Golf Tips on How to Hit Tricky Shots
This section features tips on how to hit golf shots from difficult lies.
While a driving range provides near perfect conditions from which to hit golf balls that setup is not always found in the actual golf course, save for the teeing grounds. Indeed, while playing the game of golf you will find yourself in all sorts of situations where the lie conditions will have the biggest impact on the shot you’ll play. Fail to adjust to these lie characteristics and your scorecard – and your enjoyment of the game – will surely suffer the consequences.
Review this section for in-depth tips on how to hit golf shots from difficult lies.
Rough borders fairways and greens; miss your golf shots and your ball will likely end up in it, if not worse. While certain courses feature rough that is barely penalizing, others use the rough to really punish and force golfers to work hard to recover and still hope to make par.
Use our tips to learn how to adjust to situations where the ball is buried in heavy rough or when it is against the grain.
While longer grass mostly produces a lie where the ball is sitting at the bottom of heavy rough it’s not always the case.
In situations where the rough’s grass is longer but tight and full your ball may find itself sitting up instead. This is in contrast to falling between the grass blades. While a fluffy lie is not as treacherous as a buried lie there are still modifications that need to be made to the setup and swing in order to produce a quality golf shot.
Follow our tips on how to properly play from fully rough, or when it is with the grain.
Tall Grass (Fescue)
Some courses – especially those in the UK and Ireland – feature longer grass still than your typical rough.
Sometimes called fescue even though the grass type may not exactly be that, tall grass can prove a formidable foe if your ball finds itself in its midst. It can be very difficult just to find your ball in fescue, let alone make a clean contact with your club head.
Follow our tips on how to hit golf shots from tall grass and reduce the damage it can cause to your scorecard.
Tight Lie (Bare Lie)
Hitting the ball in the middle of the fairway is almost always the objective as it provides the shortest grass (save for the green) and as such the best lie from which to hit an approach.
However, grass cut very short can be too much of a good thing to amateur golfers, as can happen in very tight lies. Indeed, some tight lies are so intimidating that you wish your ball had landed in the first cut of the rough instead, with its associated cushion of grass.
Follow our tips on how to hit golf shots from tight lies and reduce your chances of seeing your club head bouncing off the ground and knocking the ball on its side.
Ball Above your Feet
Even if hit in the middle of the fairway the ball will not always come to rest on perfectly flat terrain.
Sometimes you may find yourself in situations where the ball is located on a sidehill, and in this case where the ball is above your feet. Careful modifications must be made to your setup and swing in order to make clean contact with the ball.
Follow our tips on how to play the ball above your feet and reduce your chances of hitting fat shots that land left and short of the target.
Ball Below your Feet
Similarly to the previous difficult lie, a ball hit in the middle of the fairway may not always come to rest in a perfectly flat lie.
In some instances it may come to rest on a sidehill that sees the ball located lower than your feet. This lie is particularly difficult to play and unless you make the necessary adjustments you risk hitting the ball thin (if not missing it at all) or hitting it to the right of the target.
Follow our tips on how to hit golf shots when the ball is below your feet on a sidehill.
The ball may come to rest on a hill that offers a different set of challenges than the previous two situations.
Indeed, rather than finding yourself in an awkward sidehill situation you may find yourself on the front surface of a hill, for an upslope lie. While not as intimidating you’ll still need to make adjustments to your setup and swing in order to avoid hitting the ground before the ball (for a fat shot) or see the ball land short of the target.
Follow our tips on how to hit golf shots from an upslope, uphill lie.
Reversely, your ball may come to rest on the other side of a hill and give you a downslope lie instead of an upslope.
This lie is trickier than most and failing to adjust for it may bring in the risk of missing the ball entirely (for a whiff) or hitting it thin and low.
Follow our tips on how to hit golf shots from downhill – or downslope – lies.