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Answer How Should I Play A Ball From The Cart Path

Many modern courses now feature a number of cart paths and sometimes the ball will come to rest upon them.

Some courses allow players to lift the ball for no penalty and take a drop at the nearest point of relief. However, if this is not possible, golfers should look to hit the shot by picking the ball cleanly from the surface.

The Cart Path Shot

The key point to hitting a ball successfully off a cart path without hurting your hands is to pick the ball cleanly off the surface. When playing off a cart path, players can use this technique to help hit clubs of almost every loft and attack pins.

  • Grip the club more tightly with the back two fingers of the left hand (for right handed golfers). This will stop the club face rolling shut at impact. It is easier to play a fade from a cart path.
  • Players should also hold the club a little further down the grip; this will help pick the ball cleanly off the surface. The golfer needs to hit the ball first.
  • Players should also bend their knees less to avoid a cart path contact. Taking a nice wide stance should help avoid slipping.
  • Golfers should play the ball further back in the stance to ensure a clean contact, this will give a lower ball flight which needs to be taken into account.
  • The swing goal should be to nip the ball from the surface. Gripping the club a little more firmly could also help.
  • After clipping the ball away cleanly, try and continue up to a full finish position, dont be hesitant through the ball.

Players who are not confident with the shot should look to take a penalty drop or chip the ball back into play. Golfers should also remember that a heavy contact with the path will cause significant damage to the club and send nasty vibrations up into the hands as well.

If you are unfortunate to finish on a cart path, consult the local rules to see if you can drop without penalty, if not, practice this technique but be careful.

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Hitting this shot with long irons is hard but possible; hitting this shot with a fairway wood is strongly ill advised. Not only is picking a ball up off the surface cleanly extremely difficult with a fairway wood but also the cart path could impart massive damage on the clubs sole.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Unfortunately, cart paths are covered by a clubs local rules. Rules committees at golf clubs can put any rule in place they deem fit. A famous example is the Road Hole at The Old Course in St Andrews which has a road running to the right of the green which is in play for golfers. Most clubs will allow free drops from such a road, but not at The Home of Golf and possibly at your own course!

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Although hitting 100 balls off a cart path to practice would be almost impossible, there are other ways to learn the technique. Players can practice using the technique from a bare lie on the fairway or even some compacted sand.