The 200 Yard Par 3 - How Do You Play It?

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  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,767 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    4/5

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  • LefthookLefthook Golf nerd Members Posts: 3,289 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Since you don't have a 200 yard reliable shot you should assess the siituation. If there's water in front of the greeen you should choose the club that will most often get you over the pond. If you hit it 30 yards past the flag and provided there's no problems there, you still have a shot for par - and an easy bogey is anyway in reach. If there's trouble behind the green you should choose a club that never gets you there.

    You may even be better off aiming short or long, left or right of the green. High handicappers believe that they always should hit the ball towards the flag. That's why they regularly struggle with getting back to the fairway after hitting into the woods. The best players in the world often follow a plan that minimizes the concequences of a bad shot. Sometimes the easiest and safest route to the hole requires a shot where you don't even aim for the green.

  • Lefty Light HItterLefty Light HItter Members Posts: 1,485 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 9, 2019 3:06pm #34

    No, the most loathed for me is the 250 yd par 3 at a rival course...

    I don't get a course having a 250yd Par 3. I remember the PGA championship having a 250yd downhill Par 3. That's a major championship. Even for those playing the back tees, why have a hole set up that long?

    In search of solid contact...
  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers Posts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Lefty Light HItter said:

    No, the most loathed for me is the 250 yd par 3 at a rival course...

    I don't get a course having a 250yd Par 3. I remember the PGA championship having a 250yd downhill Par 3. That's a major championship. Even for those playing the back tees, why have a hole set up that long?

    For the course it adds some difficulty. The preceding two holes are par 3 120 from the tips, par 4 300. Next hole is par 3 160 followed by par 4 460, par 3 115.

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  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers Posts: 7,403 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Lefty Light HItter said:

    No, the most loathed for me is the 250 yd par 3 at a rival course...

    I don't get a course having a 250yd Par 3. I remember the PGA championship having a 250yd downhill Par 3. That's a major championship. Even for those playing the back tees, why have a hole set up that long?

    Poor design IMO. One local course was redone recently, really nice honestly, but there is one stupid long par 3 that is just out of place and doesnt make sense. It's so long they almost always have the tees up otherwise you got guys hitting woods from the whites on a par 3.

  • HitEmTrueHitEmTrue North TexasMembers Posts: 6,559 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @SNIPERBBB said:
    Should of asked this first... where's the trouble on this hole?

    Same thing I’m wondering...

    Is this a specific hole with danger around it? Is having the ball bounce onto the green a problem?

  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers Posts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Krt22 said:

    @Lefty Light HItter said:

    No, the most loathed for me is the 250 yd par 3 at a rival course...

    I don't get a course having a 250yd Par 3. I remember the PGA championship having a 250yd downhill Par 3. That's a major championship. Even for those playing the back tees, why have a hole set up that long?

    Poor design IMO. One local course was redone recently, really nice honestly, but there is one stupid long par 3 that is just out of place and doesnt make sense. It's so long they almost always have the tees up otherwise you got guys hitting woods from the whites on a par 3.

    This is a state and USGA qualifying course.

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  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers Posts: 7,403 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 9, 2019 6:28pm #39

    @SNIPERBBB said:

    @Krt22 said:

    @Lefty Light HItter said:

    No, the most loathed for me is the 250 yd par 3 at a rival course...

    I don't get a course having a 250yd Par 3. I remember the PGA championship having a 250yd downhill Par 3. That's a major championship. Even for those playing the back tees, why have a hole set up that long?

    Poor design IMO. One local course was redone recently, really nice honestly, but there is one stupid long par 3 that is just out of place and doesnt make sense. It's so long they almost always have the tees up otherwise you got guys hitting woods from the whites on a par 3.

    This is a state and USGA qualifying course.

    That doesn't change anything, although in that config they may have alternate tees to trick it up. I am talking about a normal course with a 200+ par 3 when the total course length is like 6300yards

    Post edited by Krt22 on
  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Try to land my driver shot in the opening between bunkers and run it on the green.

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  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers Posts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Krt22 said:

    @SNIPERBBB said:

    @Krt22 said:

    @Lefty Light HItter said:

    No, the most loathed for me is the 250 yd par 3 at a rival course...

