Is Par Influencing How You Play Golf?
By benmasongolf, Jun 12 2017 08:44AM
During my time playing with recreational golfers I have observed how the par of a golf hole can dramatically alter a golfers approach to how a hole should be played. I have seen golfers on a 450 yard par 4 hit driver as far as they can then continue in that frame of mind and try and hit their second shot as far as possible as well believing that if they want to make par this is the best way to do so. Often this leads to them getting into trouble and making a double bogey or worse.
Alternatively on a 500 yard par 5 I see golfers playing much more conservatively hitting a steady driver and then perhaps hitting a couple of 7 irons on to the green and making a steady par.
This is the how the paying attention to the par of a hole affects a golfers mental approach to the game.
Think about this. Let's flip the two different holes around and pretend the 450 yard hole is a par 5 and the 500 yard hole is a par 4. How would the affect your mental approach to the 2 different holes. Would you blast away trying to get as close as you can to the green in 2 on the 500 yard hole as it's a par 4 and play conservatively on the 450 yard par 5.
My advice to golfers is to forget about par and focus on the best way to shoot the lowest score you are capable of. If that means laying up on a par 4 and accepting an easy 5 or perhaps a 1 putt 4 you should do it.
Thinking about par puts us under pressure and makes us strive for something we might not be capable of.
Unfortunately when we watch golf on television we are told how the top professionals are performing in relation to par when actually all they are trying to do is shoot the lowest score. We watch tournaments like the US Open and think "wow level par was the winning score" when actually the USGA have decided to change two par 5's to par 4's without altering the hole at all so instead of 8 under par winning the event level par does but the total number of strokes the winner has taken has not changed.
Next time you play golf try forgetting about the par of a hole or even the whole course and just try and shoot the lowest score you can. You will feel under less pressure stood on each tee and will be able to make sound decisions about what shot you need to hit based on whether it is the right shot to play rather than letting the par of a hole influence you to hit a shot that perhaps not the best shot to play. If this means not trying to hit the green in regulation on a par 3 so be it!!!
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