This summer don't let awkward lies ruin your round of golf. Here PGA Coach Samantha Head explains how you can get out of trouble around the course.
As we all know, golf is not about perfection and we are in the hands of the course. We’re likely to find ourselves in a variety of tricky situations, so it’s important to have a positive game plan so you can play with confidence from awkward lies.
Fairways bare all
With the summer upon us, we’re likely to see bare lies, so you need to know how to play these shots.
Position the ball slightly further back in your stance so the club hits the ball first before the ground. Your weight should be evenly distributed at set-up, before moving onto your front foot as you follow through.
Remember, you may not get a good strike but it’s more important to achieve a positive outcome.
If your ball lands under a tree, you need to be able to hit a low shot back onto the fairway. If you’re lucky enough to have a shot to the green, select a club that will either reach, or at least give you a short chip onto the green.
Take the rough with the smooth
During summer months, golf courses tend to grow the rough high, so when you find your ball, take your medicine and get back on the fairway.
Grip down the club for more control. Hold your top hand on the grip slightly tighter, as this will ensure that the club doesn’t turn so much in your hands during the swing.
If the ball is above your feet, aim right of the target, and also aim the club slightly further right as this will help when the grass grabs the club and will bring the clubface back to the ball.
Landing in a divot is a real nuisance. Keep your head up and deal with it as these things happen! Look at where the ball is lying in the divot - front, middle or back.
Image 1 - If the ball is at the front of the divot, this will be an easier shot and you can generally play it as you would from a normal lie.
Image 2 - However, in the middle or at the back, you may have some earth behind the ball so it’s important to strike the ball first, then the ground. To play this shot effectively, the ball should be positioned slightly further back in your stance.
There is nothing to fear
A downhill chip over a bunker will scare most amateurs (and some pros) to death! Fear not, ensure you select a wedge that once de-lofted (due to the slope) will easily carry the bunker.
Grip down the club for more control and less speed. Narrow your stance and centre your body slightly ahead of the ball so it’s in line with the slope.
Your shoulders should be parallel with the slope and keep your hands ahead of the ball at all times, especially through impact. The backswing length depends on the length of the shot, so this is a shot that
needs a lot of practice.
Very rarely there will be a shot that needs a different dexterity. Turning a club over and using the toe is actually easier than you think, but definitely needs some practice.
This shot is the opposite of what you would do normally, although there's no right or wrong way to play it with regards to the position of your hands, it's whatever feels comfortable.
Take a few practice swings to feel relaxed and then hit the ball. If you are attempting this shot, make sure you commit to it. If not, take the penalty drop and move on.
The above Instruction article was taken from the Jul/Aug 2019 issue of Women & Golf magazine.
Find out how you can hit more consistent straighter drives - here.