    I don't get a course having a 250yd Par 3. I remember the PGA championship having a 250yd downhill Par 3. That's a major championship. Even for those playing the back tees, why have a hole set up that long?

    Poor design IMO. One local course was redone recently, really nice honestly, but there is one stupid long par 3 that is just out of place and doesnt make sense. It's so long they almost always have the tees up otherwise you got guys hitting woods from the whites on a par 3.

    This is a state and USGA qualifying course.

    That doesn't change anything, although in that config they may have alternate tees to trick it up. I am talking about a normal course with a 200+ par 3 when the total course length is like 6500yards

    This course is 6240 tipped. Par 70 with 6 par 3s. Not enough real estate to make this a par 4. Its more reasonable at the normal tees but I never play their outside competition or practice for competition there. Good thing is you got 40 yards on either side of the green before you get to the tree line and no other line, it's flat and generous fairway in front.

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  • dollerisdolleris Members Posts: 765 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Driver, 3 wood and a firm wedge 😎

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  • Redjeep83Redjeep83 Members Posts: 5,345 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    for longer par 3's I've seen tour pro's play to the part of the green that feeds to the hole and not really go straight at it. Guess it depends on the hole but many par 3's that are 200+ are like that

  • kc_hackerkc_hacker Members Posts: 68 ✭✭
    edited Aug 9, 2019 9:00pm #45

    The long par 3 has always been (to me) what separates the consistent players from the not-so-consistent. If you can hit pin high without bringing unnecessary trouble into play, you have to get the ball there. Consistent distance is the plague of the mid/high handicap golfer, so you need to hit the club that will minimize that. Swinging a hard 5 or 6 iron will get you on the green occasionally, but more often than not you'll be short - sometimes very short. Even if you hit it right online, a 40 yard chip is still probably bogey or worse.

    Forget about the pin, aim to the part of the green with the least trouble, and take the club that will get the ball there without overswinging. If it is a hybrid and it hooks, so be it. You'll get better.

    Also, set proper expectations. Low handicap players are going to miss the green from that distance quite a bit as well.

  • Jackal66Jackal66 Members Posts: 238 ✭✭✭

    Depends on the trouble. I'll play 5 iron, 3 hybrid, or a 5 wood.

  • DaveMc82DaveMc82 Members Posts: 44 ✭✭

    Really depends on 2 factors for me. Where is the trouble and how windy is it?

    If the trouble is pin high or long I’m looking to run it in from front edge or just short with a trap 6 iron. If I’m in the uk in the height of summer that can become a trap 7 or 8 iron due to the ground being like concrete! If it’s a 200 yard carry it’ll be a 20 degree hybrid gripped down an inch and played as a 10-15 yard fade. This normally carries 215.

    If it’s windy - read almost always when playing uk golf, I’m getting creative and hitting whatever takes the trouble out of play. If like today I’m in the uk and it’s gusting 50mph, the ball isn’t getting more than 30-40 feet in the air unless the wind is with me! Tomorrow is “only” gusting 30mph and that’s when I’m playing.

  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Open Championship! IowaClubWRX Posts: 18,283 ClubWRX
    edited Aug 10, 2019 1:05pm #48

    Depends, depends. Fortunately I don't have that come up one any of the courses I usually play. BUT seeing this thread reminds me of such a hole encountered just a little over a week ago. 16th (Partan Craig - just threw that in because the naming of the holes over there fascinates me) at Glen Golf Club, North Berwick. Huge elevation change downhill and this photo will not do justice to that at all. That evening the wind was brisk and in off the forth and the yardage for me was 208 to the pin. For me it was either hit a 3w full (which I hit too high according to the consensus of all people Irish or Scottish, lol, I encountered over there - "has she burned up in re-entry?" a caddie enjoyed asking me the day before elsewhere) and likely going who knows where or trying to hit a low bullet and hope for the best. As luck would have it (and this is a wrx story after all) I hit a dead straight low, piercing little 3w (couldn't believe it myself) - ended up catching a good bounce and roll and rolled onto the green and to the back (from where I proceeded to take 3 friggin putts). 200 is awkward distance for me, 4h okay on a no wind, level elevation hole, but throw in a little more yardage and/or headwind and I'm either laying up with the 4h or trying to do something with a 3w (no 5w in the bag for a few years now). I keep reading Cardoustie's recommendations on those Callaways - I need a 5h in the worst way and can't match the old 4h with anything I can find on the used market, so will be doing some Apex research today!

