beginner golf

Golf Course Management – How to play a par 5

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How to make the most out of Par-5s is a question we are often asked here at Golftalk.Golfer performs a golf shot from the fairway.

When we get to the Par-5 tee box many of us instantly reach for our driver with a plan of hitting the ball as far as we can. We hope that we will be able to get to the green in two and make an eagle or at worst a birdie, seldom does this happen so is this the right strategy? In this article we look at the course management of how to play a Par-5 and give you some thoughts on your own decision making.

The distance of a Par-5 is 471 yards – 690 yards for men and 401 yards – 575 yards for women and juniors. So the length of the hole and how it plays must be a key decision factor in deciding how to play a Par-5. For example if a good drive is 250 yards for you, and a well struck 3 wood in 220 yards then any hole over 470 yards is a three shot hole for you and only at the shorter Par-5 holes when the circumstances allow should you go for the green in two shots.

So which club should you play off the tee? Well again, this will be determined by how you are playing on the day and the golf hole. You will have to consider any hazards that you need to avoid, and the chances of pulling off that shot consistently well. It maybe that you are striking your driver well and are feeling confident with that club. So if using that club will enable you to hit the fairway even if you have a slight mishit then that may be a good club for you to select. On the other hand if you have consistently missed the fairway with your driver then maybe a 3 wood or longer iron maybe a better choice for you. Hitting the fairway is your number one priority off the tee. We all know that playing golf off the fairway is much easier than out of the rough.

We also need to consider how the course architect has designed the hole to be played. Sometimes they will have designed the hole so the green is fairly open, encouraging the golfer to have a go! Or the architect may have intended the hole to be played in 3 shots to the green and placed hazards strategically in the fairway and around the green. A quick glance at the course planned will soon show you how the hole should be played and what you will need to consider.

Man playing golfFor most amateurs hitting the green in regulation will give them the best chance of making a par, so this must be the your first thought. A conservative three shot strategy onto the green in most cases will outplay the two shot strategy. Think back to your last round of golf, how did you play the par-5s?

Finally, here’s something to try. When you are next on the course playing a practice round. Play two balls off the Par-5s. One where you intend to lay up and one where you will go for the green in two. Mark both score on your card and at the end of the round see where you came out best. In our experience for most amateur golfers the first option usually provides a better score.

If you have enjoyed this article please comment and share below. You can also email any questions you may have to info@golftalk.club

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The Golf Talk team

 

Golf tips for beginners – Where to start?

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The GolferIf you are fairly new to golf and are just starting to get to grips with the game then you maybe feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of technical golf instruction out there on the web. For some of us we are not yet ready to consume this level of instruction and actually may find it detrimental to our game. In this article we want to give you our golf fundamentals of where to start to instantly start improving your game and hopefully your enjoyment out on the course.

Let’s start at the beginning. Can you teach yourself golf? Well yes of course you can and you may achieve a reasonable level of success. Many golfers never have any lessons at all and can get their handicap down to single figures. For the rest of us however there is a potential to build in some fundamental errors into our golf swing that may give us some kind of immediate success but also may leave us regretting not getting the basics right in the first place. So our advice to any new golfer is to seek out your local golf professional and book a set of lessons. This will give you a good start to the game and avoid any swing flaws that could creep into your game. You will notice that we said seek out your local professional. Your friends or relatives may be good natured and offer to give you lessons. Be careful that they are not teaching you their own swing flaws and doing more harm than good.

During your lessons you will be taught how to hold the club, the correct setup, the basic turn and co-ordination of movement and good tempo. Our second piece of advice is to dedicate time on the practise tee honing your swing and practising these movements. Little and often is what we would like to see. Hitting balls aimlessly on the range is not a productive way to learn how to play golf. In previous articles we have discussed deliberate practice which is a worthwhile read and should help you.

Many of us feel we need to rush out to the golf course to play eighteen holes and we are enthusiastic as to what score you can achieve. We seem to get obsessed by breaking one hundred or even ninety. For us playing the course and hitting good shots is more important than keeping a score. So our third piece of advice is to leave the scorecard behind and concentrate on good ball striking and mastering the fundamentals of the golf swing.

One part of golf that is not often discussed (except on Golf Talk) is the amount of concentration needed out on the course to play well. This is a learned behaviour so playing nine holes two or three times a week maybe more beneficial to learning concentration then trying to do this over eighteen holes. Why not give this advice a try for a few weeks and see what difference it makes to your game. You can then step this up to a full eighteen hole game.

Finally for the new golfer have a realistic target of where you want to be by the end of the season and accept where you are now. You are then in a strong position, along with your golf professional to put a plan together of how you are going to improve your game. This will consist of lessons, practise and of course competitive play.

If you have enjoyed this article please comment and share below. You can also email any questions you may have to info@golftalk.club

Also don’t forget to subscribe to Golf Talk to ensure you never miss a post.

The Golf Talk team