• Best Techniques for Staying Out of the Trees!Golf Techniques for Staying Out of the TreesThe best shot you will ever hit out of the trees is the one that never has to be played to begin with. Keep your ball in the fairway as much as possible and leave the woods as someone else’s problem.

Of course, perfection is not an option in golf, so having to play from the trees on occasion is inevitable. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to limit those occasions. The techniques below may help you steer clear of the woods during your next round.

  • Use less club off the tee. This is a point that gives the average golfer endless trouble. The typical amateur cannot seem to put the driver down, even when the tee shot at hand does not require significant distance. Sure, it is fun to hit the driver, but it is also fun to keep your ball in the fairway. Unless you need the distance that is provided by your driver, consider using a three wood or hybrid club to play for control rather than power.
  • Give trees proper respect. One problem that may lead you into the trees is simply a lack of respect. Instead of thinking of the trees as a hazard, you may think that you can get out easy enough if you happen to go in. This is the wrong mental approach. On the tee, think about the trees as just another kind of hazard, no different than a water hazard or even out of bounds stakes. You are very likely to lose at least a stroke or two when you go into the woods, so don’t underestimate the importance of staying away.
  • Curve away. If you have the ability to curve the ball in both directions of the tee, get in the habit of curving the ball away from the trees whenever possible. This is not a fool-proof method, of course, but it will improve your chances of staying out of the woods. It should go without saying that you should use this strategy only when you can do so without putting your ball in any danger on the other side of the fairway.

Recovery shots can be fun, especially when they come out of the trees perfectly and manage to land on the green. Those occasions are the exception, however, and most of the time you’ll end up losing a stroke or two along the way. We hope the tips offered in this article will help you get out of the trees cleanly, and with limited damage. Remember, keep your patience and think through as many options as possible before deciding on the best way to proceed.


Golf Techniques for Staying Out of the Trees:

  1. Course Management:
    • Develop a strategic course management plan. Identify potential trouble areas, including trees, and plan your shots accordingly.
  2. Use a Driver Wisely:
    • Consider using a less powerful club off the tee if there's a risk of hitting trees. Opt for accuracy over distance to stay in play.
  3. Aim for Safe Zones:
    • Aim for wider parts of the fairway or landing areas to minimize the chances of landing in tree-lined trouble zones.
  4. Play a Controlled Fade or Draw:
    • Practice shaping your shots. A controlled fade or draw can help you navigate around obstacles like trees and keep the ball in play.
  5. Know Your Shot Shape:
    • Understand your natural shot shape and work with it. Trying to fight your natural tendencies can lead to trouble.
  6. Lay Up When Necessary:
    • When faced with a tight fairway and potential tree trouble, opt for a lay-up shot to a safer distance instead of risking a difficult recovery.
  7. Scout the Course:
    • During practice rounds or while playing casually, take note of tree locations and shapes. Knowing the course can help you avoid trouble.
  8. Emergency Punch Shot:
    • Practice a punch shot for situations where you need to keep the ball low to navigate under branches. Mastering this shot can save strokes.
  9. Consider Course Conditions:
    • Be aware of ground conditions. Wet or soft fairways may affect how the ball reacts after landing, potentially increasing the risk of hitting trees.
  10. Don't Always Go for the Hero Shot:
    • Assess risk versus reward. Sometimes, it's wiser to play a safe shot to avoid trouble rather than attempting a high-risk hero shot.

10 Q&A on Golf Techniques for Staying Out of the Trees:

  1. Q: How can I improve my ability to shape shots around trees?
    • A: Practice controlled fades and draws on the driving range. Work with a golf pro to refine your shot-shaping skills.
  2. Q: Is it advisable to carry a specialty club for tree shots?
    • A: Yes, consider carrying a utility club or hybrid that can help you navigate through or around trees with more control.
  3. Q: Should I always try to go over trees if they're in my way?
    • A: Not necessarily. Assess the height and density of the trees. Going around or under might be a safer and more reliable option.
  4. Q: How can I recover after hitting a tree and ending up in trouble?
    • A: Stay calm, assess your options, and focus on advancing the ball back into play. Avoid taking unnecessary risks on recovery shots.
  5. Q: Should I alter my swing for punch shots under trees?
    • A: Yes, a punch shot requires a more compact swing. Practice this technique to keep the ball low and avoid hitting branches.
  6. Q: What's the best way to navigate a heavily wooded course?
    • A: Prioritize accuracy over distance. Play safe shots and focus on keeping the ball in play to avoid the densely wooded areas.
  7. Q: Can using a higher-lofted club help me clear trees?
    • A: It depends on the situation. Higher loft can help clear obstacles, but consider the distance and trajectory needed for success.
  8. Q: Should I take more club to clear trees, or is it better to play it safe?
    • A: Assess the risk and your comfort level. If in doubt, play it safe. It's often better to sacrifice some distance for accuracy.
  9. Q: Can tree trouble be avoided with better tee shot placement?
    • A: Yes, strategic tee shot placement can significantly reduce the risk of finding yourself in tree trouble. Plan your shots wisely.
  10. Q: How can I overcome the mental challenge of playing around trees?
    • A: Stay focused on the task at hand. Visualize successful shots, and avoid dwelling on potential hazards. Confidence is key.

Remember that avoiding tree trouble is as much about strategy as it is about skill. Regular practice, course knowledge, and smart decision-making contribute to successful tree navigation on the golf course.

Getting stuck in the trees is a common frustration for golfers of all skill levels. Here are some techniques to help you avoid them and keep your ball in play:

Course Management:

  • Know your limitations: Understand your typical driving distance and club yardages. Choose lines off the tee that leave you a comfortable margin of error to avoid trouble areas like trees.
  • Consider alternative strategies: If the fairway is heavily lined with trees, laying up short of trouble with a more controlled shot might be a better option than going for glory.

Pre-Shot Routine:

  • Course scouting: Before teeing off, take a good look at the hole and identify potential hazards like trees.
  • Aim and visualize: Consider aiming slightly away from the side with the most trees, allowing for a margin of error if your swing isn't perfect. Visualize your desired shot path and focus on executing it.

Swing Techniques:

  • Controlled swing: Focus on a smooth, controlled swing with good tempo instead of trying to overpower the ball. This improves accuracy and reduces the risk of shanking your shot into the trees.
  • Ball position: For fairway shots with trees on one side, try adjusting your ball position slightly back in your stance. This can promote a more controlled swing and a lower launch angle, potentially keeping the ball under tree branches.
  • Club selection: Consider using a shorter iron or a hybrid club instead of a long iron for fairway shots near trees. These offer more forgiveness and help you launch the ball lower, potentially clearing tree hazards.

Specialty Shots:

  • Punch shots: If you find yourself under low-hanging branches, a punch shot can be a lifesaver. This technique involves a shorter backswing and a more compressed swing to keep the ball low and navigate under obstacles.
  • Fade or draw: If there are trees on one side of the fairway, you can try hitting a fade (slice) away from the trees or a draw (hook) towards the open fairway. This requires some skill and practice, but it can be effective in avoiding trouble.

Additional Tips:

  • Practice these techniques: Don't wait until you're on the course. Practice hitting controlled fades, draws, and punch shots at the driving range to feel comfortable using them when needed.
  • Accept occasional trouble: Even with these techniques, you might still end up in the trees sometimes. Don't get discouraged; focus on recovering with a good escape shot and limit the damage.

By following these tips and practicing your shot control, you can significantly reduce the number of times you find yourself tangled in the trees, leading to more consistent and enjoyable rounds of golf.