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Shaping Golf Shots to Get You Out of Trouble

by Joseph Hardison / December 15, 2020

Golf is a hard game. Eventually you're going to get in trouble on the course.

Luckily, you've come to the right place because we’re here to tell you how to get out of those really tight spots. In this article, we’re going to show you three specific shots that can get you out of trouble no matter where you hit the golf ball.

Low Punch

Let’s start out with the low punch. What you'd like to do with it first is if you’re going to keep it low and keep it under a tree branch going forward, you’re going to place the weight more toward the back foot of your right leg (if you’re right-handed). You also would want to abbreviate the backswing and abbreviate the follow-through because you want to keep it low.

It’s also important to note that you definitely want to have your hands forward because you’re delofting the clubface. The one thing you have to pay attention to, though, is more than likely, if you're in the left rough or if you're somewhere that you have to keep it low, you're in the rough.

So, you may not want to deal off too much, because you've got to be able to get it up out of the grass and under the tree limbs. But regardless, this is the proper stroke where you would just take it back, abbreviate the backswing and abbreviate the follow through and that ball will stay down.

To achieve this, you must choose your less lofted club, perhaps seven or six iron—even an eight iron might be too much loft. Of course, it depends on how much space you have between the tree limbs and yourself, so, you have to judge it that way.

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We often see so many players make the mistake of taking too much loft to try to get out of trouble. And then of course, unsurprisingly, they hit it right into trouble and have to do the exact same shot over and over again. This is a simple testament as to why club selection is very important.

Hook

Trying to hit a hook is basically not changing your swing, it's just changing your stance and your setup. By that we mean, you're going to close your stance, which for a right-handed golfer would be dropping your right leg back (and vice versa).

You'd be almost closing your shoulders, which would be almost angling them out to the right. And then you take your same grip, with a slightly different stance. Basically, you’d want to just turn the face and close the base a bit to create a substantial angle for a right to left spin for a right to left shot trajectory.

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Pro tip: it's much easier to work the ball, shape it right to left or left to right, with a less lofted club.

Slice

Similar to a hook, you’re not going to really change your swing, you’re just going to change the club face position. In hindsight, you’re simply going to do the opposite of what you did with the hook if you’re going to try to make it go left to right this time.

You’d first want to open your stance and open your shoulders, so the path of the club is going to a little bit out to in and across. It might look more forward at first, considering your left foot (if you’re right-handed) is open, but it’s imperative to place the club in the middle of your stance.

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Keep your shoulders and hips open, but still face the target, before swinging. What this does is that it effectively hits the ball in a way that it creates this left to right spin, allowing it to move the same way toward the intended area.

Conclusion

Regardless if you’re a beginner, an intermediate, or a professional golfer, eventually you’re going to get in trouble on the course. With this, it’s important to know how to maneuver through a plethora of obstacles by correctly shaping your shots. Hopefully, this article points you in the right direction to play some better golf.

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