Lay up — or go for the green? Consider this factor every single time

August 23, 2019

This year, the Solheim Cup heads to the Centenary Course at Gleneagles in central Scotland. Historically, less than 20 percent of matches will reach the 18th hole — but those that do will demand high-pressure virtuoso performances. This uphill par 5, dubbed “Dun Roamin’,” is your last chance at glory. If you were down to the wire, what would you do with your second shot? That depends on your wedge identity. Pick one, and the choice becomes simple.


Do you favor the short-side, downhill, buried-lie flop shot? Are your hands so soft you could get up-and-down from the beverage cart? Does an all-or-nothing chip shot get your blood pumping— in a good way? That means your choice is easy here: Gun directly for the pin. Sure, you may end up long in the rough without any green to work with, hitting a delicate wedge in front of thousands of rabid fans. But hey, you said you could handle it. Take dead aim.


Are you the type of golfer who actually likes those 25-50 yarders? The wedge maestro who knows that if it’s in the fairway, and it’s a long pitch, something good is bound to happen? If that’s the case, then this, too, is an easy choice for you: Take less club and plan your leave, most likely short and left of the green. A chance at birdie 4 is a real possibility, with a guaranteed 5. Leave yourself that perfect pitch.


A 50-yard half-wedge gives you the heebie-jeebies, but 100 yards? Now that sounds doable. For some players, 85 yards is a perfect sand wedge, while 110 is the ideal pitching wedge. If this is you, have no shame: Play to your strengths. The second shot becomes easier as a result, as long as you dial in the right yardage from where you are. Lay it to your number.