There are few shots that strike more fear into a senior golfer’s heart than playing from a bare lie.
Bare lies are normally found on seaside courses, at the height of summer or on a badly mown piece of ground. The bare lie is daunting because the ball has no cushion of grass underneath so hitting a high shot is difficult. Hitting wedges from bare lies is made doubly difficult because the club could ‘bounce’ too much at impact causing skulled and thin shots.
Wedge shots from bare lies
Bare lies around the green are a challenge but can be conquered by understanding how a wedge interacts with the ground at impact.
Off a normal lie, the wedge bounce (the angle created when the rear edge of the wedge sole is lower than the leading edge) will stop the club from digging into the ground. However, off a bare lie, the bounce will cause the club to skid upwards off the ground and into the ball.
Different wedges have different bounce angles and it’s important for senior golfers to experiment in order to see what bounce angle most suits their game. To hit a wedge from a bare lie, the golfer will have to reduce the amount of bounce on the wedge which will help stop this skid off the ground into the ball.
Try the following technique for bare lie wedge shots around the green:
1. Place the ball slightly further back in the stance with 60% body weight on the front foot and the hands pressed ahead of the ball.
2. Now close the club face at address, doing this will reduce the amount of bounce the wedge has.
3. To accommodate for closing the club face, the golfer will have to aim slightly right of the target (for a right handed golfer).
4. The resulting ball flight from this swing will be low and carry a large amount of backspin.
Long shots from bare lies
Longer clubs have less bounce built into the sole but alterations need to be made in order to produce a consistent ball strike.
1. The ball should be played further back in the stance to encourage a slightly steeper angle of approach which will help the senior golfer produce a cleaner strike. With the longer clubs, weight can be kept 50/50 on each foot at set up.
2. Because of the steeper angle of approach into the ball, it will take off lower than normal because of the reduced loft at impact.
3. Distance is an important factor because this will decrease the amount of carry distance with long irons, but could increase distance with short irons because of the decreased loft at impact.
4. Because there is no grass between the club and ball at impact, the amount of backspin produced will increase.