If you’ve ever been watching a PGA Tour or pro golf telecast on TV, you’ve no doubt heard one of the commentators — or even one of the players — talking about a “two-way miss.”
There are a lot of terms golfers and commentators use that a casual fan, or even a casual golfer, may not know or understand. This is definitely one of those terms, but the idea of the “two-way miss” is something with which almost every golfer on the planet is familiar.
What is a “two-way miss” in golf?
The term “two-way miss” in golf means a golfer is missing to both the left and the right. In other words, the golfer really doesn’t know which way the ball is going to go from one shot to the next. They don’t have control over their golf ball. That’s true for almost every recreational golfer who struggles to break 90. They just don’t know whether they’re going to miss to the left or the right.
However, lots of golfers also have what we would dub a “one-way miss.” These golfers know which way they tend to miss the ball. For a recreational right-handed golfer that has a one-way miss, that miss is almost always to the right. They’re cutting or slicing the ball with their shots, going to the right of their intended target. Some golfers miss left, but most miss right more often.
Why having a two-way miss in golf is bad
If a golfer has a two-way miss, then they have a hard time reliably aiming for a target. Since they don’t know how well they’ll hit the ball or where it’s going, they have a hard time playing a shot with confidence.
Having a predictable one-way miss is better. If a golfer misses to the right, then they know they can aim a little to the left of their intended target and let their natural miss or shot shape take hold. For a professional golfer, having a one-way miss means knowing they can, as it’s said, take out one side of the golf course. If a golfer doesn’t have to worry about missing in one direction or another, then they can use their significant skill and manage their game around the golf course, even if they’re not playing their best.