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Video Transcript

I think there's one place on the golf course where you'll see more good players punch the ball than anything else, and that's when the ball is lying in bad lie or in the rough. Now I say bad lie or in the rough, because sometimes you'll see golfers, guys on the TV, punching the ball from the middle of the fairway and it might just be because they've got a bad lie. Often these good players, they are hitting the ball into the same position on each fairway, as each other they are all trying to run for the same spot, so occasionally the ball will sit down in a divot. It's one of almost unfair parts of golf, but sometimes it's in a divot and on the tour courses, often that's the divot that's being filled in so it's a sand-filled divot. And you'll see – so the guy in the middle of the fairway and he hits one of these little punches and that's because the ball is sitting in a bad lie.

Other opportunities may be when the ball is just going into the longer grass, so it's sitting in the longer grass here, semi rough or rough and you'll see a guy go in there, quite a lofted club, play right in the back of his stance and he barely has any follow through and just jumps the ball out. But more often than not, the ball comes out really nicely, really lovely and flies quite a distance. The reason why the players are using these punch shots in those situations, the reason why it works down to the angle of attack; the fact that as the club comes down towards the golf ball, particularly if the ball is sitting in a bad lie, we want the club to react with the bad lie as little as possible. So if we've got a ball here and let's suggest we've got some long grass here; as the club comes in, if it's coming in on a shallow angle, it's going to involve itself in all of this long grass, but if the club's coming down on a steeper angle, it gets to the back of the ball and has less involvement in the long grass behind the ball.

So to improve your angle of attack or to steepen your angle of attack; if you were to play the ball back in your stance, gripping down and then staying on your left hand side, you're going to feel the club is quite high in the air above the ball and it chops down more steeply, hits and squeezes the ball and the ball shoots out forward. Try that with a really lofted club and you'll be surprised by the sort of lie that you can get the ball out of. If you go the flip side of this, we often see golfers that when they are in a bad lie they think they want to help the ball; they want to scoop the ball, so they actually go the opposite way. They play the ball more forward than the stance, they play the ball nearer to their left leg; they try and scoop the ball out.

But if we understand what I've just explained about angle of attack and being steep and shallow; this one is going to be very shallow, it's going to hit the ground before the ball, all of this long grass before the ball gets tangled up on the club face, slows the club face down, gets trapped between club face and ball and the ball won't fly very well. So next time you're in a bad lie, either in a divot on the fairway, or in long grass and the semi-rough or the rough; consider playing the ball back in your stance, hands low down on the grip, leaning left, being steep at the angle of attack, short on the backswing, short on the follow-through and see how punching the ball from the heavy rough can improve your chances.