Like Stallings, learn to take advantage of par 5s


Scott Stallings was the last man standing Sunday, using a birdie on the 72nd hole to jump out of a five-way tie for the lead and win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines by one shot.

Several players had opportunities down the stretch to at least match Stallings and force a playoff, but none were able to capitalize.

What did Stallings do that was so great to close out his win? A simple two-putt for birdie on the par-5 18th was all.

However, Stallings did something that all players need to try to do, and that is to take advantage of par 5s.

Many players cower in fear when they step on the tee of a par 5, but I believe you should greet every par 5 with excitement.

After all, it’s the only time you’re supposed to take five shots to get the ball in the hole.

Follow these tips to take advantage of par 5s and make them more fun and exciting:

• Play the correct set of tee markers. If 200 yards is your max drive, but you insist on playing tees that make par-5 holes 500 yards or longer, then I’m sorry there’s no helping you. Play a set of tees that will leave at least one par 5 on the course that you could possibly reach in two shots.

• Be aggressive. Lay up on par 5s only if you have to. Out of bounds and water hazards are the only two reasons I can think of that should warrant laying up. Don’t let rough and bunkers scare you. By refusing to lay up, even if you miss the green, you will at least have a short shot remaining. This will often minimize the danger that rough and bunkers can present.

• Go for max distance off the tee. This doesn’t necessarily mean to swing out of your shoes. It simply means that if the hole allows for a driver, don’t get timid and pull 3-wood or make a safety swing with the driver. Be confident and go for it!

For more tips from Golf Channel to help manage your game on the course, click here.