If you’re anything like me, a dream round of golf would include hitting every fairway and green in regulation. OK, I guess it’s time to wake up. Unfortunately, when playing a round of golf you’re going to find yourself in some difficult positions out on the course at times. This golf teaching aid will help you better understand how to get out of them without making those dreadful bogeys and double bogeys.
In The Bunker
As a kid I enjoyed playing in the sand, but out on the golf course it’s a different story. I try to avoid it as much as possible. So, what do you do when you find yourself in over your ankles in the sand?
First, keep in mind that you are not allowed to ground your golf club or let it touch the sand before hitting your shot. In order to hit a good bunker shot you need to get your feet planted in the sand as firmly as possible. Wiggle you feet in the sand to help establish a firm base.
Next, open your stance a bit and aim just a little left of the pin, or your intended target. Take a full swing at the ball. You don’t want to try and get cute by attempting a half or three quarter swing. Hit just behind the ball in order to get it up and out of the bunker.
Practice this shot as often as possible when you’re on the practice range. You’ll need to hit many bunker shots in order to judge your distance and get used to hitting out of the sand.
If you happen to be unlucky and get a buried lie, or fried egg as they call it, the approach will vary a little. Play the shot well back in your stance. Take the club up high in your backswing and try to chop down and through the ball with the blade of your club. This is arguably the most difficult shot in golf, so don’t be discouraged with the results. As they say, take your medicine and move on.
An Uphill Lie
Hitting the golf ball from an uphill lie can be a little challenging at first. It’s another shot that requires some practice in order to master.
First, you will want to add at least one more club to compensate for the loss of distance due to the ball flying much higher in the air. So, if you would normally hit a 9-iron to the green, use and 8-iron. If the slope is severe, you may want to add another club and use a 7-iron.
Set up with the ball forward in your stance. Try to keep your shoulders parallel with the angle of the slope. Keep your weight on your back foot and lean into the hill on your downswing, while keeping the golf club and your body moving up the slope. Once you practice this shot you’ll get the hang of fairly quickly.
A Downhill Lie
On a shot from a downhill lie we will do just about the opposite of what we did on an uphill lie. When hitting off a downhill lie, use a little less club. Instead of hitting that 8-iron to the green, use a 9-iron. You want to avoid carrying the ball over the green and into trouble. The ball is going to go further off of a downhill lie than it would normally go on a flat lie.
Set up with your weight on your forward foot and the ball sitting well back in your stance. On the backswing you want the club to follow through on the same angle as the slope of the hill.
Hitting Out Of The Rough
This is a shot we face all of the time out on the golf course. Your goal with this shot is to get it out of the rough and back onto the fairway if possible. If you’re close enough to the green your next goal would be to try and get it on the green if possible. But, whatever you do, don’t try to get cute and do too much with the shot. You want to avoid further trouble and adding even more strokes to your score.
Position the ball back in your stance and use a more lofted club. You want to be able to get the ball up and out of the rough. The ball will sometimes be unpredictable. You may catch a flyer where the ball comes out hot and goes a lot further than you expected, or you could hit it fat and the ball only goes a very short distance.
The way to improve your golf game in these situations that we all face with every round of golf we play is to practice. I can’t stress that enough. In order to do well at anything in life it requires practice and repetition. Golf is really no different. But, once you get a handle on how to play these different golf shots, you’ll begin to notice a dramatic reduction in your handicap!