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Trouble Shots
by Gregory Fields, PGA
Senior Teaching Professional
Kapalua Golf Academy

"Into the Wind"
Often when playing golf you'll be playing into the wind. Many golfers approach playing wind shots incorrectly. When playing a shot into the wind your goal is to hit the ball lower than usual and impart less backspin than your typical shot.

Facing a shot where you would hit an 8 iron without wind, do the following: Choose a 7 iron; play the ball slightly back in your stance, grip the club with less pressure; make only a 3/4 swing and set up with your hands slightly ahead of the ball. As you swing, feel your hands ahead of the ball and finish low.

"With the Wind"
When playing a shot with the wind you'll need to take the following things into consideration: The ball will obviously fly further; it will tend to bounce further once it hits the green; and fortunately, it will fly straighter.

Before selecting a club, see if there are bunkers in front of the green. If not, plan to hit short of the green and let your ball bounce to the hole, St. Andrews style. If you must clear a bunker, choose a club that will comfortably clear it so you'll have a putt for birdie. Most golfers don't hit enough club when playing a shot with the wind. Don't give in to the Superman attitude. Stay in control.

"Deep Rough"
If you find yourself in deep rough don't be greedy. Ask yourself this question before you select your club, "What would be the smartest shot for me to play?"

If you've decided you have very little chance to reach the green, choose a more lofted club, play it slightly further back in your stance, aim slightly left and firm up your grip pressure. Lay up well short of the green, in the fairway, and you may end up with a bogey instead of a 7 or 8.

Tips Archive

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Instant Power
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Uneven Lies -- Ball below feet
Trouble Shots
Uphill Lies
Downhill Lies