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Golf Article - Beating Trouble Times—Five Golf Tips

Golf is a crazy game at times. Sometimes you hit bad shots and land in good positions. Other times you hit good shots and land in bad positions. Golf lessons don’t prepare you for this. It’s the good shots ending up in bad positions that really frustrate you. Flub the shot and you could add two or three extra strokes to your score. Do it often enough and those extra strokes boost your golf handicap. Below are five golf tips that can help you escape some common difficult lies.

Long Bunker Shots
No golfer likes long bunker shots. But weekend golfers with high golf handicaps struggle with them more than others. Here’s one way to play them: Set up with a sand wedge the same way you would set up for a putt—closer to the ball with a reverse overlap grip. Make a U-shape swing controlled by your body turn. Keep more weight on your front foot and make what feels like a long aggressive putt—by rocking your shoulders and turning your stomach area. The club should enter the sand behind the ball and skim through it, not dig in.

Hitting Off A Bare Lie
There’s no room for error with a bare lie. You must make precise contact to hit the ball solidly. Weekend golfers often make sloppy turns on bare lies, which creates an inconsistent downswing and bad shots. Instead, try holding a lit cigar in your mouth with the burning end pointing straight down. Make your back swing with out letting the cigar move. The tighter turn and shorter arm swing helps you hit the ball solid off any lie, including a bare one.

Get Out From Under
When under a tree (or other obstacle), you must play what amounts to a big pitch shot to escape—something weekend golfers may not be accustomed to doing. Set up as if you were hitting a wedge but use your 5-iron instead. Your stance is slightly open and the ball is back, with your weight forward toward the target. Make a three-quarter backswing, controlling the movement with your upper body not your arms. Make a gentle swinging action, as if you were hitting a soft pitch. Let the club pitch the ball low and slow —under the obstacle in front of you.

Escape A Sand Groove
Golfers can some times get overzealous when raking a bunker, leaving deep groove marks in the sand. If your ball rolls into one of these grooves, it could play havoc with your shot. To get out, you must hit a different kind of shot. Instead of letting the bounce on the club skim through the sand swing down from the outside on a steep angle. This digs the club’s leading edge into the sand. Focus on striking the sand about an inch behind the ball. Let your right hand work under your left to scoop the ball out. It should come out high with very little spin.

Chipping To A Greenside Pin
You won’t learn this shot in too many golf lessons. On tough courses it’s not uncommon to find a pin tucked tight to the green’s edge. If you mishit the shot, you’ll add strokes to your score. Adding sidespin to the ball is another way to chip it close. To curve the chip away from you, stand closer to the ball than normal. Aim your toe line/body line where you want the ball to start. Aim the clubface where you want the ball to curve. Let the club go outside a little going back. Then turn your chest coming through. Feel as if you’re pulling your left hand to the pocket nearest the target.

To curve the ball toward you, set up farther away from the ball. Pull the club inside. And roll the toe over through impact. This shot has less backspin and rolls out. Putting cut spin on a chip is like hitting a fade or a draw. When you want to hit a fade or a draw, you aim your feet and body where you want the ball to start. You aim your clubface in the direction you want the ball to curve. Then make a normal swing.

These five shots aren’t taught in many golf lessons. But they’re good to learn. You never know when they’ll come in handy. Practice them whenever you can and ingrain them. They’ll get you out of sticky situations and save strokes on your scores and golf handicap.


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