Your home course likely has at least one 200-plus-yard round-wrecker. It can get the best of us and turn an easy par into a tough-to-swallow double bogey. Here’s how to walk away with par on the most punishing par 3s.
1. AIM AWAY FROM THE PIN
Leave yourself an easy second shot.
If you mis-hit your tee shot on a long par 3, make sure you miss on the opposite side of the green from where the pin is located. Getting up and down from a shortsided lie in the bunker or the rough is difficult, even for Tour pros. With the pin cut right, hooking the ball is better than overcooking a fade.
2. LONG IS WRONG
Coming up short leaves you with an easier putt.
The 18th at East Lake features a two-tiered green that slopes back to front. Most par 3s tilt this way, so if you’re between clubs, take the shorter one and aim for a spot below the hole. You’re more likely to make an uphill putt than a slippery one running downhill.
3, CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLES
For better results, focus on the routine.
Sure, results matter. We all want to knock it close. But the PGA Tour pros I coach focus on what they can control—things like routine and trusting their swing. Being mindful of what you can control, rather than what you can’t (like making perfect contact) reduces tension. Process is king. It makes you more relaxed, more present—and more likely to rip one right at the flag.
Large bunkers make the green look small. Consult your course map—there may be more room around the pin than you think.