To finish the series “Helpful Tips for Students,” we conclude with trouble shots.
Stand tall when the ball is above your feet: Stand taller than normal when the ball is above your feet and expect the ball to draw. Because the ball is above your feet, you have to adjust your stance accordingly. Standing tall helps you sweep the ball. It also helps to imagine hitting a baseball off of a tee.
Sit down when the ball is below your feet: Feel as if you are sitting down more when the ball is below your feet and expect the ball to fade. Try to lower yourself until you imagine you have a level stance. If the ball is three inches below your feet, then sit down three inches lower by flexing your knees more.
On downhill lies, swing with the slope: Follow the slope on downhill lies with your set-up and swing. Use more a more-lofted club than normal and swing down and through the ball. You should put slightly more weight towards the target foot in the set-up. The more lofted club helps the ball get into the air. Remember to make the club swing down and through the ball to insure a slightly steeper angle of attack.
On uphill lies, swing with the slope and resist the urge to fall back: On uphill lies, follow the slope and use a less-lofted club than normal. Try to make a good balanced finish and resist falling back.
Use a hybrid or fairway wood for awkward bump and run shots: When faced with an uneven lie around the green, simply set up similar to as you would for a chip shot. As you address the ball, find your grip position by letting the shaft slide up or down the same amount that you adjust your stance for the awkward lie.
Be more aggressive when you don’t find the fairway: Try using a high-lofted fairway wood or hybrid the next time you are faced with a long shot off of a brushy lie. Be aggressive and don’t be afraid to remove some material with your swing!
A high-lofted fairway wood or hybrid clubhead passes through the rough easier than an iron. It gives you the opportunity to gain some distance and do more than just chip out. As long as you keep the clubhead moving, the mass and center of gravity of the club will do the work.