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Correct Golf Answer Make a solid base and hit down into the ball

Playing a shot from pine straw means that you are probably in a position a little off the beaten track somewhere in the trees but still have a shot to play to get back into the hole.

Pine straw consists of small twigs, blossoms and leaves dropped by pine trees and when the ball sits on top of this debris it can present one or two problems for the golfer. There are two main issues: it is a loose surface and so it is possible to slip or lose footing while playing a full shot and; the ball can be sitting up above the surface of the ground slightly on top of the straw. The good news is that these issues can be negated by being aware and taking a little more care in the set up phase of the golf shot.

To keep a solid base and not let the feet slip during the shot, follow these instructions:

- Take a slightly wider stance than normal. This will make the base more solid and less moveable.
- Swing easier and less full than normal but take an extra club to compensate for the loss of distance.
- Just as in a bunker, wiggle the feet when taking the stance to make sure that your golf shoes are on solid ground for grip rather than on top of loose impediments.

To ensure that the strike of the ball is true, follow these instructions:

- Set the ball back slightly in the stance by one to two inches more than normal. This ensures that the ball is struck first rather than the loose pine straw.
- Have the body weight positioned to be slightly favoring the front foot (60-70%). Again this encourages the ball to be struck first before the ground giving a true strike as the club will descend more steeply than normal and not catch any pine straw on the way into the ball.
- Do not ground the club at set up, hover it behind the ball. Remember that the ball is sitting on top of a loose surface. Grounding the club may disturb the ball and if it moves you incur a two shot penalty.

Follow these simple tips and get the ball back in play from a potentially bad situation.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

This is a very risky strategy and, more often than not, will cause a topped shot. This is when the golfer tries to lift up through the ball to avoid the ground but lifts too much and catches the top of the golf ball with the bottom of the golf club causing the ball to be driven into the ground, and only travels a few yards and still remains in trouble.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Playing a shot in this way without sand is very unpredictable. Will the club strike the golf ball correctly or will the straw take the power out of the shot? How far or high will the ball travel? Too many questions with very unpredictable answers.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

This is a very risky strategy as pine straw is fine and loose and it is all too easy to disturb the golf ball when removing debris, giving away a two shot penalty - if your partners see it of course!