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How Far Back Should I Play My Golf Lay Up?How far back you should play your golf lay ups really does depend on which shots you are stronger hitting.




This will vary from course to course and player to player. If you are someone who is particularly stronger playing your shorter irons, so 9 iron and 8 iron, when you are trying to lay up into the hole, that is the sort of distance that you want to leave - however far you hit your 8 iron should be the lay up distance that you are then leaving for the next shot into the green.

However, if you are someone who is better at playing their hybrid and utility clubs, then you will be laying up further away from the green because you can hit this club further than you can hit your 8 iron.

Lay up to the distance that you know you can hit consistently well and work out which clubs you play most successfully when you are next out on the course. You want particular clubs going a very similar distance each time you use them. If you hit your 7 iron 150 yards, you want to always hit it that distance. If it varies then you can not be sure which distance you will achieve, so now it becomes difficult to know the distance to leave into the green. If you always hit your 7 iron a specific distance, then you know that is the distance you want to leave for your next shot into the green when you lay up. If you left 150 yards into the green and you know that you always hit a 7 iron that distance, then you can be confident when playing your 7 iron in and so you are playing to your strengths.

Go to the Driving Range or the Practise Ground and if you take 6 to 10 balls and just play the same shot with the same club over and over again, just notice how far you hit the balls on average. If it is a pretty consistent distance note down the yardage the ball has gone. Then try with one of your longer clubs, then try with one of your shorter clubs and just notice over 10 balls which club you were most consistent with. This/these are the clubs you want to leave for your lay up distance, the clubs that you are most consistent with so you can be confident that you will produce that yardage when you need it most.

It does not matter whether it is a short iron, or whether it is a hybrid club, or a 5 wood or a 3 wood. You just want to know which club is your strength and then play to that strength, leave that distance for your next shot when laying up and leave that distance so you can hit the ball into the green confidently. You should find that by doing this, you can really improve your scores when you are next out on the golf course.

Laying up far away, leaving longer and more difficult shots to then be played, is not the correct approach. If you do lay up, make sure you are short of the hazard you wish to avoid, but close enough to play an easy next shot.

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Laying up close to a hazard has the potential risk that you may misjudge your distance and end up in the hazard.

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Laying up to this distance does not necessarily mean you are viewing each hole as a unique and different challenge. Different shots may be required for each approach.

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Laying up far away from hazards will mean that there is no risk of the ball rolling into the hazard. However, the further away you are from the hazard, the more difficult you are making the shot required to clear it.