By Paul Myers

One of the things new golfers need to learn is just how important the lie of the golf ball is to the possibilities for a given shot. Where an average golfer might be able to carry their 5 iron 160 yards or more given a perfect lie in the fairway, they might have trouble even achieving 50 yards from the deep rough with the same swing. The lie determines a lot in golf, so analyzing your lie before each shot is a key thing to do.

Unfortunately, golf is not a game of perfect lies. In fact, you will probably have to play from a poor lie several times during a single round – if not more. Being able to play quality shots from bad lies is part of becoming a good golfer, and it is a skill that you can improve on over time. It is important to understand, however, that a ‘good’ shot from a bad lie might simply mean getting the ball back onto the fairway – not necessarily hitting it right next to the hole. It can help to accept the realities of the lie you are faced with, and then do your best to execute a smart shot.

To help you play some good shots from bad lies, try the following tips during your next round –

  • Play it safe. For scoring this is a must regarding hitting shots from bad lies. Simply, you don’t want to try to do too much and make your situation worse. One consideration prior to hitting the shot should be making sure that the next shot is played from a good lie somewhere on the short grass or some other easy spot, if possible. It might be tempting to try and pull off the ‘miracle’ shot that lands on the green, but that kind of risk can often hurt you in the end. You might go for the shot you can do 8 out of 10 times.
  • Loft is your friend. Hitting a shot from a bad lie with a lofted club will often be easier than hitting a long iron. This is especially true of shots played from the really deep rough. You might have to sacrifice some yardage by picking a club with more loft, but it will be far easier to get the ball up into the air and out of trouble. In the end, it may just go further with the higher lofted club than the really low lofted one.
  • Put the ball back in your stance. If the ball is sitting down in the rough, try moving the ball back in your stance more than usual to encourage a naturally downward strike through impact. You probably want to avoid getting the club stuck in the long grass and losing your club head speed, so changing your ball position can allow you to hit steeper in to the ball without getting as tangled in the grass. Keep in mind when hitting sharply down, the ball can pop out to the right (for a righty), so adjust your aim accordingly.

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