When Jack Nicklaus talks about golf, we should probably listen.
There’s an age-old debate about using a tee on par three holes — the obvious stance should be: Why wouldn’t you? It’s an advantage.
Roger Maltbie once said that if using a tee didn’t create an advantage, well, they’d let you use it everywhere.
Which brings us to today’s simple tip to help your game — use a tee when you play par three holes.
Some players who watch today’s tour players sometimes see them forgo the use of a tee on par threes, especially when they’re hitting wedges and shorter irons. But keep in mind — those are professionals!
For the rest of us, the use of a tee gives us a lot of help.
First, it’s easier to get a clean hit.
Second, with a clean hit, the ball will carry farther.
Third, it’s all about confidence.
Fourth, odds are, you’ll have a better chance of finding the middle of the club face.
Nicklaus advises amateurs to always use a tee on par threes.
What you want to pay attention to is the type of grass, the length of grass and sort of condition the tee box might present.
Some courses are that wonderful zoysia grass on fairways and tees. It’s incredible, the ball sits right on top of the grass. That may be the one time you can go without a tee, otherwise, most of the time, it will be an advantage. You need to pay attention to how high or low you tee it.
Let’s look at one of the most famous shots on a par three by Nicklaus and that came at the 17th at magnificent Pebble Beach at the 1972 U.S. Open.
Jack had 219 yards into the wind. Normally it would have been a two-iron for him. “I needed to hit it far enough to get it over the bunker,” Nicklaus recalled.
Jack used a tee for that one-iron, although he teed it quite low with the wind whipping.
Jack had a two-shot lead and laced it to perfection. His ball hit the flagstick, nearly went in and left him a tap-in for a three-shot lead on his way to the championship.
So listen to Jack — tee it up on par threes.