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Quick Golf Tips - Hitting From Pine Straw Like Phil


If you saw the Masters on TV, you might have seen Phil Mickelson's extraordinary shot from the pine straw. Lee Westwood hit a shot from there as well. So did Tiger Woods. Hitting from pine straw is tricky. It's slippery, so you have to watch your footing when you swing. You also have to be careful not to nudge the straw touching your ball. If you do and it moves the ball, you incur a one-stroke penalty.

Below are six keys to hitting from pine straw:
1. Play it safe. Don't sole the club
2. Hover the clubhead off the ground
3. Stand a bit taller than normal
4. Make ball first contact
5. Sweep the ball off the ground
6. Pretend your standing in cement


This shot is similar to hitting from a fairway bunker. To avoid a one-stroke penalty, play it safe: Don't sole your club. This prevents you from disturbing the straw and moving the ball. Instead, hover your club an inch off the ground and stand a bit taller at address to compensate for the change.

To prevent slipping, pretend you're standing in cement. Keep your feet planted and your weight centered as you swing. This helps you steady yourself and make solid contact.

Also, you must make thin, ball-first contact. So sweep the ball off the ground, as you would in a fairway bunker, instead of swinging down on it.

Not every course has pine straw. But many do. If you land in it, avoid soling your club, stand a little taller at address, hover your club above the straw, keep your lower body quiet, and sweep the ball off the ground. If you're in among the trees and there's no opening to the green, aim for a good spot on the fairway, setting yourself up for the next shot.


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