NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a dogleg?January 1, 2010
Don't know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG's Golf Glossary is here to help. This week, what is a dogleg?
What is a dogleg? Well, here at National Club Golfer we’re the publication for the everyday player and so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to give you a step-by-step introduction to the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.
What is a dogleg?
A dog’s leg is not straight. A dogleg is a hole that isn’t straight. We wouldn’t go as far as saying that straight holes are dull but variety is the spice of life. Golf is made more interesting by holes that change direction.
There are many types of dogleg, or at least holes that are called doglegs. Some holes curve whereas others make a distinct turn – of 90 degrees or even more on occasion.
Take a hole like the 1st at Royal Liverpool (they play it as the 3rd when the Open is there). The square practice ground is on your right throughout. You drive to the corner then it turns at a right angle.
By comparison, a hole like the 13th at Augusta is more of a gradual curve.
I’m not sure either of these look much like a dog’s leg, which is nearer to being straight.
How would you use it in a sentence?
“Augusta is said to favour a draw, because many of the holes are right-to-left doglegs.”
What are its origins?
I think we’ve covered that above.
Any other business?
Doglegs add a strategic element to golf. Sometimes, they can tempt you to cut off the corner and make the next shot that much shorter. Often, they pivot around a bunker that sits inside the angle of the dogleg. Or they run along the perimeter of the course, allowing for a potentially thrilling drive that momentarily leaves the property only to return.
The golfer skilful enough to curve their shot is often rewarded on a dogleg – your shot can follow the shape of the hole.