A STRIK­ING DIF­FER­ENCE

How to make crisp con­tact from tight lies

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best - – with Nick Seitz

air­ways are cut shorter th­ese days with mod­ern agron­omy. The ball doesn’t sit up as much, so the chal­lenge is to make solid con­tact on a firm, tight lie. Tour play­ers, like Rickie Fowler ( above), face th­ese lies ev­ery week. How do you ad­just for a shot if there’s no cush­ion un­der the ball? My method is to play

Fit about an inch fur­ther back than nor­mal and make sure I’m de­scend­ing a lit­tle more steeply on the down­swing. That helps me strike the ball first, tak­ing a divot just af­ter. You still might catch it a lit­tle thin, mak­ing the ball fly lower and with less spin, but that’s not so bad. I some­times play for it to come out thin. To get a feel for this shot, prac­tise short pitches first and then grad­u­ate to longer clubs once you start to hit the ball solidly. Don’t get dis­cour­aged. Even the pros would pre­fer to have the ball sit­ting up higher, es­pe­cially in wet con­di­tions. But main­te­nance prac­tices are chang­ing, so firm, tight lies are here to stay.

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