A dogleg hole can prove challenging for beginner golfers are the best of times but some are more difficult than others. Dogleg holes either go from left to right or from right to left, either way, there is a turn in the fairway which must be negotiated.
Many dogleg holes will have a hazard on one side of the turn, tempting you to play towards the opposite side of the fairway. However, there will be occasions when there is a hazard on both sides of the fairway and this can lead to anxiety on the tee.
Today, we have some tips to help you develop a good strategy for playing a dogleg hole with trouble on both sides of the fairway.
A common approach is to move to whichever side of the tee box allows your natural swing to leave the ball on the fairway. If you usually see the ball swing from left to right when using the driver, you will start on the right side of the tee box and send it towards the hazard on the left, hoping it will swing around to the right and land safely.
However, this is very risky and with hazards both side of the fairway, all it takes is for the ball to travel straight or for a slight mishit and the ball is in the water or sand.
Instead, try taking a shorter club, one you know you can hit straight most of the time and get your ball on the fairway. If you are honest with yourself before starting the hole, you know what the best score you can realistically expect to make will be and it could be to leave yourself one putt for par.
Knowing your own ability and admitting what you are capable of doing on the golf course is not a weakness. It will save you many shots and not all holes are going to be designed to suit your playing style.
If you cannot shape your shot to suit the dogleg, you can still use the driver but you must consider where the best place is to leave the ball and how far you can carry the ball with the club. Knowing the distance from the tee box to the first hazard on the bend of the dogleg is crucial. If you have this information and know you can comfortably clear the hazard on the inside of the fairway, you can play the shot with confidence.
However, if the carry is 190 yards and the best you have ever achieved is 200 yards, you are advised to take a shorter club and just get the ball in play. You are better off leaving yourself a tougher second shot from the fairway than being in a fairway bunker or the water.
So, when you step up to the tee on a dogleg with trouble either side, consider the options above. You do not have to stick to the same shot on the tee for every par-4 or par-5 you play. Sometimes you must adjust and accept not every hole is suitable for your shot style.