Every golfer has a blow-up hole or two. Even players on the Tour have them. A blowup hole brings out the worst in your game. What’s frustrating about these holes is you try everything you can think of to conquer them, but no matter what you do, you can’t shoot lower that a triple bogey. And because you play the course regularly, you can’t avoid playing the hole at least once a week. Beating this hole may not cut strokes from you golf handicap, but it sure would be satisfying.
Unfortunately, golf instruction sessions won’t always help you beat blowup holes. Golf instruction sessions usually cover swing mechanics. To beat blowup holes, change strategies. If you’ve played the hole aggressively, try playing it more conservatively. If you’ve played it conservatively, try playing it more aggressively. To help you beat your blowup hole or holes, we’ve provided golf tips on how to play four of the most common blowup holes. If you still can’t find an answer after reading the article, ask a teaching pro how he or she would play the hole.
If doglegs are a problem for you, join the crowd. You’re not alone. Doglegs usually present trouble on one side of the hole, such as a water hazard or a clump of trees. You have to be careful here. Hit the ball into the water or the trees and you’ll have to re-tee the ball and play the shot again. Our golf tip: Don’t try to be a hero on doglegs. Instead, take a club that you can handle and just put the ball in play. If trouble is on the left, aim way to the right. If you miss the shot on the right, there’s room to recover. If you pull the ball, you’ll still stay out of the hazard. Playing smart here saves strokes.
Many courses have holes with blind shots. But weekend golfers don’t allow for their normal shot shape when aiming on holes like this. To hit your target, adjust your thinking. If your target is in the middle of the fairway and you hit a fade, you might end up hitting into deep trouble, if you don’t make the right adjustment. Our golf tip: Plan to hit the ball so that when it stops rolling it ends up in line with the target. If you’re right-handed and you hit a fade, aim left. If you’re hitting a draw, aim right.
Long Par 3s
Playing par 3s poorly can hurt your golf handicap. A good place to start improving your par-3 play is by learning to play long par 3s well. A common mistake with weekend golfers on this blowup hole is that they shoot for the flag and end up in nasty stuff. To beat this hole, try a different strategy. Aim for the safest, fattest landing area that gives you a chance to chip on the green and one-putt. The bigger and safer the target area, the better it is for you. Once you’re there, you can grab a short iron and play a chip and run to the hole.
Over The Water Shots
Many golfers tense up when hitting over water or another obstacle, like a cliff. That’s bad. A good way to relax is to build up confidence going over the obstacle. Our golf tip: The best way instill confidence is to practice the shot until you expect success, not failure. That may mean stopping by the course on a slow day and practicing on the hole. If you can’t do that, incorporate the scenario into your practice time. Pretend you’re on the tee and try hit over the imaginary pond or cliff.
Everyone has holes that bring out the worst in their games. Even if these holes don’t add strokes to your golf handicap, they can frustrate you badly and derail your confidence. To beat them, change strategies. The golf tips we provided above can help. If not, try asking your pro at your next golf lesson. He or she can counsel you on how to play the hole.