Make clean contact no matter how difficult your lie
Labels: Pitching, Instruction, Iron Play, Quick Tips, Strategy/Troubleshooting, Ballstriking, Clipping, Trouble Shots, Full Swing, Drills, Shotmaking
When the ball is above your feet, you have to stand farther from the ball. As a result, your club’s lie angle is flatter than normal. Stand taller at setup, sit down and back, and point your chest at the ball. These adjustments will produce a flatter swing plane a la Ben Hogan.
The second important concept in executing these shots is counterbalance. Gravity, obviously, pulls us downhill. Hitting a ball that’s below your feet encourages an over-the-top swing and a loss of balance toward your toes. A ball above your feet tends to pull you in the other direction, toward your toes. To maintain your balance, take an extra club, make a smooth swing and keep your lower body stable!
When the ball is below your feet (and, as a result, you have to stand closer to the ball and have a more upright swing), flex your knees more and bend more from your hips. Also, feel as if your chest is pointing at the ball. This new setup, fitted perfectly to the angle of the slope, will allow you to make a more upright swing, a la Jack Nicklaus.
The key to hitting from a flyer lie is to anticipate and predict how the ball will react—which, unfortunately, isn’t always easy.
First, let’s define what a flyer is. Typically, flyers occur when grass gets caught between the clubface and the ball. This results in a sort of “knuckle ball” shot that spins less, flies farther and rolls longer.
If you think you’ve got a flyer lie, take one extra club, make a smooth swing and expect the ball to release more once it lands.
When the ball nestles down in thick rough, it doesn’t fly as far as from a typical lie.
To make good contact, take a club with enough loft (a higher-lofted hybrid is ideal), stand closer to the ball (which allows for a steeper swing) and open your stance (which helps you swing from the outside in). Hold the club a bit tighter in your lead hand, and accelerate through the hitting area.
These adjustments help your club bottom out at the ball and prevent the clubface from shutting.
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