Golf School: Flush the Ball From Any Lie
So, you can pure it off the range mat at Top Golf with a beer or two in the system… good stuff. Now, when you hit the course are you still hitting the ball as pure? Don’t blame the extra beer.
In order to play your best no matter the conditions, you’ll have to perfect your ball striking in all lies. Sure, winter rules might apply early season, but that lush mid season turf will leave you with no excuse for rolling the ball into a flyer-lie.
Here are a few lies that Cody Gribble identified in Golf Digest that you should practice for more solid ball striking in any situation.
1.) THE DEEP STUFF: MAKE A STRONGER PIVOT AROUND YOUR FRONT LEG
Most amateurs I play with don’t have enough swing speed to power the ball out of the rough. They need more loft, so a 5-iron is probably not a good club selection. They also need to get their weight more on the front foot as they swing down. For me, that’s the right leg. For right-handers, it’s the left. The death move is to try to lift the ball out by swinging off your back leg. That puts too much grass between the clubhead and the ball. Instead, as you swing down, feel like your front leg is a super sturdy post, and pivot your body around it. This will produce a more vertical swing path to hit the ball solidly. Expect it to come out lower with less backspin.
2.) TERRA FIRMA: PUT THE CLUB ON THE BACK OF THE BALL
When there’s no cushion of grass under the ball, I’ve seen a lot of amateurs freak out. Don’t. This shot is not that demanding if you remember one thing: Give the back of the ball a smack with the clubhead. That means your club should ride along the ground a little longer through the impact zone, taking a thin divot after the hit. A great drill Randy uses to teach this swing is to tee a ball 1/16th of an inch off the turf and have students try to shear the head off the tee with a 7-iron. If they do it, the ball takes off like a rocket. Decapitating an imaginary tee under the ball also is a great image to use on the course.
3.) IN A CRATER: LEAD WITH THE SHAFT
Whether it’s a hole from a divot or some other type of depression where your feet are slightly above the ball, I’m hoping your instincts kick in, and you realize you can’t “lift” it out of this lie. You’ve got to hit down on the ball. In fact, Randy teaches some students how to use longer clubs by having them hit balls out of these lies. A good thought for this shot is to have the shaft leaning toward the target as you strike the ball.