fairway term

What is a Fairway in Golf?

In the game of golf, the term “fairway” refers to a specific area of the golf course. It is a closely mowed strip of grass that runs between the tee box and the putting green. The fairway is designed to provide a clear and even surface for golfers to hit their tee shots and approach shots from.

  • Dimensions: The width of a fairway can vary depending on the golf course, but on average, it is between 25 to 60 yards wide.
  • Grass Type: Typically, fairways are covered with a type of grass called Bermuda grass or Kentucky bluegrass. These grasses are chosen for their ability to withstand heavy foot traffic and frequent mowing.
  • Maintenance: Maintaining the fairway is crucial for a well-kept golf course. It requires regular mowing, watering, and occasional fertilization to ensure the grass remains healthy and playable.
  • Stripes: Fairways are often mowed in a pattern that creates alternating light and dark stripes, known as “striping.” This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the golf course but also helps golfers visually align their shots.

Why is the Fairway important?

The fairway plays a significant role in the game of golf for several reasons:

  • Accuracy: Hitting a tee shot or approach shot from the fairway provides golfers with a more predictable and consistent lie, allowing for greater accuracy in their shots.
  • Distance: The fairway provides an open and unobstructed path to the putting green, enabling golfers to achieve maximum distance on their shots.
  • Strategic Play: Golfers strategize their shots based on the location and condition of the fairway. They may aim to avoid hazards such as bunkers, water bodies, or thick rough by strategically positioning their shots within the fairway.

Fairway Terminology:

  • Hit the Fairway: When a golfer's tee shot or approach shot lands within the boundaries of the fairway, it is said to have “hit the fairway.”
  • Miss the Fairway: If a golfer's tee shot or approach shot lands outside the confines of the fairway, it is considered to have “missed the fairway.” This often leads to a more challenging lie and potentially reduces the chances of making a good next shot.
  • Fairway Bunker: Occasionally, golf courses may have fairway bunkers strategically placed within the fairway to add an additional challenge. Golfers must navigate these sand-filled hazards to reach the putting green.


The fairway is a critical element of the golf course, functioning as a pathway for golfers to progress from the tee box to the putting green. Hitting the fairway provides golfers with a better chance of accuracy, distance, and strategic play. Understanding fairway terminology and its significance can greatly enhance a golfer's overall game. So, the next time you step onto the golf course, keep an eye out for that perfectly manicured strip of grass leading you to success!