A shot over water may be golf’s most intimidating moment, but a shot over trees rates higher on the difficulty scale. 

First, it requires hitting a high shot, often from a less-than-ideal lie. Plus, the consequences of failure are unpredictable, ranging from nothing (your shot sails through the branches unscathed) to catastrophe (the ball ricochets into oblivion). 

Here’s how to handle a shot over trees: 

 

    play the ball to left in step

  1. Make sure going over is preferable to going under or around.
  2. Choose a club that you’re certain will launch high enough to carry the treetops.
  3. Stand slightly closer to the ball than usual to create a more upright swing plane.
  4. backswing trees

  5. Play the ball forward in your stance, nearly opposite the left heel (for right-handers), to utilize all the club’s loft.
  6. Concentrate on finishing with the hands high overhead 
  7. The natural tendency is to lift the left side too early, causing a low, thin shot. Focus on hitting the back of the ball and extending the right arm well past impact into that high finish.