How Should I Play A Ball From the Cart Path? Video
How should you play your golf ball if you’re on the cart path? Now, my initial response to this answer – this question is don’t, don’t play your ball from the cart path at all. But, I understand there might be a time and a place when you’re in a situation where you need to play the ball from the cart path because you’ve got a good score going and you don’t want to give a penalty shot.
So, there’s a couple of options here. First thing is consider the local rules, nobody run on the back of the score card. There might be a rule in there that says the cart path is something you can drop off free of charge, and let’s hope that’s the case. So, if you can drop off the cart path free of charge, do so.
Now, the other option is to drop off the cart path under a penalty. So, it’s normally going to be to the side of the cart path to a few blocks away, directly behind the cart path, keeping the position where the ball was, the hole was as far back as you like, one shot penalty, or you can go back to the tee or wherever you hit your shot from and replay the previous shot. If you decide that the situation is so serious that you want to play the ball, you’re prepared to maybe sacrifice the sole of the golf club and your wrists and you’re going to try and get this ball off the cart path and far down the fairway, then this is the best way to play it.
First thing is make sure you’ve taken enough loft. If there’s a curb in front of you or a slope in front of you, last thing you want to do is hit the ball straight into that. So, a nice little bit of loft. Then, we’re going to try and take the ball cleanly. So, you’re just going to drop the ball back in the stance a little bit so we take ball first rather than too much of the cart path and the road. The other thing then is just to grip down the golf club a little bit. If you just grip down by half-an-inch to an inch, that will shorten the club and should stop you digging the club into the ground too much and hurting yourself. Because the ideal situation here will just be to nip the ball clean off the surface, not necessarily thin it, but definitely don’t want to fat it too much.
I would then go and take a couple of practice swings. Now, to save your club, you don’t want to practice swings on the path. So, go and find a similar lie to the side of the path and just practice nipping the surface of the grass and then going to the cart path and try and nip it off the top. You certainly wouldn’t want to take practice swings where you really dig down and then go and try hit the golf ball. That’s not going to work at all. So, take a similar height practice swing with plenty of loft and a little bit of a grip down. Then when you’re happy, walk in.
Now, the last thing you got to do here is you have to commit to the shot. If you’re going to take this shot on, there’s no point pulling out of it halfway and topping it. You’ve got to really commit to staying down with it, stay down through the shot, clip it away with plenty of power. Try and play it nice and clean. There are your options if you’re trying to play the ball from the cart path.