Course Strategy Instruction Video

VIDEO: Plan your way to better scores

Don’t automatically reach for your driver on short par 4s

By Jack Woods, PGA Professional, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

Short par 4s offer a great opportunity to sneak a birdie – but only if they are attacked correctly.

Too often amateur golfers pull the driver from the bag in an effort to get as close to the green as possible. This regularly leads to awkward 50 yard pitch shots over bunkers as illustrated in the main picture on the opposite page, a shot most players spend very little time practicing. Almost all golfers spend the majority of their range time hitting full shots so it makes sense to leave a full shot into greens where possible.

A great example of this is here on the 3rd hole at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. It measures 333 yards from the back tees, the green is raised from the fairway and there are pesky bunkers guarding the front – places to avoid.

Hitting an iron from the tee leaves me a full sand wedge into the green (pictured left), offering the best chance of stopping the ball quickly near the hole.

Playing a shorter club from the tee on these types of holes will also mean you are more likely to find the fairway, building confidence as well as leaving a more comfortable approach shot into the green and what is often a tricky pin position to offer the short hole further protection.

Playing a shorter club from the tee on these types of holes will also mean you are more likely to find the fairway, building confidence as well as leaving a more comfortable approach shot into the green and what is often a tricky pin position to offer the short hole further protection.

You might even want to leave your tee shot further back if you are more comfortable with your mid irons – it’s certainly better than sweating over which club to use for that fiddly little half shot.

So, the next time you’re on a short par 4, don’t automatically reach for the big stick. Plan for your favoured yardage into the green and watch your scores drop.

Golf Digest Middle East

Golf Digest Middle East

Launched in 2008, Golf Digest Middle East is the #1 golf magazine in the region, featuring local content and exclusive articles from the world's leading professionals

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