How to conquer Aronimink’s tricky doglegs at the Women’s PGA

Aronimink Golf Club

Austin Ernst plays the dogleg 6th hole at Aronimink Golf Club on Thursday.

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The front nine of Aronimink Golf Club, host of the Women’s PGA Championship, boasts a number of signature doglegs that require great tee shots to set up accurate approaches into the firm, undulating, Donald Ross greens. Playing dogleg holes with a little strategy off the tee, like the LPGA players do, can help you hit more fairways without changing your swing.

In order to swing confidently, choosing the correct angle on a dogleg is crucial. The space in between the tee markers is made to be utilized, so a player should choose to tee their ball up on the left or right side of the tee instead of the middle. The best angle to hit the fairway is one that allows the player to hit their natural ball flight to the largest part of the fairway while avoiding trees, rough and other penalty areas. Selecting a good angle creates a larger landing zone with more forgiveness for a miss-hit. 

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Hole No. 6 at Aronimink is a great example. On this hole, players who cannot carry the large cluster of bunkers on the right corner of the dogleg will use the right side of the tee box. That gives them the best angle to hit the fairway to the left of the bunkers while also staying out of the deep rough that lines the left side of the hole. By using one side, a player can hit their typical draw or fade and still aim for the widest part of the fairway. If the player tees it up in the middle of the box on this hole, the chances of a shot leaking into the bunkers, fanning behind a tree, or drawing into the deep rough drastically increase. Without changing your swing, you can use the space and angles that a tee box gives and set up the hole that is best for you. It takes only a few extra seconds to decide on the zone you want to aim for, and that can really help you hit more fairways.

This strategy can also be used on par-3s. You will notice LPGA players choosing a side of the tee box on the 5th hole to give them a good shot to go at the pin. If their tee shot ends up on the opposite side of the wide, tricky green, the probability of a two-putt decreases dramatically. 

Selecting an angle off the tee that is best for your ball flight will give you the largest surface area to hit and the best chance of hitting the green or fairway. The process of using the sides of a tee box can foster more confidence compared to the hit-and-hope method from the middle of the tee box. Try this next time you play a dogleg or par-3! 

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