Smart Golf 101

Smart Golf 101 – Uphill Double Dog-Leg Par 5

In Golf News And Rumors by The Golf Drill Guru1 Comment

Next up in this series is a difficult par 5. Starts off with an uphill tee-shot with a small bail out area at the top to the right. Then a sharp turn left followed by a long downhill shot back down to a small valley before heading up again to the green which is tucked slightly to the right. Longer hitters have a significant advantage on this hole, and with a slight wing it can either wreak havoc or make the hole easier depending on the direction. For this post, the wind will be coming from the left at 5-10mph.

Par 5 – 550 yards from the tips, 535 from the whites, 525 from the reds.

Questions to be asked for this hole?:

– How far can I get it up the hill off the tee?
– Do I need to hit a driver?
– Is the bunker off the tee in play?
– Where is the bail out area?
– Is there an advantage of going for this green in two?
– Where is the pin located on this green, is it well guarded?
– Would I be better off coming in from 100 yards, or would a short chip do?
– Where will I be short-sided?
– Where do I absolutely not want to miss it off the tee? What about my second shot.. third shot?

Let’s take a look at how I see each set of players should play this hole.

Beginner

Alrighty, this is going to be a tough hole with uneven lies, and many places you don’t want to hit a golf ball. So playing this hole smart is the only way to avoid a high score. You need to hit three solid shots to have a chance at par, so being strategic is the only way to do this. First things first, you have to hit, you have to hit a solid tee shot that sets your up well for your second. The bunker on the right is in play for you, and also blocks you on your second shot, so hitting it to the left side or centre of the fairway is a must, and you should also notice you have more room even if you bail out and miss the fairway, you’ll be safe if you hit left. This is your priority off the tee – left side of the fairway. Once there, your second shot is next. This is also a tough one with bunkers on the left, and likely an uphill/sidehill lie. Take an iron, not a wood, place the ball a little further forward in your stance, and sweep the ball off the grass. You don’t have to hit the ball a ton, just enough to get it rolling and catch the backside of the hill. In this instance you’d rather be right or in the centre of the fairway. If you are feeling aggressive you may want to hit it a little further down the hill, as you have a tough third shot to a guarded green coming up. Finally, your third shot, the pin is back, but tucked behind bunkers. Your goal should simply be to get the ball on the green. Aim for the fat part of the green and rely on your putter to take you home.

Intermediate

The tee shot on this par 5 is crucial, it sets up the entire hole and basically is required to be well placed in order to get you a par or better. The bunker to the right off the tee may be in play here, your goal should be to hit the ball slightly left of center and get as high as possible up the hill off the tee. Hitting it too far shouldn’t be much of a problem either as the bunkers on the far side of the hill are likely out of reach. Your focus here should solely be to be left of the bunker, but just not too far left, as there is a downward slope towards the water.

Your second shot is just as important as your first, but luckily it should be a little bit easier to accomplish. You have a fair bit of room to hit the ball to have an easy 100 yard shot into the green. The only real obstacle is the bunker on the right, but actually hitting the ball there from your well placed tee-shot would be difficult anyway, so its more likely that you may shortside yourself left. Be mindful of where the pin is. If you are too far left after your second, it will be tough to get the ball close to the pin and take advantage of your tee-shot. A safe shot to the middle of the fairway here or right of center is ideal. Aim for the gully, and you’ll be setup for an easy par and a chance at bird. Hit your third onto the green, but be mindful of the back pin placement, the bunkers, and the fact that the trees are rather close to the back of the green. Be dead set on your club choice form the fairway, and be mindful of the slightly elevated green from your gully position.

Advanced

Yay! A fun, undulated, challenging Par 5. Getting to the green in two here will be extremely difficult, and really is only accessible if you’re a very long hitter, and hit a fantastic tee shot. Off the tee, your goal is to crush it, but to stay left if possible to shorten the hole. The bunker short right and long left really shouldn’t be in play for you. Although you do run the risk of going too far left and maybe having some tree trouble, more or less your only goal here should be to avoid going right.

Your second shot is a real question of risk and reward. 9 times out of 10, going for the green here should not be on your radar, especially where the pin is located. You have a tight pin placement, with bunkers short, and trees tight after the green. If you’re in prime position off the tee (maybe downwind), and you have a great short game, then hey, why not give it a shot, but really you will have a better chance of scoring from 100 yards out or less from the green. You’d be surprised how easily a birdie can make its way onto your card by “playing it safe”… and how often high numbers can make it on your card when you “go for it”.

This hole is an easy par after a decent tee-shot, and has a real potential at birdie as long as you play it smart. Know your limits, and play to your strengths on this one.

Do you agree? How would you play this challenging par 5? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We’ll be back with another scenario soon.

Comments

  1. I think there needs to be some serious changes with the USA Ryder Cup team. These players are not working…Lets shake it up!!! I just found a page with a petition for John Daly to be captain… Can you imagine!!!! Vote for JD as captain http://www.jdforrydercupcaptain.com

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