Play to Your Strengths When Laying Up, Golf Tip 1

Laying up on a par 5 seems like one of golf's simplest tasks. Provided there are no hazards to consider, you should just choose the club that will put you closest to the green, right?

Sometimes, sure. But not always. For example, there's such a thing as being too close to the green. It's often better to have a full shot with a wedge than, say, a hard-to-judge, 40-yard pitch.

Therefore, your first job is to determine an ideal distance for your third shot. Let's say you're comfortable hitting a pitching wedge from 100 yards. Figure out the distance from your drive to the 100-yard marker, then choose the appropriate club, making sure to factor in fairway roll. As long as you hit the shot well, it should finish within 10 yards or so of your target.

Occasionally, however, the required distance may mean picking a club you struggle with. Say you need a 200-yard shot to reach your 100-yard target, but you've been hooking your hybrids badly. Play to Your Strengths When Laying Up, Golf Tip 2You're better off laying up a little farther back with a different club, settling for a longer approach but improving your chances of hitting the fairway with the layup.

Par 5s offer great scoring opportunities when you use sound judgment to position your approach. Invest a few extra seconds to analyze the situation and you'll enjoy a major payoff.

Update:Playing to your strengths when laying up on the golf course can lead to better course management and improved scoring. Laying up strategically allows you to avoid potential hazards, set up favorable approach shots, and increase the likelihood of making par or better. Here are some golf tips for laying up to your strengths, along with answers to common questions:

Golf Tip: Play to Your Strengths When Laying Up

  1. Assess Your Skill Set: Identify your strengths in terms of distance control, ball flight, and shot shape. Use this knowledge to plan your layup strategy.
  2. Choose the Right Target: Aim for a landing area that aligns with your strengths and sets up a comfortable distance for your approach shot.
  3. Factor in Wind and Conditions: Consider wind direction and strength when selecting your layup target to ensure optimal positioning.
  4. Avoid Trouble: Lay up to avoid hazards such as water, bunkers, and thick rough that could result in difficult recovery shots.
  5. Play Conservatively: If you are unsure about a risky shot, opt for a conservative layup that keeps you in control and minimizes potential errors.
  6. Prioritize Accuracy: Focus on accuracy over distance when laying up, as it will lead to better positioning for your next shot.
  7. Club Selection Matters: Choose a club that provides the desired distance for your layup while ensuring you can control the shot.
  8. Consider Course Layout: Study the layout of the hole and plan your layup based on the positioning of fairway bunkers, doglegs, and green complexes.
  9. Factor in Your Short Game Strengths: Consider your short game skills when laying up to set up a favorable approach shot and potential birdie opportunity.
  10. Stay Committed to the Plan: Once you've decided on your layup strategy, commit to the shot and execute it confidently.


  1. Q: Should I always lay up when faced with a long approach shot? A: Not necessarily. If you are comfortable and confident in hitting long approach shots, you can go for the green if the situation allows.
  2. Q: How can I determine the best landing area for my layup shot? A: Take into account your carry distance, wind direction, and potential hazards to select a landing area that suits your strengths.
  3. Q: Can I use my driver for laying up on a long par-4 or par-5 hole? A: Using a driver for a layup may not be ideal due to its distance potential. Consider using a more controllable club, like a fairway wood or hybrid.
  4. Q: Is it better to lay up short or long of a hazard? A: It depends on the situation. Laying up short of a hazard may leave you with a more comfortable approach, while laying up long may provide a better angle to the green.
  5. Q: Should I always lay up when facing a difficult lie in the rough? A: In some cases, it may be more prudent to lay up from a difficult lie to increase your chances of making a better approach shot.
  6. Q: Can I still attack the pin when laying up? A: Laying up allows you to set up a more manageable approach shot, but you can still be aggressive with your approach to give yourself a birdie chance.
  7. Q: How can I practice laying up effectively? A: Practice your layup shots on the driving range or during practice rounds to develop distance control and accuracy with your selected clubs.
  8. Q: What should I do if I have a tough lie for my layup shot? A: Assess the lie and make the necessary adjustments to your shot setup and club selection to handle the challenging lie effectively.
  9. Q: Should I lay up to a specific yardage for my approach shot? A: Having a target yardage for your approach shot can help you feel more confident and in control when executing the layup.
  10. Q: Can I still lay up when playing aggressively on a short par-4? A: Yes, even when playing aggressively on a short par-4, laying up strategically can set up a better angle for an easier approach to the green.
  11. Q: How can laying up improve my scoring on the course? A: By laying up to positions that suit your strengths, you increase the chances of hitting accurate approach shots and setting up birdie opportunities.
  12. Q: Should I lay up when I'm playing well and hitting my long shots accurately? A: If you are confident in hitting your long shots accurately, you can be more aggressive on certain holes, but still use layups to set up better approach angles.

By incorporating these tips and answers to common questions into your golf game, you'll develop a strategic approach to laying up that plays to your strengths and improves your scoring on the course. Remember to assess the situation carefully, commit to your decisions, and play with confidence in your abilities.