Every one want’s to have a perfect golf swing and it takes a lot of practice to achieve this goal. Even, though you think you have acquired a pretty good golf swing no one is perfect. Even the PGA pro’s who have some of the best, close to perfect golf swings in the world still hit shots that go astray at times. Like I said no one is perfect, not even the pro players on the golf tour.
Of course every time you get on the tee box you want to hit your drive right down the middle of the fairway, or on a par three hit your tee shot right onto the green but things don’t always work out as planned.
Like I have said before there is a lot of mental thought that goes into always hitting a good golf shot. The slightest lack of concentration or focus can cause you to hit a bad golf shot. We are going to focus here on how to approach and play golf’s trouble shots without doing too much damage to your final score.
Playing From Thick Rough
When standing on the tee box your main objective is to hit your drive in the fairway. Unfortunately that does not’t always happen. Most golf courses are designed with first the fairway, then what is called the first cut of rough, this is where the grass is a little longer than the fairway. Usually not too hard to hit from.
Then there is what is called the second cut of rough. This is where the grass is so long sometimes it’s even hard to find your golf ball. Hitting from this rough can be quite challenging.
Often times, depending on how far you are from the green, you may just have to take a more lofted club and just try to advance your ball down the fairway as far as you can. This way you at least have a chance to chip onto the green and save your par, and at worst make a bogey.
Do not try to be a hero and try to hit a 3 or 4 iron or a hybrid club out of this kind of long rough because you will just end up squirting the ball right back in the same rough. Play it safe and swallow your pride. You’re final score will reflect this.
Playing Around a Tree
Once again you hit your drive a little off the mark. You are still in play but in the left or right side of the fairway in the first cut of rough. Say you are like a hundred sixty yards from the green but sixty yards ahead of you there are over hanging branches from a tree. This shot would normally need a six iron to get to the green but a six iron doesn’t have enough loft to get over the branches. What do you do here?
You actually have several options here. Depending on what side of the fairway you are on you could take a lesser club and hit your shot left or right of the branches and then chip up on the green and take your par. Another option would be to hit your shot around the branches and up on the green with a putt for a birdie. In golf terms this is called fade or a draw.
If, you are a right-handed golfer a fade would be aiming left of your target, the green, set up and aim to the left. On your downswing you would leave your club face open and your shot will start out left and then curve to the right landing on the green.
Again, if you are a right-handed golfer a draw would be aiming right of your target. Set up aiming right of the target and on your downswing you want your club face closed. This will start the ball out to the right and curve to the left and up onto the green.
If, you are a left-handed golf all the above would be opposite. You will have to spend some time on the driving range to perfect these shots but it would be well worth it to have these shots in your arsenal.
The Low Punch Shot
Let’s assume you really hook your drive and it goes way to the left or slice your drive and it goes way to the right into a tree lined area. How would you approach this situation. You have a couple options here. One, you could just punch it out, side ways back to the fairway and have a longer third shot to the green hoping to get it close for a short par putt, but bogey is more likely. Second, you could hit what is called a low punch shot under the trees.
This shot will work perfectly as long as there are no other obstacles beyond the trees and you have a clear look at the green. What you want to do here is take a less lofted club like a four, five or six iron, depending on how low the branches are. Choke down a little on the club and take a nice easy swing with very little follow through. The ball will come out low and hopefully roll up on the green with a putt for a birdie.
Chipping From Hardpan
Now and then, especially in fall and winter you will come across a shot where your ball land in an area of the golf course that is called hard pan. This is a situation where the ground under your ball is hard as a rock. This could be a very difficult shot if you don’t know how to execute it properly.
Most golfers have a tendency to grab their sand wedge or their lob wedge to execute this shot. The fact of the matter is that the exact opposite is the case. What you want to do here is take like your eight iron, nine iron or even your pitching wedge. The more lofted wedges have to sharp an edge and will tend to dig into the ground, thus chunking the shot.
Take your less lofted club and choke down on the grip a little, about an inch. Setup with the ball in the middle of your stance. You want little wrist action with this shot so I actually use my putting grip. Now just bring the club back and then through using mostly your body. Hitting it like a putt and let it roll out to the hole.
Trouble Bunker Shots
Many golf courses have sand traps/bunkers all over the place. Most times they are around the area of the greens, although some may be found in the fairways. No matter where they are chances are that during a round of golf you are going to find yourself in one of them.
The thing is you will rarely find yourself in a perfectly flat lie in the bunker. There are many awkward bunker shots you may come in contact with. Some being:
- An uphill lie
- A downhill lie
- Ball below your feet lie
- Ball above your feet lie
- Ball up against the lip of the bunker
Each one of these situations require different setups, ball positions and swings to pull these different shots off. Check out the video below to learn how to practice and perfect these different bunker shots.
The Backhanded Golf Shot
Say you are a right-handed golfer and you hit your drive or iron shot off-line and it comes to rest up against the right side of a tree. What do you do here? Well, you have two options here, if your are very athletic and have ever practiced hitting golf balls left-handed, you could grab your least lofted club, say a four iron, take a left-handed stance and with the back side of the club and try to advance the ball as far as possible, thus giving you a chance to save par.
Second, Once again, if your a right-handed golfer, say your ball comes to rest on the right edge of a deep bunker and you cannot stand in the bunker to make this shot effectively, what you can do here is make a backhanded golf shot. What you want to do here is turn and face the opposite way you want your shot to go, now with your club in your right hand with the face of the club facing the target brace your right shoulder with your left hand. Now take a few practice swipes and then strike the ball popping it on the green. This technique can also be used with the tree scenario above.
I hope you have learnt and have enjoyed these video tutorials on golf’s trouble shots as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. Remember, if you want to perfect any of these trouble shots you need to hit the driving range or your local course and practice them because practice makes great because no one is perfect.
Once again if you have enjoyed this article and have any questions concerning it please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Good Golf To You