What Is A Dogleg Hole In Golf?

What is a Dogleg Hole in Golf?

A dogleg is a hole where the fairway turns somewhere before reaching the green, which makes the green not completely visible from the tee. It is one of the most common types of golf holes across all courses, from the local 9 hole course to championship-level courses.

Every dogleg hole has some sort of turn that provides an extra element of difficulty for the golfer. This turn can be slight to the left or the right, but drastic doglegs are also common. Holes can dogleg so drastically that the green is almost a full 90-degree turn from the tee box. No matter the sharpness of the dogleg, it provides new strategy implications for every golfer who comes through the hole.


Dog Leg Left

A dogleg left is a hole shape on a golf course that features a left turn after the tee and before the green. While it may seem advantageous to "cut off" the hole by hitting your tee shot over the shorter side of the dogleg, this usually proves to be difficult. Often, there will be obstacles lining the left side of the hole, including trees, bunkers, and deep rough.

Dog Leg Right

A dogleg right is a hole shape on a golf course that features a right turn after the tee and before the green. Often, there will be obstacles such as bunkers, trees, and deep rough lining the right side of the hole, making it hard to cut the hole by shooting over the short side of the dogleg.

Golfer Dogleg Strategy

Drastic Dogleg Hole

Since a dogleg hole is not entirely straight, a golfer has a few more decisions to make on how they plan to play the hole. A good golfer will take into account how far the turn in the dogleg is from the tee and plan accordingly. If there are no obstacles lining the side of the hole, it may be advantageous to aim directly at the green, especially if you can drive the ball far off the tee. This is because the distance from the tee to the green is shorter than on a straight hole, so if you aim directly at the green, you are effectively cutting off a substantial amount of distance.

If one is unable to drive the ball past the turn, hitting the ball to a spot with a good look at the green is very important. Once the ball makes it past the dogleg, the golfer has successfully navigated the added element and can play the rest of the hole normally.