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Jason Laws: Made To Measure - Australian Golf Digest Jason Laws: Made To Measure - Australian Golf Digest

Strategy is the key to success on short 4s.

Short par 4s are not designed to be easy; they’re designed to challenge a player’s thought process on the tee.

Here at Newcastle Golf Club, our par-4 eighth hole often entices members to go for the green by taking driver. Big hitters will often find themselves in the valley 40 metres short, playing a shot from an uncomfortable distance with danger surrounding the green. It has turned many a straightforward par into a bogey, or worse.

There is probably a short par 4 on your home course that raises a question on the tee. The question you should be asking yourself is whether you can reach the green or not.

If you can’t – and if the best you can hope for is to be 30-60 metres from the green – it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Take the club that puts you in the most comfortable position for your second shot. Hit a confident shot from that spot and you may never make bogey again. 

Short, not soft

Laying up to a target distance requires intent. You are not hitting a shot softly; you are playing a full shot with the club necessary to play to the distance you desire. Make that mindset shift and rid yourself of the ‘safe’ shots that go wrong.

If you have any questions or are interested in undertaking some online lessons, e-mail me at

 getty images: gary kellner