Golf course design is a thing of beauty and the variety of holes is what keeps us wanting to play every course on the planet. There are some par 5’s that are long with little trouble and are often birdied while others are almost impossible to reach in three. There are short par 4’s that are reachable with a great drive but offer no consolation for a ball miss hit.
Like a downhill, dogleg left, 279 yard par 4, with a steep drop off left of the narrow fairway and nothing but bunkers on the right. You can play a 5 iron off the tee to the middle of the fairway and a wedge to the green and par it almost every time. Or, you can try to drive the green and risk going “out of bounds” and getting the dreaded “double par” 8 on a par 4 hole. Not fun.
Financially we must weigh risk and reward as well. Taking unnecessary risk can lead to disappointment which can affect future shots. Many investors would tell you that looking back they would have more money today if they could get back just their principal.
The return of your money is often more valuable than the return on your money. Taking risk that does not pay off puts even more pressure on the shots we have left to play. No one knows this better than Jean van de Velde, when at the 1999 Open he blew a three shot lead hitting an errant drive and then played a risky shot rather than the sure thing and lost in aplayoff. How many holes have you played thinking to yourself “I could have done better using a pitching wedge on every shot?”