, I tugged my layup drive on the short par 4 (295 yards) fourth at Whispering Woods. Since I can only take a 6 and I wasn't playing a match, I decided to go for the green. The green is very narrow (12 yards or so), with a hill with long grass to the left, forest long, and water short and right. The green is about 25 yards long with about five yards of fairway in front of it. Anyway, I put the ball on the green and make a 20 footer to save par.

Another time I was observing a high school match. A kid was having a hell of a day when he came to the third. He put his first ball out of bounds. He hit his second into some tall grass well to the right of the fairway on a steep hill. He chopped out to 130 yards, and I said "I bet you hole this for par." He did. (Then he birdied #4, the hole I mentioned in the first story, to play his last five holes in -2... which is not bad given the +27 he had on the other 13 holes).
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Oh man, I had a doozy on Saturday.

Simple little Par 4. Quite uphill but straight, 380y. WIND WAS HOWLING (as you may have heard from the news of wind fueled firestorms. Anyway. I hit my 4 wood from the tee straight down the middle when all the sudden a HUGE gust pushes it 30 yards to the right and just on the edge of OB. I was happy to find my ball, until I saw what kind of shot I had next.

150yards, trees right in every direction, and still this huge wind from left to right. I just try and blast 6 iron over the trees and through the wind. The 6 ends up knocking around in the trees and ends up about 30 yards short and right.

Alright, I can live with that. now Im' looking at this two tier green that slopes severly from front to back. With the pin in front I think I'm sitting pretty. Hit it anywhere below the tier and the ball will roll back to the hole. Well, I hit my chip just barely to the top of the tier, and it stays there. haha.

Now I'm 35 feet away, back left of the green with the pin front right. I have a tier to navigate, a putt that is downhill all the way and the green is slicked out from severe winds all day. I take about 5 mintes to pick a line, take a stroke like Ipm playing a sliding 4 footer, and watch, and watch, and watch the ball drop for a par.

Victory was mine. By far the most gratifying scramble par I've had in some time. And then I got to the 10th.
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#8 at Legion Memorial is a par 5, dogleg right with water down the right side near the green. I pulled my drive into the left rough. I took hybrid for my second (a mistake in retrospect) and hit a miserable low screamer that found the left rough again. I found my ball at the bottom of a small mound about 105 yards from the green. It was also behind a squatty spruce tree.

I had a look at the green, but had some challenges. I had to get it up fast enough to clear the mound, which ruled out a low running shot. I also had to keep it below the tree branches, which ruled out a normal wedge shot. I opted for a sawed-off cut 8 iron which came out beautifully, and I two putted from 15 feet for a very unlikely, but very satisfying, par.
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Played in the Chandler City Championship tournament back in August, second day I was playing like garbage, but getting it in from everywhere. We get to # 5, about a 440 yard par 4, over a hill then down to the hole, playing a bit into the wind. I smother hook the tee shot into the "native grass" which is simply weeds that they don't mow, literally about 180 yards off the tee. I'm 5 seconds away from declaring it lost and one of the other guys finds it. Eeesh, I wish he wouldn't have, it's basically in between the thick exposed roots of 3 different stands of weeds. I slash out a 9 iron that I thought I could get on it, it went nearly lateral (we don't say the S word) into the same type of grass on the right side. Advanced it a bit, but not quite what we were looking for.

Now I'm 5 seconds away from declaring this one lost as well because the grass is even worse here. No joke, the same guy finds my ball again, this time, it's underneath a bunch of the stems of the weeds, but much less dense than the last one. I threw everything into an 8 iron that I somehow dug out of there to about 4 feet and made the putt.

The guy that found my ball both times threw his hands up in the air taking all the credit for my par. Who can blame him, I couldn't have done it without him!

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