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How to Simplify the Toughest Shots in Golf

June 18, 2015

Everyone has to face tough shots from time to time regardless of skill level, bottom line is nobody is perfect on every shot. Especially as a beginner, with less consistency and ability you are going to put yourself in difficult situations more often than not. Let’s take a look at some of the tougher shots in golf and ways to recover without it being detrimental to your score and golf game.

1: The 40-yard Bunker Shot
With an approach shot to the green, it is common for a player to hit behind the ball with a longer club to get it on the green bracing for the impact of the sand that will impede the contact. Instead clipping the ball will allow for using a more lofted wedge and the ability to swing normally. To play the shot, stay centered over the ball as you make your backswing. When you come down on your swing, shift your weight toward the front (or target) as you make contact. This will adjust the swing arc so that it only clips the ball before making contact with any sand.

2. Flopping it off a Downslope
This is a familiar shot for players from the rough after an approach shot goes too far and over the green. There is a downslope where if you chunk it and leave it short you will have another shot from the rough, and if you blade it then you will be on the other side of the green. In order to put yourself in position to make the shot, you move the ball back in the stance a little to avoid chunking it. The club face must be open and the shaft lowered to get the ball straight and high. Swinging with the slope is crucial as is making sure the follow through is smooth to avoid leaving it short or too long.

3. Downhill, Sidehill Lie Approach Shot
On a lie where the ball is below your feet, it is important to be careful with your stance and swing in order to avoid a slice. Close your stance so that you’re aiming far wide of the green depending on if you’re a righty or lefty, this forces an in-and-out swing that counters the downhill, sidehill lie. Have some flex in your knees and use your backside as a counterbalance for swing control. When the ball is below your feet, altering posture can affect the contact of the ball.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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