Wassup everybody!! Wassup!! This might date me a bit but back in 2006, Budweiser came up with a commercial with just dudes talking on the phone saying wassup to each other for about a minute and it ends. Look it up on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJmqCKtJnxM First comment on the commercials says, “best beer commercial ever made, hands down”…and I am going to have to agree. Seriously, it’s the best beer commercial ever made.

Um, okay…welcome to Better Golf Academy Podcast. I am more than grateful that you are here…listening…subscribing…commenting…engaging…laughing and learning with me.  Right? You guys are doing all that, right? Also, giving me 5-star reviews? Oh, ok, speaking of, I want to take a minute to acknowledge my friend Tony for leaving me a 5-star review…this is what he said. “THIS IS GOLD” Hanju (that’s me), possesses such a unique ability to deliver high-value content so simply. His fresh perspectives are a parallel with life and transcend beyond the game itself. I am sold. Keep’em coming Hanju…as long as you keep referencing me in every episode. 

Okay, dude! Thank you so much for that. And yes, I try to have a hidden meaning in some things I say about golf because I truly believe that there are so many that parallels and there are so many similarities with life and golf…except life isn’t as complicated. (Ok, that was funny). And Tony says that he’ll keep listening if I keep referencing him….so I now referenced you again…bro…that’s 2 out of 3. Are you happy now?

And by the way, I will take my time before each episode and acknowledge my listeners by name if you just leave me a honest heart-felt review. Looking forward to it. 

And, if you are a first-time listener, welcome! I am so happy that you are here. I hope I can be a value to you in improving your game.

 

Download FREE 100 Yard Drill Template

 

How Do You Play Your Par 5s?

So today, I am going to talk specifically about how average golfers play the par 5’s and I am going to share some thoughts and strategy on how you can play it totally different and how I can help you save a ton of strokes. This is going to blow your mind…well…maybe not…blow your mind. But, I am pretty sure it’s going to make you go hmmmmm. Or…wassup!! And hope that it will even get you to go out to try it. And I am sure it will work for you. I am about 98.6% sure. 

Par 5s Are the Easiest of Them All

So, I was playing golf the other day at my local course and when my friend hit a real bad drive off the tee on a par 5, I said to him…”It’s okay, it’s a par 5, you’ll have a shot to make it up.” I don’t know about you, but I consider par 5’s as easiest out of the par 3’s and the par 4’s. I guess it’s because you get an extra shot. Long hitters can get it on or near the green on their second shot which leaves them a simple up and down or a 2 putt for birdie. It’s definitely, what most golfers utilize to gain some headway or relief in their score. Right?

Okay, let me give you some stats on the professional level, I know we are not professionals, but just for us to get an idea.

For PGA:

  • Billy Horschel leads the Par 3’s by birding 18.41% of the ones he plays.
  • Justin Thomas leads the Par 4’s by birding 21.54% of the ones he plays.
  • Justin Thomas leads the Par 5’s by birding…57.34% of the ones he plays. That’s more than ½.

For LPGA:

  • Caroline Hedwall leads the Par 3’s by averaging 2.92, which is .08 strokes below par.
  • Jin Young Ko (my korean sista) leads the Par 4’s by averaging 3.89, which is .11 strokes below par.
  • Jin Young Ko also leads the Par 5’s by averaging 4.57 which is .43 strokes below par.

So, what are all these numbers saying? What’s the message? Message is this…Par 5’s are the easiest to score well on. Period. And I just got the numbers to prove it.

So, you are thinking…what am I doing wrong? Why am I not capitalizing on these opportunities? Well, thanks for asking. Let me tell you what most of us are doing on the Par 5’s that are not serving us well. 

Alright, this is what most of us do?  We try everything we can to hit 2 perfect, long and straight shots so that we can be as close to the green as possible after both shots. That will leave us with a best-case scenario to go after the pin and score low and that will give us the best chance at birdie. Because the shorter the shot, the easier it is, right? Sounds right. Sounds logical. But where do we go wrong? First, we don’t usually hit 2 perfect, long and straight shots in a row. And two, one of the reasons that you don’t always hit 2 perfect shots in a row is because you are hitting the 2 longest clubs in your bag. Two longest clubs are usually the two toughest clubs to hit straight and have a lot of control over.

So, the high percentage outcome can be that on your third shot, you are not in the ideal position to fire at the hole. Hmmmm…sound familiar. Also, the course Architect knows this about you, so you know what they do to make it even more devastating? They place strategic barriers in strategic places for average golfers like you to fall into. It’s a trap! It’s mean…but it’s true. We have to outsmart the course architects.

Think about this, even if we accomplish 2 perfect, long and straight shots, and avoid the barriers…we sometimes end up at a weird and awkward distance that require finesse and perfect distance control swing. That swing requires either half or three quarter swing inside the 100yards, which we are not quite sure how far the ball is going to go. This sometimes gets us into more trouble. We’ll chunk it short or hit it way over.  We are just not as good at keeping the ½ and ¾ swing consistent and firing at the pin.

And let’s face it, we are not hitting 300 yard drives and setting up ourselves for an eagle putt…well, maybe some of you are. But, I am not. So, I propose this entire new way of looking at Par 5’s to play it smarter and play strategically so it best sets you up for success.

Okay? Alright, this what you need to do.

 

Download FREE 100 Yard Drill Template

 

Figure Out Your Favorite Distance

Figure out your favorite club that can give you consistent distance over and over again. I say between 100-125. For me, I have a 100-yard club. It’s my 52 degrees wedge (gap wedge) and when I take my normal full swing at it, it goes 100 yards. Do you have one of these clubs in your bag? 

