Difficult Golf Shots and Ways To Play Them

Elvis Elvis

The lay of the land and the lie of the ball.

Sometimes, lady luck takes a break at the most inconvenient of times. And you will end up with a difficult shot that is just not in your comfort zone. For some of us this happens more often than for others. For many of us it seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

Besides the obvious trouble shots from the rough or a hazard, occasionally, the fairway can be a bit of a problem too. One example of a fairway difficulty is the downhill lie. This is when your leading foot is lower than your back foot while in position to shoot.

To play this shot effectively, start by playing the ball further back in your stance. This will promote a steeper downswing through the hitting area. Try to come down on the ball. Resist the temptation to hit hard and instead, concentrate on a smooth swing. Maintain your balance as the weight shifts to your front foot. Be sure to follow through with the club pointing at the target.

For an uphill lie, with both the ball and your front foot above the back foot, focus on balance. Play the ball from the middle of the stance with most of the weight on the front foot, leaning into the hill. Keep your shoulders parallel with the slope and use a smooth, unhurried swing. Follow the slope back and through, keeping your balance.

Difficult Golf Shots and Ways To Play Them

Another example of a tricky shot is a ball that sits below your feet like when it ends up on the side of a hill or mogul. To play this shot effectively, bend more from your knees than your waist and, as always, focus on maintaining your balance. Right-handers should aim to the left of the target (left-handers opposite).

A ball below the feet will always want to go to the right. Try to keep your lower body quiet and use mostly upper body movement during the swing. Don’t expect a lot of distance from this shot. Choose your club and target landing area accordingly.

Conversely, a ball positioned above the feet on a hill will require you to choke up on the grip and you can expect the ball to shoot to the left. Everything else is similar: balance, quiet lower body, upper body swing, aim right of target to compensate for the ball going left.

A good way to remember which way the ball will tend to go is by looking at the slope you’re on. The ball will always want to go in the direction that is ‘down’ from the hill. If it is above the feet, it will roll toward you, or left. Below the feet will roll away from you, or right. Of course, if you are left-handed, everything is opposite.

These shots require practice to get a feel for exactly how your ball will react. Try to re-create the difficult shot scenarios above while shagging a few balls at the local range. The more prepared you are to deal with them, the better your scores will be.