Mental Mondays: Follow The Rule of Five

The Five Inch CourseThe Rule of Five is a fresh way of thinking about the game. Simply put, you should play every hole as though it were a par 5. Eighteen holes at five strokes per hole totals ninety. Do better than that on two or three holes and you’ll easily break 90.

Thinking in terms of the Rule of Five can take a lot of pressure off your game. You’ll automatically have an extra shot on all par fours to reach your goal. If you manage a bogey or a par on a par three, you then have an extra shot for one or two for one of the fives.

About this series:

In 1960, the average golf score was 100. Forty years later, in spite of all the innovations in clubs, balls and instruction, the average golf score is … still 100. In fact, only 20 percent of all golfers will ever break that mark.

Here’s the problem: Even with all the improvements, the one thing we haven’t been able to improve is the golf intelligence of the players. Most hackers—and more than a few better players—just play dumb golf. So here’s part one of a series on playing smarter golf.

This tip is an excerpt from The Five Inch Course: Thinking Your Way To Better Golf. The complete book is available in Kindle format at

2 thoughts on “Mental Mondays: Follow The Rule of Five”

  1. I’ve read about the mental tricks athletes are working with. Golf is a sport where you need to concentrate. Sometimes I think I’m concentrating to hard, try to much. Maybe I should try your little tip.

  2. The “Rule of Five” is a good target when a player wants to shoot sub-100 consistently.  I no longer routinely use that goal except when I am having a particularly bad day on the course.  At those times, I revert to the “Rule of Five” to give myself an achievable target.  The most recent case was Pinehurst No. 2.  The green complexes were giving me a beating.  Once I rolled back my target from “par” to “five” I was able to relax and had a reasonable second nine.


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