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How To Play A Split Fairway – Free Advice From Professionals

Golf architects are keen on the concept of risk or reward. Typically big hitters are encouraged for example of reaching Par 5s in two when mere mortals can only lay-up and aim for the green with their third. There are holes that actually offer differing strategies that are not solely dependent upon distance. Fairways can be split simply by having some trees in the centre. One side of the fairway may offer an easier line into the green, albeit longer than the other yet those taking the riskier route may find that they need just a wedge or 9 iron second shot if they are able to take the tighter line.

It is decision time and the decision on what to do may well be based upon the round to date and whether the golfer is protecting a lead as opposed to trying to gain a shot.

What are the considerations?

  • You must relax and think positively. If you are playing well then you may have few doubts about your ability to take the riskier line. If you then have a much shorter iron for a second shot that is a decided advantage, especially if there are significant hazards in front of the green, bunkers or even water.
  • If the benefits of the riskier line are minimal then you really should not consider it. You should decide which is the easier fairway for you to hit. It may not be the same one as your opponents or colleagues whose normal shape of shot is so different to yours.
  • If one shot demands your ability to carry the ball over a hazard you need to be certain about how far you hit a specific club. That is not the distance including roll but how far do you hit the ball before it lands. If the hazard carry is the extreme end of your ability you may need to take the other alternative.

Course management is an essential part of every golfer’s make-up. It can save you shots during most rounds and correctly selecting your shot every time should pay dividends. If you are faced with a split fairway then how you handle the situation can make or break your round. As with every golf shot, once you make your decision you should commit to it. Follow your usual routine and go for it.


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