When I was in high school, I played this course called Washoe County Golf Course, in Reno, NV a lot!! I walked it constantly and found that on the left side of hole number 2, there’s a practice area that not a lot of people took advantage of.  There were 2 practice greens about 75-100 yards from each other. I took 2 clubs and a shag bag filled with about 75 balls, and I spent a couple of hours just hitting the ball back and forth, trying to get it on the green. Eventually, I became very familiar with my own swing and club. I figured out what I needed to do and how I needed to swing to consistently get it near or on the practice green. 

You might not have something like that for you to practice your 100-yard shots, but I highly recommend you get on the driving range, pick out a 100-yard maker (or whichever distance you prefer), and figure out which club you can hit consistently to that spot over and over again. This is key to better par 5’s. The more comfortable and confident you get with this shot, the better your score will be.

For the more advanced players. I suggest figuring out 2 different shots from the same distance. 

  • One, a normal wedge shot that will naturally have a high trajectory and will land softly and even spin back a bit. This shot will be more suited for pins that are located in the front of the green or hidden behind a lip or a bunker that requires clearing and a soft landing without much roll.
  • Two, a more of a low chip shot that will stay low to the ground and get some roll after it lands on the green. Keeping the ball low will give you so much more control and this is ideal for pins in the back of the green or playing in windy conditions.

I’ve created a fun drill worksheet for you to download to work on these two shots and for you to keep working on them until you nearly perfect it. This will be the key to better par 5’s. Just go to BetterGolfAcademy.com/3 – that’s number 3, to download your free drill worksheet. I think you are going to get a lot out of it.  There’s a chart to keep your stats so you can watch your improvement during your practice sessions. Practice? What? And if you haven’t heard me talk about it, listen to my podcast #1 if you want to hear more about the life-changing secrets of the P-word.  But for the 100-yard drills, visit BetterGolfAcademny.com/3 for the free resources.

Place Your 2nd Shot for What You’ve Been Perfecting

Now that you’ve almost perfected your 100 yards or so swing, you know what you need to do? Get your ball there. It’s like volleyball. You’ve been working on spiking the ball over the net over and over again, now, all you need is someone to set it up so you can do your thing. The beauty and the curse of golf is that that person is you. You set it up, you spike it down. 

This is where the magic happens. Remember, before, you were trying to pull out the 2nd longest club in your back to swing hard to get it as close as you can to the green, but now, all you are trying to do is to land the ball 100 yards from the green. Oh man!! Now this game has gotten so much easier all of a sudden. Sometimes you are even hitting a mid to short iron to place it 100 yards out. And with that, you’ll have more control and higher percentage shots to set yourself up for the next – even more higher percentage shot. (more higher…is that even a word?) See what we are doing. We are trying to get you the highest probability to make the best score. Ok, now that we have a perfect setup, let’s get ready for the spike. But, 1 more quick thought before you start spiking away.

Assess the Pin Situation

Remember, you haven’t only been working on one shot to get to the pin, you’ve been working on 2 shots. You have to now stand behind the ball and figure out which shot is going to make more sense to you. High trajectory shot landing near the hole, softly and with a bit of a spin? Or do you want to land it on the green and give it a chance to roll to the hole?  Again, a quick review on which shot will be best.

  • Hi trajectory shot will be more suited for pins that are located in the front of the green or hidden behind a lip or a bunker that requires clearing and a soft landing without much roll.
  • Low chip shot that will stay low to the ground and get some roll after it lands on the green. Keeping the ball low will give you so much more control and this is ideal for pins in the back of the green or playing in windy conditions.

Now execute. Spike it into the opponent’s face!!  In this case, your opponent will be the course architect. Get that ball close for a birdie putt!!

 

Download FREE 100 Yard Drill Template

Summary

Hey, look at it this way. Par 5’s are a gift to us. It’s a gift that keeps giving. But we have to prepare ourselves to position it so that we can benefit from this gift as best as we are able. Again, if you are a long hitter, you should have a whole another strategy, but for the rest of us, this will work best in our favor. Let me quickly summarize.

  1. Get your 100 yards figured out. Work hard, practice long hours, have fun. I used to show my friends my blisters the next day after a long drill session. I was proud of it. I was proud of the process, the progress and how I felt after. I felt like I can take on the world…or take on all the Par 5’s of the world.
  2. Place your second shot for what you’ve been perfecting. Set it up. Set it up nice. Set it up to attack. This is about hitting the next shot so that you’ll have your ideal yards left to the hole…which is 100- 125 yards depending what you chose. 
  3. Assess the pin situation and decide how you are going to hit it. High or low. Easier shot is low. I’ve watched the pros hit these shots time and time again, low and at the pin. I bet they can even do it with their eyes closed. Execute! Get it close!! Attack the pin. This is your moment. 

I know where you are coming from. I feel you. It’s something about golf that tempts you to just hit the ball as far as you can every time you get a chance. I don’t know why, but it’s always there for me too. But, there’s something to be said for sacrificing yards to create a best-case scenario to put yourself in a position where you will most likely succeed. Something you’ve worked hard to get…so give yourself a chance to hit that perfect shot you’ve been wanting to hit. You get to do this 4 times a round. Shave off those strokes, you will walk away with a different mindset knowing that this game of golf didn’t control you this time, you controlled golf. And that’s a great feeling.

Hey, was that helpful? Can we not get greedy with wanting more yards every time? But be disciplined in being at the right yards? Okay? Okay. Have an awesome week everyone. Let’s get Better together. 

And thanks for listening to Better Golf Academy.  

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