‘Your strat­egy de­pends on if it’s a two or three­shot­ter’

Golf World (UK) - - Tour Tips - DUSTIN JOHNSON

There aren’t many par 5s that aren’t a de­cent ea­gle op­por­tu­nity for the big­ger hit­ters on tour but scor­ing well on these longer holes is no easy task for most club golfers. Your strat­egy all de­pends on whether you can reach the green in two. If you can then it’s worth tak­ing on the more dif­fi­cult drive. But if you can’t, there’s sim­ply no point. Take the safer tee shot and put your­self in a good po­si­tion for your third. Plan back from the green to give your­self the best chance to make a birdie with­out hit­ting any shots that you aren’t to­tally com­fort­able with.

This is a tricky driv­ing hole with seven bunkers in your land­ing area and a fair­way that slopes no­tice­ably from left-to-right. The ideal shot is a draw to hold the ball straight against the slope when it lands, but you don’t want to be hit­ting a shape you’re not com­fort­able with when you have to be so ac­cu­rate. If you’re a nat­u­ral fader, pick a spe­cific line to the left edge of the fair­way and let the slope nat­u­rally bring the ball back into the cen­tre. Most par-5 greens are de­signed to take a wedge so it can be dif­fi­cult to stop a longer shot, es­pe­cially if it slopes away from you like this one. It’s pro­tected by five huge bunkers so you need to think about where the good miss is de­pend­ing on the pin po­si­tion. Where the flag is will also in­flu­ence the an­gle you want to leave if you lay up, so take this into ac­count be­fore hit­ting your sec­ond shot. Play to your strengths If you’re a longer hit­ter like me and can reach the par 5s in two then you should take them on as much as you can be­cause this gives you a mas­sive ad­van­tage over your com­peti­tors. But be re­al­is­tic. If you aren’t go­ing to get there in two then your strat­egy should give you the safest way of set­ting up the dis­tance and an­gle you want into the green. This may mean you can take a safer club than driver off the tee. Al­low for the slope An­a­lyse the pin po­si­tion

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