Many beginner golfers think of par-3 holes as being their friend. Having previously played a long par-5 it can feel like a relief to see a par-3 coming up next on the scorecard.
However, every par-3 will be different and how you play them off the tee will have a huge impact on how successful you are when scoring the shortest holes on the golf course. Par 3 holes can be a great way to pick up a birdie but only if you play them in the right way.
Basically, there are three types of par 3 hole you must be aware of when playing golf. Each of these will have a variety of hazards between the tee and the green and around the green itself. However, some par 3’s will be short, some medium and some long in length.
You must take into consideration the length of the hole when playing a par 3 as one could be 140 yards while another may be over 200 yards. This will make a big difference to the type of shot you play from the tee.
On a short par-3, the tempo of the shot is the most important thing to get right. Focus only on making a good, solid contact because the distance to the target area is not going to be a problem.
Keep your swing consistent and try and try and make a mirror image of your shot on the way back and the way through. A nicely controlled ‘L’ shape is perfect for a short par-3 hole, with the shaft and the left arm forming an ‘L’ shape on the back swing and the shaft and the right arm forming an ‘L’ shape on the follow through.
This well help to control the tempo of the shot and the spin on the ball. Aim for a nice high ball flight and don’t worry about fading or drawing the ball.
When playing mid-range par-3’s, selecting the right club to use can be tricky. Instead of choosing a club on the short side of the range you need, select the next club up and move your grip down about an inch.
You can now swing as hard as you normally would with this club and not worry about sending the ball over the back of the green.
Long par-3’s can be very demanding and will often require a beginner golfer to pull out a long iron. These can be tough to hit nicely and this is where the hybrid club comes into play.
When using a hybrid on the tee of a long par-3, tee the ball up off the ground whenever you can. Play the ball slightly forward in your stance, as you probably would for a long iron shot and make a smooth, shallow swing. Don’t be afraid to take a few practice swings and in doing so, imagine sweeping the dew off the top of the grass using an easy swing motion.
A hybrid club is usually longer than most irons so concentrate on making a smooth, controlled swing as opposed to playing an aggressive shot.