Too often when I play with amateurs their frustration level rises pretty quickly, as their score begins to climb over par. Keep in mind, the word par is all relative, and in relation to an expert player. Find out what your par is for the holes that you play and make the game more enjoyable — perhaps even lowering your score.
For instance, let's say that there is a long par 4 at your course that you cannot reach in two shots. Perhaps there are even some trouble areas, such as bunkers or a hazard down near the green.
Instead of playing it as a par 4 that requires you to hit a great drive, a fantastic fairway wood, a superb pitch/chip and a one putt, play it as a par 5. You will probably agree that you normally shoot five or more on that hole often, so a 4 isn’t your par.
Next time you play a hole like that, hit your drive, hit an iron to safety (taking all of the trouble out of play) and hit your third shot onto the green. Now (more times than not) you have just taken a big number out of play and may even sink that putt.
Many players cannot reach most of the holes in regulation, so try playing for 1-over the par number in your mind. I think you will be surprised how often you do make the real par, and how few times you make the dreaded big number.
Tips by Rosedale Golf & Country Club PGA Professional and Director of Instruction Steve Whidden.
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