Thinking Of Going For It?
Golf Digest South Africa|September 2018
Thinking Of Going For It?

When a forced carry becomes a lay-up

Ron Kaspriske

You just hit the drive of the day, and it couldn’t have come on a better hole. Your ball caught the hill and rolled all the way down to a flat spot in the fairway. You’re now within striking distance of the front of the green on this short par 5, so it’s go-time, right? Well, maybe not. Just as you reach for a fairway wood, a gust of wind hits your face. You look up and notice the ripples on the water hazard that guards the front of the green. Then you look down at your ball and notice it’s got a dab of mud on it. Meanwhile, your partner just put one in that pond, and your opponents, who are 2 down, are goading you to go for it. Taking everything into consideration, do you still go for the green in two or do you lay up?

“You would think it would be as simple as, well, I know I can hit the ball far enough to get it there,” says PGA Tour pro Tony Finau. “But if you play golf, you know that’s not how it works.”

It’s true that distance often is the most important determinant in taking on a forced carry. (Finau says his max carry is 305 yards. Wow.) But there are plenty of other elements to consider – physical and mental.


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September 2018