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If you find yourself in that situation where you played on the day after a heavy rain and the ball is landing in the fairway and it's picking up mud, you get what we call mud balls where after you strike the ball you can actually see the mud on the ball spinning and it will often curve the ball off line. You'll sometimes hear the players actually shout at their golf ball on the TV. They hit it. They're, "Ah, mud ball!" And it spins off into the crowd and then they shout, "Mud ball!

But if you're in that position where you're getting mud balls, sometimes the golf competition committee or the club committee will actually allow you to pick, clean and place so just double check the rules before you go out and play if it's one of those wet days, that you pick clean and play sometimes in the winter months. Sometimes it might bring it as a special local rule if you've got a mud ball or a ball sitting down in a muddy patch or even in a divot, we can do something with our technique to try and keep the ball in play a little bit more. Basically the mud on the side of the golf ball affects the way the ball spins in the air so the higher you hit it, the longer it's in the air, the more chance it has to spin and curve off line.

What I would advocate is get the ball down and get it running a little bit quicker because when the ball is running, firstly the mud might get knocked off but also it won't spin sideways if it's running in a straight line across the floor. So take lower-lofted golf club, at least one or two clubs less than you would normally, play the ball back in your stance and play pretty much a punch style of swing. Punch is shorter back, shorter through, a little bit more abbreviated. It wouldn’t necessarily give you the high, towering shot that you might want to see. It's not a particularly attractive shot but it also won't put you in too much danger, too much trouble.

So if you've picked up a little bit of mud on your ball and we’re talking a decent size, sort of coin-sized piece of mud on the side of the golf ball, you might consider a mud ball how to play it differently. Ball back in the stance a little bit, 7-iron here instead of a 9-iron for the distance requiring and then a much shorter, abbreviated punch back, punch through. Just knock the ball forwards and I can keep it down that way. It's up in the air a lot less. It's spinning a lot less. It's going to forwards and not sideways and again when it lands, it will go forward, not bouncing sideways and spin. So mud balls, play them lower. Try and counteract how much spin the ball will have and hopefully that will play a little bit safer when you get those awkward mud balls.