How many times do you get to the end of the round and look at your card and realize that you really messed up a few of the par 5s? Even more frustrating is when you realize that most of the time when you had to take a big number on a par 5, you had started the hole right from the middle of the fairway with a beautiful drive. Use the following guidelines for par 5 play and you will soon see less big numbers and more birdies on your par 5s and your score card will look better.

Most big numbers begin when a player hits a nice drive and then tries to go for the green in two. Remember that the landing areas are narrower close to the green on par 5s. This is the penalty for taking an aggressive play at the green for your second shot. Players too often feel that they have to take their 3 wood and hit the ball as far down and close to the green as they can for their second shot. What this does is give you a smaller landing area and brings into play more trouble and the possibility of a very difficult third shot.

Use this rule: If you can not reach the center of the green with your second shot on the fly then the best shot for you is to hit your second shot to a yardage which leaves you your favorite wedge shot into the green. If you can hit your wedge 100 yards try laying all of your second shots back at the 100 yard marker. Most of the time you will find that you will get a a full 100 yard wedge closer to the hole with a better birdie opportunity that you will from trouble and the difficult shot that is left for you from an offline fairway wood second shot.

Use this little bit of course management to lower your scores next time you tee it up!