Be Smooth on Long Par 3s

Be Smooth on Long Par 3s

Trevor Immelman signed autographs Tuesday for fans while at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Long par 3s take you out of your comfort zone. Instead of taking dead aim with a short iron, you’re hitting a longer club that is more difficult to strike solidly. Here’s how to gain control and make the swing you need.

1 – Use the 70 percent rule

You don’t want to have to hit the shot perfect or swing harder than you should. Use the 70 percent rule: Hit the club you know you will carry the distance you need seven out of 10 times. You’ll have a little bit of cushion in case a gust of wind comes up or you hit it a little off-center.

2 – Rehearse a smooth tempo

Tempo is important on this tee shot, particularly near the end of a round because you’re tired even if you don’t realize it. Here’s a trick Davis Love III uses: Imagine your ball position, then start your practice swing in front of where the ball would be. This lengthens your motion and helps keep your tempo nice and flowing.

3 – Block out distractions

Long par 3s provide lots of distractions because of the amount of real estate they cover. Stop sensory overload by making your last look at your intermediate target, which should be along the ground a few feet in front of you. As long as you’re lined up well, you’ll be fine. They’re not going to move the green!

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