Dave Pelz, one of the foremost short game and putting instructors in golf, offers schools and clinics across the U.S. Click here to find out more information.
How to hang tough on long par 4s, take advantage of par 5s and transfer your smooth range swing to the course
Tour players feast on par 5s. You go home hungry.
Your scores get worse as hole length increases. That may seem obvious, but I'm referring to your score relative to par, not your total score. These are two different things and there's a big difference between them.
Everyone shoots over their handicap in tournament play, and that's to be expected. Even Tour pros do it. In fact, they average only 1 or 2 strokes under par even though their handicaps are +5 to +8 [Fig. 1]. Look deeper into these scoring trends, however, and you'll see that the longer the hole, the better the pros play it relative to par [Figs. 2A-2C]. In other words, Tour pros lose the most strokes relative to par on par 3s, lose slightly less but lose nonetheless on par 4s, but feast on par 5s, where they actually gain strokes relative to par. You suffer the opposite: You drop more strokes relative to par on long holes. ]