Explore All Of Your Options
It happens to everyone…you hit your tee shot into the trees and now you’re faced with how to keep moving down the hole toward the green. All to often, I see many players take the high risk, low percentage option and more often than not, it doesn’t work out very well for them.
Players need to analyze all of their options, and the possible outcomes, when making a decision on how to play a golf shot. Most golfers only look at the positive outcomes that can result from great shots, but seldom will look at all of the negatives that are the more likely result. It’s making smart decisions on the golf course that will help you shoot lower scores.
When you look at the scenario in the picture, the I’ve hit my tee shot to the right of the fairway on a par 5.
Looking at Option A (yellow line), I can potentially advance my 2nd shot about 200-220 yards down the hole, leaving a shorter 3rd shot of about 125 yards into the green. However, there is a small opening to hit through, with thick woods immediately to the right, and I must try to draw the ball to get back to the fairway. If successful, the shot into the green would be fairly simple and straight forward, but the risk in getting there is quite high.
Now lets look at Option B (blue line). I have plenty of room to advance the ball 125-150 yards back into the fairway. This will leave a much longer 3rd shot, roughly 200 yards, into the green compared to Option A, but risk is minimal. In this case, choosing Option B is the safer way to proceed and ideally still make a par. Even though I could have taken Option A, and tried to make a birdie, the risk is to high. The potential of making a bogey, double bogey, or worse is too great with Option A. By choosing Option B, I will likely leave the hole making a par, or at worst, a bogey.