At least once in every round of golf you are bound to run into one or more trouble shots, or golfing problem you feel you are not quite up to.
Not sure how to play a particular shot in the wind. A golfer who doesn't know how to control a shot out of the rough.
High and low handicappers alike, will face situations that they are not sure how to deal with them.
There is no need to allow such problems to turn a promising round into a disastrous one.
The important thing is not to get discouraged when you find yourself in unexpected trouble.
Use these tips and techniques to overcome those trouble shots.
Try to stay positive.
Shaping Your Shot
Some object, perhaps a tree or bush blocks your line to the target.
It seems impossible to play over or under the object.
The choice is either a straight shot safely away from the target or bend it round the object.
Conditions affect what your club can do or not do to the golf ball. So you have to decide whether the risks are justifed, or the shot is just impossible.
The conditions you should consider apart from any crosswind are the length of the shot, the lie of the ball and any sloping terrain. (It may also be a problem for high handicap golfers with clubs that have larger then normal sweetspots on their clubfaces. They tend to keep the ball straight!)
The longer the shot the more easier it is to curve the ball in any direction.
Since thes shots call for a minimum of clubface loft, this should impart sidespin.
Right to Left Shot
A right-to-left shot requires an in-to-out swing path, with the clubface slightly closed at impact.
The closed face will also deloft the club so take one less club in most cases. If you are normally a straight hitter a slightly closed stance will create the swing path for you.
A long right-to-left shot also requires a very good lie, since the out-to-in path makes the angle very shallow.
Left to Right Shot
Conversely, their is less risk with a poor lie on this type of shot.
This shape requires an out-to-in path with the clubface open. This type of approach creates a steeper angle of approach.
Since the openface increases loft, don't forget to take at least one more club.
This type of shot is usually good for slicers, but if you draw the ball, or are a straight hitter, then try opening up your stance slightly.
Hitting Out Of Water
the best advice is don't.
However, if the ball is lying in very shallow water, and the ball protrudes above the water level, then and only then you may have a go at it!
Play it like a buried sand lie with a 9 iron ( it will not bounce off the water like a wedge).
Use a cut shot with the blade slicing through the water at an oblique angle. Be sure to follow through.
Fortunately, trouble shots like this don't come around too often.
Good luck with this shot!
Playing Into The Wind
Another of those trouble shots is dealing with the wind. Many players advise tee-ing up the ball lower for a drive into the wind.
For average golfers it is better to tee the ball as normal and hit as solid a shot as you can make. The wind will exaggerate any side spin put on the ball at impact. This shot demands a solid hit with a nice even tempo.
Tee-ing the ball low will tend to produce a downward blow rather than a sweep through, thus producing more spin.
Another problem with the wind is club selection.
If you find yourself a wedge distance from the green facing a headwind, try punching a 9 iron instead.
Less loft means greater control. Stopping it will be no problem.
Hitting Out of a Divot
The problem with trouble shots is that they come at you on the golf course when you least expect them.
There is no need to panic when confronted with a divot lie.
The safest approach is the punch shot.
Select a club one more than normal. Play the ball slightly back in the stance.
Keep your hands ahead of the ball.
Use a three quarter swing, pick up the club steeply and hit down on the shot.
The ball will come out lower and run when it lands. It is nice to know that trouble shots can be learned and practised.
Learn to enjoy the challenge!
Further tips and techniques can be found in this great new golf ebook.
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