The seventh hole at Bearpath Golf and Country Club is a 380-yard par 4, is the number one handicap on the course and a goal of making par is aggressive for a [player of my ability. The hole features a dogleg and a towering grove of trees on the right side of the fairway. Also, there is out-of-bounds on the left side of the fairway and a bunker straight ahead off of the tee. The green is long, slender and surrounded by water on the right and out-of-bounds on the left.
A couple of weekends ago, I was playing this hole with my friend, Tim Samuelson. My tee shot had hit a tree branch and dropped straight down leaving me an 180-yard shot into a flag tucked in the back right portion of the green next to water. A treacherous shot.
I asked Tim, “What would you do with this shot?” He replied, “I’d play it like a par 4.5 and set that as my goal.” I asked, “What does that mean?”
“Well, I’d a hit a 150 yard shot up short of the green, chip the ball up and one putt for a four. If I two-putt, I make five and take the potential for the big number out of play. So, you see, sort of like a par 4.5” Tim’s a “scratch” golfer so he’s more accustomed to making par