Online Lessons - Lesson 5

SHORT GAME SERIES

(References are made for a right-handed golfer, left-handed golfers should substitute
right for left and left for right)

Lesson 5

The Trouble Shot around the green

When one misses the green and the ball ends up in a bad lie near a green you should assess your options according to your expertise in playing the shot.

The shot I am about to explain can be played from a bare lie or a heavy, long grass lie. From either of these positions the chances are, you will catch behind the ball and the ball will come up short. When this happens (a fluffed shot), the ball lands softly. What we will do is to play the shot harder so it lands on the green but with a soft landing.

The shot I am explaining is very similar to a bunker shot.

Club selection is important. You should play a trouble shot with your Lob Wedge or Sand Wedge. A Lob Wedge has the most loft, and it may be the best club to play these shots as it has very little bounce on the sole of the club. Clubs with little bounce tend to get under the ball easier.

Grip the club about an inch down the grip. This will give you good control and feel. The club-face should be square making use of the loft of the club to get the ball to fly high.

Your stance should be slightly open to the target line with the leading edge of your club aiming at the target. Your feet should be about 30-40cm apart. The ball should be positioned just forward of centre, a way to find the right position is to have the ball forward of a point under the chin.

Bending forward, and keeping your head still, with your weight favouring your left side, take the club back steeply on the line of your feet and also breaking the wrists. When you start the down swing make sure you have a descending action, which hits the ground about an inch behind where the ball sits. The steeper you swing the club down the more the ball will lift. You must also make sure your swing has a good high finish. You have to commit to the shot, you cannot play this shot with a club head speed that you would use for a shot off short grass, you need to swing up to twice your normal speed.

When you have mastered the action, practice this shot hitting balls to different distances on the practice green. Doing this will create what you are going to get on the golf course, which is one chance at playing the required shot.

You will soon start to get the feel of the swing and once your confidence lifts you will start to hit balls close to the hole.

If you need further help e-mail us with your contact details and the area where you live, and we will send you details of your nearest PGA Professional who will be more than willing to help you with individual lessons or equipment advice.


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