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Correct Golf Answer Weigh up situation and confidence

Its a perennial question faced by golfers of every level, “When should I lay up, when should I go for it?”.

Each situation should be weighed up individually and there is no blanket solution. There are, however, certain principles which can be applied to help come up with a more informed decision.

  • What is your game situation – Depending on medal or match play you need to assess your position in the match; it will have a big impact on the decision you make. If you are behind in match play and need to get some holes back then going for it is the best decision you could make, unless your opponent is in trouble. However, if you are playing a tough course with danger around the fairways and greens then playing conservatively may be the wisest option.
  • Have you played the shot before – One of the biggest factors should always be whether you have experience of hitting the type of shot you need to play. If the shot you need to play has never even been attempted by Bubba Watson then your wisest decision could be to throttle back and play safe.
  • Is the risk worth the reward – sometimes players can get sucked into going for a shot which even if pulled off successfully will not give much reward. One example could be trying to drive is over a fairway bunker for an extra 20 yards carry. In this situation flirting with a fairway bunker is not worth the extra length you will face into the hole.
  • Go out with a game plan – if you play at a regular course then take the time before a round to plot out the way you want to play. This game plan off the tee will identify the dangers you face and the rewards you are likely to receive if you take on dangerous shots. Game plans are a great way for you to figure out if you should lay up or go for shots but they do take commitment and mental strength.

Picking the right moments to stick and twist is never easy but by using some sound principles you can help make a more informed decision.

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Playing safe is probably the best option for most players the majority of the time. However, golfers should never pigeon hole themselves into simply one course of action. Practice how to hit the great shots and implement them on the course. Choose your moments wisely.

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Just like playing safe all the time, going for everything will definitely lead to ruin! There are very few players in the world who attack every shot on every hole. Pick your moments to attack and understand when laying up is the best option.

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Unfortunately, the chances are your playing partner will have as much idea about course management as the average club golfer. You can do better! Take the time to think through the shot and come up with a decision before you stand over the ball.