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!
6 thoughts on “What Are Your Scoring Holes?”
Actually a very good question I really have not thought about – untill now ! But I will do some research and get back to you. Interesting question.
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Let us know what you come up with.
From 70 to 120 and in the fairway I’m going flag hunting. Pin location doesn’t matter so much when you can hit it high and drop it soft. That’s my prime scoring area. I’ll do ok for myself out to 165 or so, but won’t get close near as consistently and will need to at least check where best to bail out. Off the tee is another story. I do a lot of flag hunting 200+ yard shots from the tee box. One benefit this little course has brought is a lot of practice at that.
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You mentioned that your course is a shorter than what you played in the past. I bet these distances have improved your approach shot distances. Is all this practice transferable to a course say 6400 yards? Are you still as confident on your approach shots?
Every minute of practice helps for sure. And my handicap reflects it. I’ve dropped from a 7 something to a 5.6 so far and feel like I’m on the verge of better still. It mostly the short game confidence that helps when moving to the bigger courses. While I do feel more confident with the longer shots in, I still have this little nag in my mind about distance off the tee because I haven’t yet put the new driver into play. Knowing it’s sitting in my closet doesn’t help either.
That’s my own fault I know. It’s just been so hot and humid I have had no desire to give the new driver a workout on the range and I promised myself I wouldn’t game it until I do. November has been my target for that task. I plan on seeing a pro to begin and then getting in multiple hours on the range to get comfortable with it and whatever adjustments the pro suggests.
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I appreciate you strong will power not to use your new driver without range time first. I am not sure I could do that. It is great to hear that your handicap is lowering and you feel you are ready to go lower. This, no doubt, is a result of having facilities right outside your door. Good luck moving forward.