If you're skilled at digging the ball out of trouble spots and saving par, your versatility helps you in many situations. You know how to punch it low and hard, or how to cut it high and soft. But once in a while you'll face a lie so difficult that saving par will take a miracle. Here are two such deadly circumstances and instructions on the shots necessary to pull them off.
Having driven off line and into trees, you face an approach to a green fronted by a pond. Overhanging branches prevent lofting the ball. Of course, your opponent is safely on the green, forcing you to get down in two. Although highly risky, your only shot is to try skipping the ball off the water and onto the green.
As when skipping a stone, you want the shot to fly low and hard. Take a 3-iron, open the clubface slightly and play the ball off your back foot. Hit down hard, keeping the left wrist firm so the face stays open and puts cutspin on the shot. Don't let the hands turn over -- drawspin will make the ball dive into the drink.
If possible, the ball should hit the water close to the far side so there's less chance of it coming up short. More important: Hit the ball hard! After hitting the water it's unlikely the ball will sail over the green.
Your approach has missed the green, the ball coming to rest so close to a tree that you haven't got a backswing. If you must get up and down, turn away from the target and try ricocheting the ball off the tree and onto the green.
Take a club with enough loft that the ball won't rebound straight back and into the clubface. Determine the angle of ricochet necessary to bounce the ball off the trunk and in the general direction. Keep your head and body steady and punch the club sharply into the ball. Swing about twice as hard as you would for a normal shot of that distance. Take care that the ball doesn't fly back and hit you!
Private Lessons 1999 Time4 Media, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.