HIT CRAZY GOOD SHOTS

I’ll show you how to es­cape four hor­ren­dous lies.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents 2/ 15 - By David Lead­bet­ter

1 FROM THE UN­DER­BRUSH

When your ball is sus­pended in a bush or a tuft of tall grass, the first thing to do is chan­nel your in­ner Seve Balles­teros. Like him, al­ways be con­fi­dent you can pull off the shot.

Use a wedge or 9-iron, and grip down an inch for con­trol. Here’s the key: Hover the club­head at the ball’s height. If you swing un­der the ball, you might make it fall deeper into the bush. Re­hearse the swing in a sim­i­lar area if pos­si­ble.

Once you’ve got a feel for the shot, aim for the top half of the ball – you’ll nat­u­rally go lower when you swing – and take a rip at it. Don’t worry about mak­ing a big follow-through.

2 IN THE WA­TER

Be­fore you try this shot, ask your­self two ques­tions: (1) Is at least half of the ball above the wa­ter? (2) Do I have a pair of rain­pants to slip on? If you an­swer no to ei­ther ques­tion, you might want to take a drop.

But if the ball isn’t sub­merged and you don’t mind get­ting wet, think of this as a bunker shot. Grab a wedge, and open the face be­fore tak­ing your grip. Set up with your body aligned well left of the tar­get.

Make a steep swing and try to en­ter the wa­ter as close to the ball as pos­si­ble. Don’t ex­pect it to go far (and keep your mouth closed). Hit one or two of th­ese a year, and you’ll be a club­house legend.

3 IN THE ROUGH

Un­less you’re buried in deep rough, you should be able to ad­vance the ball to­wards the green. But get­ting back to the fair­way should be your pri­or­ity.

Se­lect a club with de­cent loft, and set up with the face point­ing slightly right of your tar­get. This will off­set the ten­dency for the face to close when grass wraps around the hosel at im­pact. Also, grip a lit­tle tighter with your left hand.

Pick the club up steeply, and swing down with your wrists stay­ing firm – no scoop­ing to try to help dig the ball out. Th­ese ad­just­ments will help you power through the thick grass.

4 IN A CRATER

A fried-egg lie in a bunker can be easy to es­cape, but don’t swing like it’s a nor­mal bunker shot. In­stead of open­ing the club­face, close it. And lighten your grip – you want the face to spin open when the club­head con­tacts the sand. That’s what will get the ball air­borne.

Put a frac­tion more weight on your front foot at ad­dress to help you chop down on it. Think about leav­ing the club­head in the sand in­stead of swing­ing through it. So it’s steep back, steep down. The ball will come out hot and run. Re­mem­ber, the goal is to get it on the putting sur­face.

‘ YOU WANT

TO STAY DRY, OR BE A HERO?’

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