Lay Up Approach Shots When Time is Right

It is fun to play aggressive golf shots, and sometimes the right play is to believe in your abilities and take on the hazard off the tee. You can’t always go the aggressive route, however, so you need to understand how to lay up properly when the time is right. In this article, we will provide some techniques on how you can execute an excellent layup shot off the tee to a comfortable position short of the hazard.

  • Account for all distance. When thinking about going over the hazard, you are concerned first and foremost with carry distance. After all, if you don’t carry the ball over a pond, you aren’t going to get help from a bounce off of the water. However, when you are laying up, you’ll need to think about the total distance of the tee shot, including carry, bounce, and roll. Even if the ball lands short of the hazard, it could still roll in and cost you a stroke. Consider the conditions of the turf when trying to decide how far a given shot will travel. Firm turf conditions mean much more bounce and roll than damp, soft conditions.
  • Find a flat spot. Since you will be leaving yourself with a longer approach shot than if you went over the hazard, you are going to want to make that second shot as easy as possible. One way to reduce the degree of difficulty you will face is to aim for a level spot in the fairway. It’s always easier to hit off of level ground, so do your best to position the ball in a good spot. If there is no flat spot available, evaluate the terrain and aim for a part of the fairway that will suit your skills the best.
  • Focus on the swing. Imagine that you have stood on the tee for a few moments, trying to decide whether or not you will attempt to hit your drive over the hazard. At the end of your deliberations, you decide that the best play is to simply lay the ball up. Once that decision has been made, you may be tempted to just hurry through the swing, thinking that you have gone with the ‘easy’ option. Sure, laying up might be easier than going over the hazard, but there is no such thing as an easy shot in golf. You need to pay close attention to your swing when laying up, just like you would do if taking the aggressive route. Pick out a specific target, focus on the fundamentals of your swing, and execute to the best of your ability.

Depending on the types of courses you play, this is a situation that you may run into only from time to time – or you may find these kinds of scenarios frequently. Sometimes, it will work out to play over the hazard in order to set up a shorter approach. On other occasions, the layup is the best way to go, as you should be able to keep the ball in play and avoid running into trouble unnecessarily. We hope the advice provided in this article will help you deal with these kinds of tee shots successfully more often than not. Good luck!