  • Oriolesfan138Oriolesfan138 Members Posts: 37 ✭✭

    Surprised no one has commented PW yet

  • DaveMc82DaveMc82 Members Posts: 44 ✭✭

    @Oriolesfan138 said:
    Surprised no one has commented PW yet

    That’s a totally feasible answer today in Scotland downwind. Problem is that you’d probably airmail the green by 30 yards.

  • Nard_SNard_S Members Posts: 3,447 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Play a par 3 that's 205 to 235. Bunkers and OB left, water right. Use a #4i to 5W depending but shot is always left side low fade. Move the ball back an inch and keep body and club low throughout, and look to run it up. If I miss left, bunkers catch it, if I leak right there's plenty of space to avoid water. I only go high & full carry if it's shorter (<210) and downwind. Double bogey is out of play with this.

  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,665 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    It depends how many of them you have at your course. If you only have 1 long par 3 i wouldn't stress a ton. Just try to get it around the green in a safe spot and get up and down, or take your 4. Just don't make a mess of it.....i mean 200yd par 3's are generally hard even for low indexes. Chances are everyone has a hole on their course that just gives them fits.

    If you have like 3-4 of them on your course, better find a club that allows you to hit that yardage consistently and with a decent trajectory. Even if it's somewhat of a specialty club. Hybrids are always a good bet, or a driving iron of some sort using a tee.

    I actually played a course today that had five par 3's and 4 of them were over 200yds. Not a lot of fun.

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  • dan360dan360 Paisano Members Posts: 5,394 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    4 iron, aim for the left fringe and power fade it somewhere.

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  • Grayback1973Grayback1973 Members Posts: 1,944 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    No wind or little wind and not severely up or down hill I usually hit 4-iron.Thats the iron I use from 190-210yds.

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  • jamgamjamgam ClubWRX Posts: 105 ✭✭✭

    Got any room up front? Hit it short and then go for the chip and putt? What distance are comfortable out to?

  • CheckJVCheckJV Male Model Members Posts: 2,113 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    A 200 yard par 3 means I’m playing the wrong set of tees.

  • dan360dan360 Paisano Members Posts: 5,394 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @RichieHunt said:
    Depends on how big the green is. From 200 yards out the average Tour player puts it to about 36-feet to the hole. They will also hit it about 30 feet offline on average.

    Now, I know they are Tour players, but you can only develop a meaningful strategy for a reasonable quality of shot. In other words, no amount of strategy is going to help any golfer if they hit a poor enough shot. So, I utilize the Tour averages (based on my research) because it's something achievable as it's not a 'great' standard and it allows me to utilize strategy on enough shots to make that strategy meaningful.

    So armed with that, I want to be have a target that is 36 feet from any hazard or front bunker (front bunkers are much more likely to end up plugged). And for the rest, I want a target that is at least 30-feet away from things like the rough.

    What you'll find is this...most par-3's over 150 yards you're probably better off aiming and hitting enough club for the center of the green. The odds of being able to go at a flag from that distance and finding the green go way down. And on Tour, you'll find about only a handful of golfers play par-3's better than par for the season. Thus, if you're making pars on a par-3...particularly one from 200 yards...you're playing them better than most everybody else. Furthermore, on most par-3's if you're directly in the center of the green (from a directional and distance standpoint), your odds of making par are quite good. You may not get that birdie, but you're really reducing your chances of making bogey.

    Here's a par-3 on my home club. It plays roughly 200 yards. The green is 102 feet long and 70 feet wide. You can't go long (or too far left and a little long) because the ball will careen off the hill and go OB.

    With a green 70-feet wide on 200 yard shot, (where the Tour avg prox 2 cup is 36-feet to the hole) the best play is to the directional center of the green.

