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What Is A Fairway In Golf? – Explained!

what is a fairway in golf
what is a fairway in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms commonly mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the word “Fairway”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly is a “Fairway” in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what a “Fairway” is in golf.

What Is A Fairway In Golf?

In golf, a Fairway is the section of a golf hole that sits between the tee box and the putting green. Fairways are typically long strips of turf. The turf height of fairways is shorter than rough, but taller than putting greens. The fairway is outlined by the first cut of rough.

In the great game of golf, the term “Fairway” is a word that is always mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts.

In golf, a “Fairway” is a generally long strip of turf that sits between the tee box and the putting green. Fairways are typically outlined by the first cut of rough. In addition, fairways have a turf height that is taller than putting greens and fringes, but shorter than the rough.

A fairway is part of the intended playing surfaces of a golf course, just like the putting green. This means that you get no penalty for landing your ball on the fairway, and it is a very playable surface, unlike hazard surfaces such as sand bunkers.

You will typically land your ball on the fairway after your tee shot, provided you aim with decent accuracy. On many golf holes, you are unlikely to reach the putting green before you land your golf ball on the fairway surface.

Down below is a real-world example of a fairway.

golf fairways
Golf Fairways are long strips of turf

As you can see on the image above, the fairway is a long strip of turf, often with a pattern of lines across its surface. The line pattern comes from the way golf courses mow their fairways.

On most golf holes, there is a fairway present. However, certain golf holes are so short that a fairway is not required, and you can directly hit the ball from the tee box onto the putting green.

Fairways in golf come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are narrow, some are wide, and some have undulating shapes such as dogleg fairways.

The more complex the fairway shape, the harder it generally is to navigate, which forces golfers to think more deeply before they swing,

If you are not landing your ball on the fairway after your first stroke, you are likely ending in the rough. Try to aim more to the left or to the right side of the fairway to compensate for the wind, and your tendency to hit balls to the left or the right, depending on your technique.

This is a golf course management skill that will help you become a better performing golfer and will increase your enjoyment of the game of golf.

Origin Of The Term “Fairway”

Linguistic experts claim that the term “Fairway” is used in marine navigation to refer to a part of a body of water which contains the navigable channel suitable for ship travel.

The term “fairway” has been applied to golf, as if the golf course were a body of water, and the golf ball were a ship. The golf ball’s most easy route to take for efficient travel is the “Fairway”.

An interesting note to mention is that the term “fair green” was used a century before the term “fairway” appeared.

To get better at golf and increase your chances of landing balls on the Fairway, you need to get better by reading our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the word “Fairway” means in golf.

Do you have any other words you wish to know more about? How often do you miss the “Fairway” when hitting the ball off the tee? Let us know in the comments down below!

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