sand wedge

Golf Tips – How to play off a tight lie

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I’m sure you will agree playing golf in the warm sunshine is how the game should be played. This also gives the green keepers an opportunity to manicure the fairways and expose some bare lies. In this post we will teach you how to play off a tight lie so it does not cause you any problems out on the course.Golf club hitting a ball

So what do we mean by the term a tight lie? A tight lie is when the grass is cut very short or is non-existent underneath the ball which means there is a potential for the club to bounce on the hard ground slightly behind the ball and cause a topped or thinned shot.

For many golfers, when we find ourselves in this position we immediately try to help the ball in the air which only makes matters worse. Anytime we scoop at the ball the shot is less than perfect.

So how do you play this shot? Firstly club selection is important. Try to choose a club with a sharp leading edge. We are not saying that playing off a tight lie with a sand or lob wedge is impossible. However, there is a very small margin of error. The bounce of these clubs mean that it is more difficult to get the leading edge of the club face on the back of the ball.  So if you are feeling anxious over this type of shot then a pitching wedge or nine iron maybe a better choice for you.

Now that you have selected your club we need to play this shot with a steeper angle of approach. To do this place the ball a little further back in your stance and fix your eyes on the back of the ball throughout the shot. You may even want to close the clubface slightly to ensure a consistent strike. You are certainly less likely to hit behind the ball and thin a shot if the clubface is slightly closed. If you do this then don’t forget to adapt your stance and aim slightly to the right to compensate.

Finally good tempo is essential. You must not allow you swing to quicken up because of any worries you may have. Use your pre-shot routine, visualise the shot and swing with a smooth controlled action. If you take these recommendations then we are sure that you will soon build your confidence and success with a tight lie.

Try these tips and see how they improve you score and enjoyment out on the course. And don’t forget to try this type of shot when next on the practise tee.

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How to play from a green side bunker

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Do you have a look of dread when you find yourself in a green-side bunker? Unlike the professional golfers many amateurs struggle immensely with green-side bunkers and landing in one usually means a dropped shot. In this post we will give you advice and tips on how to escape from a green-side bunker so you can be more confident when out on the course.How to escape from a green side bunker

As we have said in a previous post on fairway bunkers ‘prevention is better than cure’ and our advice for the green-side bunker remains the same. If you can avoid a green-side bunker, do so. OK, so how can you avoid a green-side bunker? Firstly you will need to know where the green-side bunkers are. On some holes it will be pretty obvious to see them from the fairway, but other holes with blind shots it may not be as easy. If it is a new course you are playing our advice is to buy a course planner from the pro shop and study the scorecard to establish where the bunkers are on each hole. Next you need to know your yardages (how far you hit each club) and if a green-side bunker is in play for you. If it is, then perhaps playing a different club may be a smarter move for you. On many par three holes the green is protected by bunkers at the front of the hole so take an extra club and play to the back of the hole this will take the bunker out of play for you.

If you are unfortunate to land in a green-side bunker then here are our essential tips to help you successfully escape the sand trap and hopefully save par.

Firstly you will need to create a solid base. Shuffle your feet into the sand until to reach firm ground. This will help ensure that you stay balanced throughout the golf swing. This also means that your swing arc will be lower than usual and will result in you hitting behind the ball. This is ok, you are looking for a sand then ball contact. The picture we want you to have in your minds eye is the ball coming out of the bunker on a carpet of sand.

The sand-wedge is designed to bounce off the sand so setting up to the ball you will need to open the clubface compared to your target line. If when you line up to your target line you are at 12 o’clock then we would like your feet, hips, shoulders aiming at 10 o’clock. This open stance will encourage you to swing out-to-in across the target line and keep the clubface open. If you are set up square to your target line the clubhead will simply dig into the sand and the ball will bump along just a few feet.

Next we want you to position the ball in the middle to front part of your stance. You are looking to strike the sand around one to two inches behind the ball so the sand lifts the golf ball out of the bunker. Remember when you are in a bunker to hover the clubhead and not to touch the sand. It is against the rules of golf to touch the ground with your club when in a hazard.

Finally swing smooth. You do not need power out of a green-side bunker. By keeping your swing smooth and relaxed you are less likely to dip your shoulder and fluff the shot. Your grip should remain consistently light throughout the swing and a good swing thought is to let the club do the work.

So now you know the theory of escaping from a green-side bunker, lets go to the practice area and try this out ….

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