Golf courses are made up of three types of holes: Par 3s, Par 4s and Par 5s. I realize that this is the most obvious statement I have made on my blog, but stay with me there is a point. Each of these types of holes offer an opportunity to score birdies, but only if they compliment your game. Thus, each of us will score differently on the holes and as a result will set us up mentally for success or failure. Scoring holes are unique to each player and only they can decide which holes suit their game on any given day.
The logical and possibly obvious answer to the theme of my article is par 3s. Unfortunately, this narrow approach based on distances does not always equate to what I would consider a scoring hole. In my case, my scoring holes vary based on many aspects of my game and they vary depending on….well….some many factors. But, there are three aspects of any hole that must be in place in order for me to consider any hole a scoring hole.
The first and most important aspect is that my approach shot has to be within 150 yards. That puts a 7-iron or less in my hands when I am pin hunting. I feel that this distance, regardless of the type of hole, it sets me up best for chance at making birdie. This has always been the case and from time to time I can extend this distance, but generally 150 yards or closer makes these scorable holes.
The second aspect is that the pin needs to be in the middle of the green or deeper. I find that these locations offer the best opportunity to be aggressive. I am not suggesting that upfront pins are not accessible, but they offer the greatest challenge to my approach shot game. Being able to aggressively hit into any green is a boon. I do not have to worry about a mishit falling short of the green, but allows me to hit the ball at least pin high setting up for an easier put for birdie.
Lastly, my ball should be sitting in the fairway or first cut on approach shots. This ball position generally leaves me a flat lie, an opportunity to get the clubface on the ball first, and to consistently judge how far the ball will travel in the air. My intent to create a high angle of attack in order to minimize the release of the ball and this usually happens when I have a great lie. So, having my ball in the fairway or first cut is definitely important to create scoring holes.
Hitting from 150 yards or less, the pin being in the middle or back of the green and my ball sitting in the fairway or approach shots create scoring holes for my game. Of course, I have shot birdies without all these aspects of my game being in place, but the percentages for a birdie increase when my three requirements in place. Thus, it does not matter if I am playing a Par 3, Par 4 or Par 5; all that matters is that my three aspects are in place.
In case you were wondering, this is what other golfers said to a relatively vague question:
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!