How many times have you hit a fantastic drive on a par five and still turned the hole into a bogey or worse by going for the plus 200 yard shot and hitting it into trouble? There is a reason why the water hazard in front of the second green here at RedTail Landing is so full of golf balls every year! When you have decided to take the ‘Hail Mary’ shot out of the equation and play to make a birdie from the fairway with your favourite wedge, treat the shot like it is a par three and you are trying to hit a green with the target set at your favourite wedge yardage. This imaginary green should also be completely free from danger (avoiding water hazards and bunkers) so that if you don’t hit a ‘perfect’ layup that you still have a shot at the real green to make a par or better. This imaginary green in the fairway should also be for the vast majority of us at a yardage that still allows you to take a ‘full swing’ with your favourite wedge setting you up to make your final approach to the green. Try to avoid giving yourself tricky little short game shots that you may not be good at hitting if you don’t have to. Far too often I have seen players hit layup shots to troublesome spots and tricky yardages by choosing the wrong club. There is a wonderful expression that you should keep in mind to manage your layup shot… ‘If you’re going to lay up… DON’T GO FOR IT!’ I would personally take a 100 yard shot from the middle of the fairway all day long.
Play well, Dave Lengyel