Are Short Par 5’s Actually “Easy"?

Arccos Golfer


Imagine it, you’re standing on the tee box of a par 5. You look at Arccos and notice it's 475 yards to the green. You think to yourself, “Well, if I hit my drive around 260 yards, then I have about 215 yards left.” Simple, right? 

We might think so, but Arccos’ Data Lead, Lou Stagner, Mark Crossfield and Greg Chalmers, PGA might say otherwise in their latest Hack It Out - Saturday Morning Stat podcast.

It might seem like a straightforward task, but as you weigh your options, it becomes clear that there are many different paths to play this “short par 5”. Do you play it safe and lay up, or take the riskier approach and go for the green in two?

Some imaginable settings:

  1. I can bomb a 3-wood to try and get it on two, and if I miss, should be an easy up and down.
  2. I can lay it up to 100 yards out and use my trusty wedge to hit it in tight.
  3. Or if all goes wrong from the start, and I blow my drive off to the right, I should still have enough wiggle room to get on the green in 3, even with a recovery shot.

All these options can be daunting so, you look at Arccos again, but this time you ask Caddie to help. The A.I. configures the best possible play for you, based on the strengths and weaknesses of your game from the hundreds or thousands of shots you’ve already hit from previous rounds. This helps feed confidence in your game and relieve some of the uncertainty you may have on the course.  

Ideally, we all want to capitalise on these shorter par 5s, but it’s important to manage your expectations to help keep a steady mindset during the round.  The typical golfer may usually approach a shorter par 5 and think there’s more room for error and a greater opportunity to birdie or par. But is this really the case? How many strokes do you think it takes the average 10 handicap to conquer a 475-yard par 5? It might be shocking! 

In the most recent Saturday Morning Stat episode of the Hack it Out podcast, golf experts Lou Stagner, Mark Crossfield, and Greg Chalmers, PGA discuss whether short par 5s are actually as easy as they seem. Using data from Arccos, they take a deep dive into the numbers to uncover the truth about these tantalising opportunities on the course.

Tune in on Apple or Spotify to hear what they discovered.