It is almost inevitable that during a round of golf you will find yourself in a difficult position that has prevented you from playing like you normally would. Being in a tough spot can cause you to tighten your grip, speed up your swing, make rash decisions and impact your feel and depth perception. It’s important to get control of your fears so you can learn how to deal with these tricky situations.
In this article, I will discuss some of the situations that most golfers fear, and tips on how you can thrive in these often tough areas.
Sometimes you are left in a situation where the ball lies in deep grass. For many golfers, this is one of their worst fears on the course. To overcome this you should grab a wedge, open the face slightly, and grip it as tightly as you can. It’s also important to get solid footing on your lead leg and remember to keep your eyes on the ball the whole way down. Always commit to the shot.
Tight tee shots can be tough for even the best golfers. Contemplate putting the driver back in the bag and playing the ‘sensible shot’ which is less likely to see you miss left or right. Step up to the golf ball with a positive mindset, this will allow you to swing freely… often if you are tense over the ball and concerned about a shot it can lead you to ‘steer’ the golf ball, 9 times out of 10 resulting in a missed fairway.
In the Woods
If you play your golf at a Parkland course, I am sure you will know this struggle too well. When you have found the trees, always note overhanging branches between your golf ball and the target. Use a long-iron, mid-iron or even a hybrid to keep the ball low enough to escape, play the ball slightly back in your stance, and swing with a firm wrist to keep the golf ball down. On the other hand, if you lie is decent you can also consider going over branches to get it back in the fairway.
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When facing bunker shots we see a lot of amateurs tense up. You need to try and hit the ball cleanly. To do this, set up the ball close to the heel of your front foot with the club shaft leaning away from the target, a backward leading shaft will allow you to catch it on the upswing. Open the face of the wedge right up, remain stable in your swing and accelerate through the golf ball.
When it comes to hitting your ball off a downslope things can start to get tricky. It’s important not to let your nerves get the best of you. You need to maintain flex in your legs and have a very low and wide swing. Let the clubhead continue along the runway after the impact and remember you need to stay low to make the ball fly high. Remember to consider that the ball will naturally shape from left to right from a downhill lie, so you should adjust your aim accordingly.