Keep it in the Fairway: 3 tips for staying out of the rough

At Redlands Mesa, getting your tee shot in the fairway is crucial! Then again, that’s the first step on any hole at any course right? Get the tee shot in the fairway.

This is why, on some holes, you’ll see PGA players and LPGA players hit something other than driver off the tee. If they’re worried about a driver shot going too far left or right, a 3 wood is often their go-to alternative. So, there is your first tip too: try hitting a different club off the tee.

If you have and like your 3-wood, that is a good alternative because it will still get you plenty of distance but shouldn’t slice or hook as much as a shot with your driver. Otherwise a 5-wood or even 3-hybrid are good options.

Next, play smart golf. Really take an honest look at the hole and your game and decide only after that what your best option is. It may be laying up to a certain point (a boulder, a creek, etc). Just because someone else in your group can hit it over the boulder on our #14, if you know you don’t have that shot, then play a safer shot to the fairway and aim to get it rolling just past the boulder.

Practice a “fairway finder” shot. Here’s a good video of Justin Thomas and his coach discussing this. Basically a “fairway finder” is a go-to shot when you know you cannot miss the fairway. Perhaps you tee your ball a little bit lower and use maybe a 3/4 swing, keeping the ball low and rolling instead of high and slicing.

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