SENIOR PLAYER: Par-5 Strategy: Get Down in Three
Even with today's juiced balls and clubheads, there are few par 5s you can realistically reach in two shots. Your best chance of walking away with a par—maybe even a birdie—is to put your ego aside and play these long holes cautiously. Here are some things to consider so that you can turn par 5s into high fives.
THREE'S A CHARM: Since you're not reaching the green in two, there's no sense hitting driver off the tee and getting yourself into trouble. Instead, choose your 3-wood, which has more loft and is shorter and easier to control. Hit the fairway, and a long par 5 becomes a short, manageable par 4.
LAY UP TO A FULL WEDGE: Unless you can get your second shot within easy chipping or pitching range (i.e., inside 25 yards), resist the urge to go for it and just lay up to your favorite wedge distance. Make sure to leave yourself with the best angle into the green. If there's a water hazard or other signs of trouble at your favorite wedge distance, lay up short of it.
BE AGGRESSIVE: Assuming you played the first two shots well, you should have less than 100 yards to the flagstick and three shots in your pocket to make par. Those are good percentages, so don't be afraid to fire at the flag if the pin is accessible and the shot is in your comfort zone. Who knows, you may just walk away with a birdie.