    Even if the pin is back right I don't play for the pin because it's now a longer shot and that increases my shot dispersion (and if you miss a little long you are OB).

    So I just try to get to the center of the green, 2-putt and get out of there.

    For your situation, I would recommend hitting that 5-iron to get there, and on most greens from 200-yards you probably just want to play for the direct center of the green. If you can't hit your 5-iron to save your life, then you know what club to practice with on the range. Just don't create a strategy that makes it any harder for you to hit that 5-iron you struggle with and you can come up with pars and bogeys instead of bogeys and doubles.

    RH

    Now I know where Patient Zero of the 5-1/2 hour round is...

    I kid, I kid.

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  • jbrunkjbrunk Central IllinoisMembers Posts: 638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One local course here in Central Illinois has two 200+ yard par 3s. As many have said, it’s best to play for a safe miss, and get up and down.

    The 230y is quite a bit downhill with a 3 to 4° sloped green from back to front. Probably plays best with a slight draw. I’ll usually play 3W there, but hit it twice last year with a 5W and some tail wind.

    The 207y is quite a small green for this distance. I have rarely hit this green even with my best 5W or 3Hy shots. It’s probably meant to hit with a slight fade. As you can see, they also play in opposite directions to negate any helping wind.

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  • GolfTurkeyGolfTurkey Members Posts: 592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Oriolesfan138 said:
    Surprised no one has commented PW yet

    Beat me to it, I was going to suggest choking down on a gap wedge and blading it.

  • RichieHuntRichieHunt Members Posts: 3,721 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @dan360 said:

    @RichieHunt said:
    Depends on how big the green is. From 200 yards out the average Tour player puts it to about 36-feet to the hole. They will also hit it about 30 feet offline on average.

    Now, I know they are Tour players, but you can only develop a meaningful strategy for a reasonable quality of shot. In other words, no amount of strategy is going to help any golfer if they hit a poor enough shot. So, I utilize the Tour averages (based on my research) because it's something achievable as it's not a 'great' standard and it allows me to utilize strategy on enough shots to make that strategy meaningful.

    So armed with that, I want to be have a target that is 36 feet from any hazard or front bunker (front bunkers are much more likely to end up plugged). And for the rest, I want a target that is at least 30-feet away from things like the rough.

    What you'll find is this...most par-3's over 150 yards you're probably better off aiming and hitting enough club for the center of the green. The odds of being able to go at a flag from that distance and finding the green go way down. And on Tour, you'll find about only a handful of golfers play par-3's better than par for the season. Thus, if you're making pars on a par-3...particularly one from 200 yards...you're playing them better than most everybody else. Furthermore, on most par-3's if you're directly in the center of the green (from a directional and distance standpoint), your odds of making par are quite good. You may not get that birdie, but you're really reducing your chances of making bogey.

    Here's a par-3 on my home club. It plays roughly 200 yards. The green is 102 feet long and 70 feet wide. You can't go long (or too far left and a little long) because the ball will careen off the hill and go OB.

    With a green 70-feet wide on 200 yard shot, (where the Tour avg prox 2 cup is 36-feet to the hole) the best play is to the directional center of the green.

    Even if the pin is back right I don't play for the pin because it's now a longer shot and that increases my shot dispersion (and if you miss a little long you are OB).

    So I just try to get to the center of the green, 2-putt and get out of there.

    For your situation, I would recommend hitting that 5-iron to get there, and on most greens from 200-yards you probably just want to play for the direct center of the green. If you can't hit your 5-iron to save your life, then you know what club to practice with on the range. Just don't create a strategy that makes it any harder for you to hit that 5-iron you struggle with and you can come up with pars and bogeys instead of bogeys and doubles.

    RH

    Now I know where Patient Zero of the 5-1/2 hour round is...

    I kid, I kid.

    I know you're kidding, but I've usually been a speedy player and now I play even faster. Do the preparation before the round and then I don't have to think about that stuff on the course.

    That's what some of the more analytical types are missing. Do the thinking and analysis before the round so you don't over-think during the round.

    RH

  • DevilDogDevilDog Members Posts: 1,836 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Probably a 3 or 4 hybrid for me. My 15 year old would just hit a smooth 6 iron.

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