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Many times players find that they have to hit trouble shots late in their round of golf due to becoming tired. They get tired and hit various ball flights off of the tee… such as a slice or a wild hook their driver. When this happens, players can find themselves in some awkward playing positions such as in the rough or in other difficult lies. How do you hit a trouble shot to escape the difficult situation with your tee ball?
Trouble Shots – Deep Rough
The trouble shot you are able play from the rough totally depends on the lie of your golf ball. At this point, you need to ask yourself, how much grass will be in-between your golf ball and your golf club face. The answer to this question will tell you what kind of trouble shot will be appropriate to use.
The more grass that would come between your ball and the clubface, the higher lofted club you will need to use to get the ball out of the rough. This may mean a club that will not allow you to get all the way to the putting green. Long grass typically has the effect of closing the face of the club which decreases the loft of your clubface. For this reason, the player should use a more lofted club than if the ball were in the fairway.
As with any trouble shot, a player’s first goal is to get the ball out of the rough. The player’s second goal is to get the ball back on the fairway or on the putting green. The player’s third goal would be to get the golf ball close to the hole.
Around the putting green, the player must again use a more lofted club. Due to the bounce of the club, these shots are custom made for a sand wedge or lob wedge. The effect of the long grass will once again decrease the loft of the club and decrease the spin on your golf ball. The ball will therefore fly lower and run more than if it were in the fairway-cut grass.
Trouble Shots – Side-hill, Downhill & Uphill Lies
Of course, few very golf courses are flat and whether you make a good golf swing or a bad golf swing from the tee, you may find yourself with an uneven lie and need to use a trouble shot. Here is how you can play those lies.
With an uphill or downhill lie, you posture will stay the same. However, you will need to find the bottom of your swing arc. Take a practice swing, note where the club is hitting the ground and then use some common sense. If the club is hitting the ground behind the ball, move the ball back in your stance to that position; if the club is hitting the ground nearer the front foot, move the ball forward in your stance to that position.
This becomes a feel thing and with more experiences you will get better and better on gauging where your ball position should be. Seldom does a player have a purely side-hill or uphill lie. This system takes all the factors into account as the practice swing is the forerunner to the actual shot.
With a ball above or below your feet, you will need to make an adjustment at your waist or hips. With the ball above your feet, stand up straighter through your hips. The general rule of thumb is that you will have a tendency to hit the ball straight or pull it to the left. Conversely, with the ball below your feet, bend more from the hips.
The general rule of thumb is that you will have a tendency to hit the ball straight or push it to the right. The best system for determining which way the ball will travel for you on side-hill lies is to try ten practice balls from each side-hill position and see what really happens.
How to Get Out of Trouble
Often we get into a bad spot and compound our difficulties by trying to play a miracle trouble shot to get out of the situation. Be smart. Play the best trouble shot that you are comfortable with and are positive you can play. When you find yourself in trouble, use the following rules to get yourself back on track as soon as possible. First, get out of the trouble. This means if you are in the rough get out of the rough. If you are in the sand get out of the sand. Second, get the ball back onto the fairway or putting green. Third, get your ball as close to the hole as possible. As discussed earlier, you must take what the golf course gives you and that may only be a lay up shot.
How do you handle trouble shots? Do you practice them often? Which is your favorite one to try and hit? Tell us below in the comments…
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