Even if you are a great golfer, shooting very low scores when out on the golf course, you will still inevitably make a few mistakes. It is how you recover from these mistakes that dictates how low your golf score is.
Let’s look at two golf shots that will help you to get out of trouble and recover well the next time you are out on the golf course.
The first shot that will really help you recover is learning to play an effective punch shot. This is a shot played with a deliberately low trajectory and is a great recovery shot from trees and overhanging branches. To play this shot well, initially select a club with less loft on, such as a 6 iron. Set up with the ball further back in your stance than usual. This will allow you to connect with the ball as the club head is still on the downward part of its swing arc and therefore more de-lofted resulting in a lower launch angle and ball flight. Place slightly more weight on your left side (for right handed golfers) and keep your hands forward.
To achieve this, create a straight line from your left shoulder, down your left arm to your hands and then down the shaft of the golf club to the club head. As you swing the club away from the golf ball, maintain this straight line and do not hinge your wrists. Hinging your wrists hits the ball high, so maintain the straight line to ensure you have no wrist hinge and that you achieve a low ball flight. As you swing back towards the ball and through it, keep the straight line as this maintains a low amount of loft on the club face as you strike the golf ball. Your follow through will be restricted as you maintain the straight line and keep the club head lower than your hands to achieve the low ball flight.
The second shot that is fantastic for recovery play is learning how to play effective shots from the rough. Play these shots with plenty of loft so use your pitching wedge. If you are further away from the green, your priority is to get the ball out of the rough and back into play, not to achieve distance, so don’t be over ambitious with your club choice. Open the club face of your wedge by rotating the handle to the right of its usual position. Do this as the rough will grab hold of the golf club and specifically the hosel where the club head is attached to the shaft. As the rough wraps around this area of the golf club it will slow it down, but the toe will not be slowed and it will accelerate past the heel, closing the club face and a closed club face results in a low ball flight which is not what is wanted here. Opening the club face allows this to happen.
Play the ball from the middle of your stance and keep your weight and hands forward. This will help you to achieve a steep backswing as you pick the club head up, so that you can make a steep angle of attack back down towards the back of the golf ball. This will minimize the club head’s contact with the grass and allow you to strike the golf ball first with a firm, positive swing. Also, remember to hold the golf club slightly harder than usual because this will prevent you from letting go when the longer grass wraps around the club and grabs on to it.