Image courtesy of Reuters
All golfers hit bad golf shots, even the best players in the world. It’s what great players do after a bad golf shot that makes the biggest difference. I know you are thinking that great players will hit miraculous recovery shots which put them back into position to make a birdie or par on a hole. This is certainly the case sometimes and is a result of understanding some basic concepts of the elements that affect ball flight. However, great players also know when to take their medicine and just get the ball back in play because they understand when the factors affecting ball flight will simply not allow for that miraculous recovery shot. Let’s review how a couple different surfaces affect these trouble shots.
The rough will generally reduce the ability to put spin on the golf ball as there will be too much grass between the club and the ball. This means that the ball will not launch as high and will not curve right or left as much. When faced with a shot out of the trees this must be taken into consideration when choosing the proper club to keep the ball below branches or trying to predict how much you will be able to curve the ball around the tree. In the case of Tiger in the photo above hitting off pine needles his ability to curve the golf ball will be slightly affected compared to hitting out of the fairway but certainly not to the same degree as the rough.
Take the time to come up with combinations of scenarios in which you must curve the ball and think of different types of lies. See if you can figure out quickly how you would adjust to create the desired ball flight. Also, remember to realize when to take your medicine and just get the ball back in play.