I recently had the chance to be the color analyst to David Marr III at the Senior Club Professional Championship at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fl. We had cameras on the 6th hole on the Wanamaker Course, a fairly dangerous par 3 that was playing 180 yards.
Despite playing in this tournament 17 times (9 or 10 times at this site), I felt like I got a bit of a playing lesson watching 264 players play this hole. The hole location was left, which seems like the easiest site as the middle of the green feeds the ball toward that placement. However, the route directly toward the flagstick was very intimidating, as you must carry the ball about 172 yards to clear the hazard.
What I learned, or at least had reinforced, was that nearly all of the top players hit the ball right of the pin. Not only right, but many were in the 50-80 foot range. They were NOT going to give away two shots on this hole! Also, the vast majority two-putted from there, so they saved par without taking any real risk.
Nothing earth-shattering, maybe, but always consider that there are only a few holes each round that can “ruin” your score. On these holes, conceive a plan that gives you a good chance for a par, with almost no chance of a double-bogey or worse. Unfortunately, one player hit his ball short of the green and made an eight, virtually ending his chance to make the cut with a single swing!