How to tackle a beastly par-5 like the 15th at the Presidents Cup

December 15, 2019

The players at this year’s Presidents Cup aren’t just representing their countries, they’re also getting a chance to tackle a world-class golf course, too. Host site Royal Melbourne’s “Presidents Cup Course” is an amalgamation of Alister MacKenzie’s East Course and Alex Russell’s West Course. The 17th hole on the East (No. 15 on the Presidents Cup course) is the longest on property, tipping out at 570 yards. Here are three tips to tackle the Beast of the East — or any brutish par 5.

Laying back off the tee is perfectly okay. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Gary Lisbon

1. Swing easy

The inclination on a long hole is to try to rip the driver as hard as you can — but let’s do some math. If you can hit it 220 off the tee, you turn a scary par 5 into a 350-yard par 4. That’s doable! Keeping the ball in play is far more important than going full send.

2. Narrow your focus.

Hitting a proper layup can be tough when your ultimate target is so far in the distance. Resist the urge to hit a lazy shot; picture a green in your layup area and aim for that. A tighter focus will leave you with tighter misses.

3. Play the hole backward.

Bombers can take on the diagonal bunkers lurking just over 100 yards from the green, while mere mortals will be content to lay it back and hit a short-iron approach. Play the hole backward in your mind: What yardage do you want for your third shot? Go in with a plan, people.

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