How Do you Do a Dogleg?
The more you get out on the golf course and implement what you learn in your On Course Playing Lessons, you will find that your decision-making process becomes easier and easier with time.
Here are a few bullet points to remember when faced with a dogleg. Often course designers throw them in on short holes. Play to get out of there with a par, and at all costs avoid the dreaded double bogey.
Firstly, stick to the basics. Put the ball in the fairway off the tee! This is pre-determined by your length. How far up the dogleg should you be aiming then, maybe driver off the tee may not be your best choice.
Secondly, avoid leaving the ball on a side hill. Often with doglegs your ball runs through and ends up on the side. For most recreational players, the ball above or below your feet presents its own difficulties.
Thirdly, in deference to point number 2, cut corners when you can, but remember the rule of 80%.
Fourthly- get accurate yardages. Know your carry vs roll distances and play accordingly. The old adage comes to mind, (I think I invented it- insert smiley face- 'the golf course doesn't care how far you hit the ball, it only counts the number of strokes it took you to get the ball in the cup')
Fifth and final- practice! Do not be overwhelmed by a dogleg, especially when it is not on the lines of your natural shot shape. You can have a natural fade, facing a dogleg right and you now forget that you are just looking at distances. If you need to lay-up and take a longer club into a green, that hole may now becomes a par hole. Too often in the quest to score low, players forget that a round of golf ebbs and flows, and sometimes patience is a virtue. Let the golf course come to you with opportunities, you do not have to 'blaze' a path around the course. If you are a competitor the mindset should still be the same, unless you are running out of holes and chasing a trophy, a title, or million dollar prize, so second just will not do.
Doglegs are simply there to challenge our thinking, not our skill set, if our thinking utilizes our skill set! Spring will shortly have sprung, so hopefully these thoughts serve you well.