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Answer How Can I Best Play A Hole With A Split Fairway

Golf holes with split fairways are not very common but do throw up unique challenges for players.





Split fairways branch off in two directions and only appear on par 4s and par 5s. The split normally occurs around a natural feature, such as a water hazard, bunker, tree or rocky outcrop. Course designers often use split fairways to give golfers a difficult decision. One of the fairways is usually a safer option which is wider and easier to hit from the tee. This fairway however usually leaves a long approach into the green and makes the chance of a birdie quite unlikely. The other fairway is normally tighter and fraught with danger but offers a greater reward, usually a shorter second shot or better angle into the green.

When playing a split fairway hole, golfers need to think carefully about what they need to achieve. If they are behind in a match, for example, they may need to attack and take on the difficult drive. The best way to consider the split fairway is to think out the hole from the green backwards. Where is the pin? Where is the green? Which fairway will give me the best angle of approach? Which fairway is safer? What shot shape will I need? What club shall I hit? This approach will allow golfers to think backward and better judge how to play the hole.

Although split fairways are rare, many golfers feel they are a novelty and sometimes punish perfectly good drives. When playing a split fairway, embrace the challenge and pick your shot.




Split fairways are often unique and give great character to the hole. Golfers need to weigh up their options and commit to the tee shot.

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Course designers putting in split fairways are rarely lazy and will build in slopes and hazards that make a freewheeling shot more likely to find trouble. Golfers should take the time to use good course management and play the hole out in their mind.

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Remember golf is a challenge and the hole will not give itself up easily. Focus on the target and use a good pre-shot routine.

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Some times playing the longer and safer route will suit your eye better. Use your minds eye to judge your options, pick your target, club and then commit to the shot.