Eliminate doubt to make a par!
I admit that I am guilty: I’ll get to a Par 3 and think easy-peasy, and walk away with a bogey or worse. Why? There are a few mind plays that need addressing and assessing. Let’s start with a checklist.
Par 3 Checklist
Assess the Lay of the Land : Is there any change in elevation? If the tee box is elevated, as it is here, then take one less club. If the green is elevated, take more clubs, especially if there is wind in play.
Golf is a Game of Good Misses: So miss smart. Where’s the trouble? Here it is left, right, and beyond the flag. You’ve got a wide-open runway in the front portion of the green; that should be your focus!
Assess Flag Placement: If back, then go for the fat part or center of the green. If the pin is up, go beyond the pin unless that would leave you with a slippery downhill putt. In that case, play the number and select the widest area of the green.
Golf is a Numbers Game
The pin is back and on a second tier. This means if I do not get my ball on that second tier, I’ll have a tricky uphill putt. The best play for this scenario is to play the number. However, there is a steep drop-off beyond the pin. I will need to select a club that will not take me beyond the back edge of the green. Otherwise, I will be faced with a tricky uphill chip to a super-tight pin.If the pin is up and there is a downhill slope behind the pin, use it as a backdrop. Land it beyond the pin, and let the slope feed the ball down to the hole.