What goes through your mind when you are stepping onto a Par 3 tee box? Are you shooting at the pin hoping to make a deuce, or are you just trying to squeak out of there without blowing up and making a triple bogey?
Let’s face it - Par 3’s can be tricky holes. Because of their short length many golfers underestimate them, but unlike Par 4’s or Par 5’s you don’t get as many shots to recover so hitting a great tee shot is essential.
Next time you step onto a Par 3 tee box remember these simple tips…
Tee it up. Even though you might be using a short iron it’s still a good idea to place your ball on a tee. Jack Nicklaus put his ball on a tee whenever the rules allowed, and I think that’s a great strategy. Teeing up the ball on Par 3‘s will help you gain consistency and also prevent you from chunking it by allowing you to make more of a sweeping swing.
Find the right height. To tee your ball up properly on a Par 3 first find a flat spot on the tee box, and then push your tee into the ground to the appropriate height. For long irons (2, 3, 4, or 5) you’ll want to leave about 1/4 inch of the tee above the turf, and for shorter irons (6, 7, 8, 9, PW) you’ll only want to leave about an 1/8 inch of the tee above the turf.
Don’t be a sucker. Once your ball is properly teed up take a moment to survey the green and any hazards around it. Par 3’s are designed to punish players who shoot for sucker pins, so it's always smart to look for a safer play. If there’s water left and the flag is in the middle of the green aim at a spot halfway between the flag and the right edge of the green. If your shot ends up on line it will still be in great shape, but if you miss left or right you’ll still have a chance of saving your par.
A great tee shot on a Par 3 can be one of the most rewarding shots in the game, so don’t be afraid to step up and make a confident swing once you’ve got yourself setup properly. Just don’t forget who gave you these great tips when you make your next hole in one…I’ll have my drink order ready!
Helping you get the golf swing and game you've Always Imagined!
Daniel is the Head of Golf Instruction at IMAGEN Golf and Best Selling Author of "Unleash The Golfer Within".