Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lay up on the Golf Course

To lay up in golf, is to play a shorter short into a better position. This is in contrast to attempting a longer shot that may not come off and leave a player in a less than ideal spot.

Let us suppose that you find that your ball is in longer grass on the left of the fairway. The green is 120 yards ahead, but surrounded by bunkers. You can shoot for the green, which could leave the ball near the hole. Alternatively, you could land in a bunker or find that you cannot really get your ball near the green, and land in the rough again. 

However, you could also just use a pitching wedge and pitch your ball out of the rough and onto the fairway short of the green. From here, you can have a clear shot towards the green from off the fairway. At any rate, such an approach could well be the best approach if your shot from the rough were to miss the green.

So laying up is really about finding a better spot on the golf course. Usually, it is a short shot like a chip or a pitch that will cover perhaps 50 to 100 yards or less. Alternatively, shorter irons like the 9-iron are better for slightly longer shorts.

Overall, the wedge clubs like the sand or pitching wedge are best for pitching. Then for chipping these clubs along with irons like the nine, eight and seven can be appropriate. As stated, for longer shots irons like the nine or eight are suitable for this.

If you find that your ball has landed in a less than great spot on the golf course, then really playing off the spot and into a better position is usually more preferable that attempting a longer shot. As stated, if in long grass then to play towards a good fairway spot can be better.

Alternatively, you may be on the fairway but find that a spot of water does not permit a clear shot to the green. Instead of going over, go around with pitch or low iron shot further down the fairway. Then a clear shot to the green can be made.

At any rate, when you do not have a clear shot towards the green then that is the time to consider laying up. While bunkers are easy enough to clear, trees etc are not so.

Even closer to the green, you may consider a chip onto the green further from the flag as an alternative to pitching over a bunker. With the pitch, you may not clear the bunker but a chip round it will land on the green for putting.

So overall, it is about finding best position on the golf course. This as an alternative to longer shots that may land in a poor position on the course or even result in a penalty. Just remember the film Tin Cup in which Tin Cup lost the U.S. Open by landing in a lake when going for the green. Check out this post 

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