Adapting to Surroundings

Ultimatly avoiding hazards is the best aproach to golf, but even the most seasoned golf pros get bested by the course every now and then. Nothing can be more frustrating then getting stuck in a hazard, or having to hit a difficult lie. If you don’t know what your doing you can make things even worse for youself if you compound one mistake with another. That is why in this lesson we cover the best practices to use so you can alter your swing to adjust to all the elements around you. Having a solid knowledge of the rules can sometimes save you from having to take a costly shot but it is never in a golfers best intrest to rely on rules to get them out of the rough. So here are a few pointers that you can rely on.

Bunker Shots

The right set up is the key to hitting an effective shot from the bunker.

First step is to open up your club face. Use an open stance and try to turn your body towards the green. The ball placement should be aligned a little inward from your left heel. Weight should be more to the left side of your stance. Aim to the left of the target. Be sure you feet are implanted solid in the sand. Your hands should be in front of the golf ball. Aim two inches behind the ball, after striking the ball insure you have a full follow through. This shot should only use your arms and hands try and restrict body movement. 

In the event of a bad lie you should use a higher degree wedge. Your club face should be truned a bit more inward and aim only one inch behind the ball.

Avoiding trees

To aviod low hanging trees a punch shot is required.

This is probably one of the most important shots to master at any level, especially for high handicappers. When you hit your tee shot off line, and find yourself in trouble, the next decision you make is very important. If you know the right steps you can save a hole because of a great punch shot out of the trees.

Many golfers opt to “go for it,” and try and pull off a low percentage shot, which generally compounds your mistake. Usually the smarter play is to find the biggest opening, and just punch your ball back onto the fairway.

Aim right of you target ans be sure to close the face of your club. The ball should be aligned one inch inside of your right heel. Your weight shoul be distributed to the right side of your body. Then take a 30-40% swing. Your main focus on a punch shot is ball contact. 

Playing in Bad Weather

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy yourself and play well.

Whenever you are golfing in the rain be sure you bring the proper attire and equipment such as, gloves, waterproof jacket, club covers, dry towls and golf cleats. It is difficult playing in bad weather but with the proper equipment it can make things easier on yourself. 

The ball will not roll as far in the rain and can be more difficult to hit out of the rough. These are facts and should be accounted for in your swings and putts. Always hit the ball first, not the turf. Try to hit the ball just below the center of it. 

If wind is behind you, open your club face a little. Whatever the shot play the ball slightly slightly more further in your stance than normal. If the wind is blowing at you, close your club face slightly. Whatever the shot play the ball further back in your stance then normal. Also use one or two clubs longer than usual. Lastly a stiff wrist action will help. 

If there is a crosswind use a less lofted club than you usualy pick. Hit your shots and aim to the side that the wind is blowing from to correct the drift that will occure to your ball while in flight.

Uphill Lies

Don’t make the mistake of swinging your normal swing uphill.

Not many golf courses are flat. Every now and again, you need to hit a shot off a hill. When you’re faced with any of these situations, you need to make an adjustment. The common factor in an uphill shot is the relationship between your shoulders and the slope of the hill.

Aim to the right of the target with a closed stance. Maintain weight more on the left side of your body throughout your swing. The ball should be placed around three inches off your left heel and your hands should be in front of the ball.

Downhill Lies

Hitting downhill can be tricky but knowing what to do could give you an advantage.

Most of us practice on ranges where our feet and ball are on flat lies. But on the course, things aren’t always so friendly. A lot of times you’ll find your ball in a spot where you can’t stand and swing like you do on the practice tee. Ideally, you should spend some time practicing shots from different lies, but until that happens, here’s some advice to help you make better contact when hitting downhill.

First grab one less club than you normally would. Aim to the left of your target with a medium open stance. The ball placement should be about four inches off your left heel. Your weight should be more on the left side of your stance and your hands should be in front of the ball. Check you grip and be sure your left arm is extended. Make sure to turn your hips while having an even swing tempo.

Sidehill Lies

Here’s one of the common mistake the amateurs make.

When on an uneven lie, you should usually select one club longer than normal. It’s easy to lose your balance when the ground beneath your feet isn’t flat, so the extra club for an easier, more controlled swing, increasing the chance to hit it solid and get the ball to the green. Next, adjust your spine angle to the slope. That means tilting your shoulders to match the slant of the lie.

The ball may be below or above your feet. Both positions are sidehill lies. Or you may be halfway up or down a slope. If the ball is below your feet aim left of the target. Open your stance and be sure your ball placement is four inches off the left heel. Your weight should be on your left side.

If the ball is higher than your feet you should aim to the right of your target. Close your stance and be sure the ball placement is two inched from the left heel. Weight should be more on the left side with hands in front of the ball.