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How To Play A Par 4

The first element when strategising how to play a Par 4 is evaluating exactly where the trouble lies on the hole. Is there any Out Of Bounds, water hazards, thick rough or Fairway Bunkers that you may have to navigate. Also when evaluating these potential penalty areas, you also need to take into account what shape you may be hitting that day. For eg. do you have a tendency to hit fades or draws?

On a standard Par 4, the distance will most likely be between 300-420 metres. Once I have analysed the above mentioned, I then decipher whether it's best to hit Driver off the tee or a safety club such as Hybrid or iron. I hit my drives around 260m so if I notice that a Fairway bunker or penalty area comes in around that distance, I will most likely hit a safety club.

When I am choosing a safety club, I'm also deciphering the best distance to leave myself as an approach shot. I love 130m shots so if I had a 350m hole and couldn't hit driver, I would use a hybrid that goes around 220m to ensure I have that distance coming in. Understanding your strengths is very important when strategizing for certain holes.

Also when teeing off my natural tendency is to draw the ball. If I realise that day that I may be 'over drawing' (Hitting too much to the left) , I may set myself on the left side of the tee and aim right centre of the fairway. This is the same if you were someone who has a tendency to slice the ball, you may want to set yourself on the right side of the tee and aim to the left side of the fairway. Doing this simple strategy can help open up the fairway more when teeing off.

When confronted with short Par 4's that are driveable, I adopt the same mindset that Dustin Johnson upholds on these short holes. If I can easily the drive the green, then I will definitely try otherwise If I know I can't quite get there, I will lay up to a 50m distance as I am quite proficient from this yardage. Dustin Johnson's process is exactly the same as like many other tour pros. Their desired distance however may be slightly different.

Therefore when strategizing on Par 4's ensure to do a thorough assessment before you commence the hole.

If you'd like any further help in strategising for a Par 4, contact me and we'll work out a plan for the golf course that you play.

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