Every golfer that plays the game is going to find himself in tricky situations – in a bunker, behind a tree, in thick brush, in deep rough – from time to time. It is just the nature of the game, courses are designed to be a challenge to the golfer. Even one of the best golfers in the world, Tiger Woods, is not immune from mistakes, and their often-penalizing consequences.
The first and most important part of dealing with an unfortunate lie is knowing what you can and cannot do with a certain shot. Everyone wants to be a hero, and every golfer wants to make progress toward the hole. However, trying to move in a straight line towards the hole, regardless of the obstacles in the way, can have disastrous consequences. Often times, realizing that a certain shot is beyond your abilities is prudent, and that the smart play is to simply chip back out to the fairway.
Below are a few shots that may help you out of some of those tight situations. Again, you have to know your own game, which means you need to put in the time practicing these shots on the driving range and practice facilities.
If you find yourself off the fairway, and behind a tree, you may want to hit a low hook or a cut around the obstruction. To do this, use your normal golf setup, with a slightly wider stance. Align your body to the side of the obstacle, but slightly turn the club in your hand to cause the clubface to make contact with the ball in the direction that you want it to move. Taking a normal, straight swing, with a slightly twisted club, should produce the action on the ball that you desire.
Another difficult position to be in is in a greenside bunker, at the furthest point away from the hole. You know these – the one’s where you have more sand to hit over than green to land on. This shot should be played slightly differently than a normal sand shot, with the clubface not as opened, the body in a more natural golf swing stance, and the shot itself should be taken with a forceful swing. Remember to finish with a high follow-through.
The buried sand shot – or “fried egg” – is not really as hard to play as it looks. To make the shot work, you must get under the ball, which usually means choosing an area to for the clubface to enter the sand may be about two inches behind the ball. You should take a forceful forceful, downward swing, with a lot of power in right (push) hand. Because of the angle and force of this swing, there will not be much follow through on your swing, there will likely be less sand flying out with the ball, and the ball will have virtually no spin on it.