By Paul Myers
One of the most exciting shots in golf is when you make the decision to go for the green in two on a par five. To even consider going for the green, you must have hit a good drive that has covered enough distance to put you within reasonable range of the target. Still, it is likely a long second shot in to the green, and you might have some hazards to consider. If you do decide to go for it in two, you will need to hit a quality shot to achieve the outcome you are looking for.
Is It Worth It?
But how often does it pay off for you? Do you have any idea how you fare, on average, when you do decide to go for the green in two? This information is valuable to have, as it can help you make this choice in the future based on past results. The PGA Tour tracks this information for their tournaments, and you can do the same for your own game. Keep track of every time you decide to go for the green in two on a par five, and then record your score that you wind up with on the hole. Since the obvious goal when going for the green in two is to make a birdie (or eagle), that is what this stat will measure – the percentage of time that you make birdie or better after going for the green in two shots.
On Tour, Vaughn Taylor has been among the best in the early 2015 season in this category. He has made birdie or better 13 times out of 16 tries, for an impressive 81.25% conversion rate. While your own numbers are likely to fall well short of that mark, you can still track your own performance and seek to improve it over time. The quick strategy tips below should help you sharpen your results when trying to reach a par five green in two.
- Forget about the hole location. While it would be great to make an eagle, your first consideration should be positioning your ball properly to make an easy birdie. With that said, ignore the hole location when aiming your second shot and try simply to position your ball for an easy chip or putt with your third shot. As long as you put your ball in a good spot, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting up and down for the birdie.
- Don’t over-swing. There is something about going for the green in two that causes many players to swing too hard at their second shots. You want to make sure that you stay within yourself and put a quality swing on the shot, regardless of the distance – keep your balance, make good contact, and get the ball as close to the green as you can.
- Give hazards special attention. The last thing you want to do is turn an easy hole into a double bogey by knocking your ball right into a water hazard – or even out of bounds. Make sure you notice any hazards that are protecting the green and keep your ball safely away from them on the approach shot. Sure you want to make a birdie, but you also want to ensure that you do no worse than a par if at all possible.
It will take quite a few rounds before you get a good indication of this statistic because you only get the opportunity to go for a par five green in two every now and then. When you do decide to go for it, make sure you pick a smart target and don’t swing too hard. It should be treated like every other shot during the round – only hopefully it will set you up for an easy birdie.