Playing shots from soft lies means that ground conditions are very soggy and wet. If you hit the ground before you connect with the ball in these conditions, the club head will dig into the ground as it is so soft and this it will result in a massive loss of club head speed. The club head speed will be transferred into the ground, rather than the ball and you will end up moving the ball a very short distance.
To play successfully from soft conditions you need to swing to strike the ball and then the turf, or strike the ball cleanly and this is really similar to how you would want to play a fairway bunker shot, striking the ball cleanly and then the ground.
To encourage the club head to strike the ball cleanly, hold lower down on the handle. This will effectively shorten the length of the club and pull the club head up from the ground, encouraging you to connect with the ball rather than the ground. Hold an inch lower down on the handle.
We really want to get the club head to swing downward at the ball, again to strike the ball before you strike the turf so as you set up place slightly more weight on your left foot and your hands opposite your left thigh to keep your hands left of the club head and ahead of the club head. Doing these two things will encourage a more upright swing and allow the club head to move back down towards the ball with a downward angle of attack, allowing the club head to strike the ball and then the turf. Also play the ball from the middle of your stance as this will allow you to strike the ball on the downward part of the club head’s arc.
Now that you are set up in a position to promote a downward strike from the club head, work on swinging the club head away from the ball with very little weight movement, keep the legs still and maintain your centre of gravity between your feet. If you allow your knees and hips to sway to the right during the backswing, your centre of gravity will shift to the right and you will now have to correct this and shift to the left if you are to strike the ball cleanly. If you do not shift your centre of gravity back to it's original position as you swing towards the ball, you will strike the ground first as the club head’s arc will be at it's lowest point to the left of the ball and as a result, you will strike the ground first. Maintain your centre of gravity as you swing away from the ball, work on keeping your legs still during the backswing.
You also want to maintain your posture throughout the backswing and down into the strike. If you allow your spine angle to drop towards the ball and/or you increase the flex in your knees during your backswing or downswing, you will be decreasing the distance that you had between your shoulders and the ground at set up. If this distance decreases then obviously the length of the club will no longer be able to fit into this gap and as a result you will strike the ground as the club head will return back lower to the ground than it started. To encourage you to keep your spine angle and knee flex constant through your backswing and downswing, work on holding your chin up and keeping it up throughout the movement so that you remain tall.
These points will allow you to strike the ball cleanly from any soft lie and you will play a shot with a great, clean connection and deliver full club head speed into the ball, resulting in great distance.