Golf Course Strategy – How to Determine Which Side of the Fairway!

by Max on Sunday, October 11th, 2009

You can easily improve your golf scores simply by thinking better.  In this session, I will show you how to determine which side of the fairway to “target” from the tee.

It’s a pretty simple and common sense fact but perhaps you don’t know.  And if you don’t know, this will definitely cut some strokes off your next round.

Also, this golf strategy tip can work on golf video games.  (Yes, you can practice this golf strategy without even being on a real golf course!)


As you can see in the above diagram (sorry, I made it real quick with Photoshop), there’s two red circles.  Each of them represent a “side” of the fairway.

Depending on where the pin is on the green, you can increase your chances of getting the ball nearer the pin by hitting the ball at the “right side” of the fairway.

For the example above, you will want to hit your tee shot to the left side of the fairway more room to “roll” your ball on the green.

As you can see, B angle has clearly more room for you to land the ball whereas A angle will not be as big.  (Now, mind my diagram, in real life situations on the golf course, these distances can become drastically bigger/shorter.  But you get the idea.)

When I used to play tournament golf, I do this on every hole, determining which side of the fairway I should land my tee shot on.  Especially on dog-leg lefts and rights, this simple golf strategy could determine whether you get to the green on your second shot or not.

Of course, there’s many other factors to consider when determining which side of the fairway you should aim for but one thing is for sure, you will “always” have to choose a side.

Don’t just try to hit the ball in the middle of the fairway.

Usually, you will find more trouble on one side than other such as OB stakes, water hazards, and even trees.   Also, always setup your tee shot near the side of the trouble.  For example, if there’s OB on the right side, setup your tee ball on the right side of the tee so you have more room for error (better angle).   I see a lot of hackers and amateurs who do the opposite and ultimately end up in trouble. (then they cuss at themselves for that when in fact they didn’t give themselves the best chance)

Do factor all that and try to find the best spot to land your tee shot for your 2nd shot.

Golf is really about setting up yourself right for your approach shot, whether that’s from 250 yards or 100 yards.

Sometimes, on some courses, you will find a better angle and approach if you hit your tee shot onto another fairway.  (And yes, please do that, it’s not illegal.)

Well, this is just my 2 cents and I hope it cuts some strokes off your golf game by thinking about “course strategy” the next time you play.

Remember, as a rule of thumb, if the pin is on the right side of the green, setup your approach shot to the left side of the fairway.  If the pin is on the left side of the green, setup your approach shot to the right side of the fairway.  If there’s water hazard in front of the green, this tip will help greatly in increasing your chances of landing your ball on the green or avoiding water at the worst.

P.S. Golf is about playing smart, not just hitting the ball.  The better you get at golf, the more these tips will make sense to you.

Here’s a video re-cap of today’s course strategy tips:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Also see more tags at ProGolferDigest:
More Categories: Course Strategy, Golf Psychology.

Related News and Resources

Leave a Reply