Will you take on the big bunker?

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - WITH MAX ADLER

Make the smart choice on a su­per-long par 3.

“Some­times the dis­tance to the green doesn’t mat­ter.”

On a long par 3, don’t let the dis­tance in­tim­i­date you. Of­ten there’s no need to carry the ball all the way to the mid­dle of the green.

Take the third hole at the Pronghorn Club ( il­lus­trated) in Bend, Ore­gon, which tips at 232 me­tres and is typ­i­cally set at 185 me­tres for the mem­bers. This is a ba­sic design model I’ve used on many of my cour­ses – a large, raised bunker guard­ing a low green with as­sis­tance avail­able to the shorter hit­ter.

What kind of as­sis­tance? If you don’t feel com­fort­able ying the ball all the way to the green, sim­ply carry it past that high bunker and al­low the downs­lope lead­ing to the green to feed it there. Or, play away from the bunker and leave a sim­ple chip shot.

None of these three strate­gies is the most cor­rect. All that mat­ters is what plays to your strong suit at that par­tic­u­lar mo­ment.

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