Under Over and Around – Shots you must know to play well!
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To play well, there are a few shots you have to have in your arsenal to navigate your way around the golf course. If we could all hit the ball straight down the middle of the fairway, then make a nice straight shot into the green, followed by a one or two-putt, we would find golf pretty boring. I think it takes a lot of skill and practice to maneuver a golf ball under, over and around an obstacle like a tree or bush. PGA Tour player Kevin Kisner, assisted by Ron Kaspriske for Golf Digest, shows how to accomplish all of the above!
KEEPING IT UNDER.
This is usually your best and safest option. First, select a club longer than you’d normally use from this distance and grip down about an inch. This will help lower the ball flight but still produce the required distance. Next, address the ball with your feet no more than shoulder-width apart, and feel like your chest is directly over it–my teacher, John Tillery, emphasizes this point. Swing the club on a plane more horizontal than vertical, like tracing the path of a Hula-Hoop. This will keep you under the branches but will let you hit it high enough to get good distance.
TALKING IT OVER.
Pick a club you feel confident can get the ball over the tree. If you’re between two clubs, always go with more loft. Ball position is crucial. Address it almost like you were hitting a driver, off your front heel. Your left shoulder should be noticeably higher than your right, and your spine tilted away from the target. This setup will promote a higher shot. When you swing, try to hit up on the ball. To do that, make a shallow pass through impact, skimming the ground right before and after the strike.
One word of caution: When you start the downswing, make sure you shift your weight to the left side. If it stays back, you’ll likely hit the ball thin–and too low to get over the tree.
Pictures: Golf Digest
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