How to Best Play Wide Fairways

In this article on the topic of playing to wide fairways, we have 3 key points.

  • It’s not all about actual width. What do you think of when you picture a wide fairway? Most likely, you picture one that has plenty of physical distance from one side to the other. That is certainly one definition that you can use, but it isn’t entirely accurate. The issue here is that the effective width of any fairway includes more than measurable distance. It also includes the slope of the ground and the condition of the turf. For example, picture a fairway that is 40-yards wide. It slopes dramatically from right to left, and the turf is quite firm. Next, picture a fairway that is 30-yards wide, but flat and featuring soft turf. Without a doubt, the 30-yard wide fairway is going to be easier to hit. Sure, it is technically narrower by 10-yards, but the design of the hole and the condition of the turf mean that it will be easier to keep your ball in the short grass. As you plan your tee shots, keep this factor in mind. Evaluate the fairway not only on sheer width but also on the slope you see and the turf conditions you expect.
  • Don’t force it. When a wide fairway comes along, you might feel pressure to take advantage of the hole. After all, this might be one of the easiest holes on the course, so you will hope to make at least a par, if not a birdie. Unfortunately, putting extra pressure on yourself can lead to trouble. Do your best to relax and play this just like any other hole. Golf is a funny game, and you never know how your round is going to work out in the end. It may be that you don’t wind up playing the easy holes very well, but you manage to get through the hard holes in good shape and your score adds up nicely at the end of the round.
  • It’s not a contest. On a hole with a wide fairway, there is a good chance that at least one other player in your group is going to use the hole as an impromptu long-drive contest. Don’t get sucked into this kind of competition. Keep your mind focused on the task of playing good golf, and let the others send their drives into the rough while trying to out-do each other.

The key takeaway from this article should be that you can never take anything for granted in golf. Even when playing a hole with an extra-wide fairway, there are still plenty of ways to make a bogey or worse. Stick with your game plan, think the tee shot through carefully, and make a quality swing. You aren’t just trying to hit the fairway, but rather you are trying to hit the right part of the fairway to set up your next shot. Good luck!