Hitting From a Bad Lie

By Bill Herrfeldt

You've hit the perfect drive, but when you get to the ball, it is lying in a bad lie. In fact it's so bad you doubt you can even get the ball close to the green let alone on it. What you do not know is that with proper technique you can not only hit the green but you can get the ball close to the hole, whether your ball is in a divot, on a side-hill lie or in a sand trap. There are a few things you should remember, because your score will depend on them.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Take your shot with the ball farther back in the stance at address. With shots like these, it's important for you to make contact with the ball before you take a divot. Further, it is imperative that you hit the golf ball with more of a descending blow, and it is a lot easier to do both with the ball positioned closer to your back foot.
Step 2
Move your hands down on the shaft by an inch or two at address when your ball is in a bad lie, because you'll find it easier to hit a shorter club. And because you have shortened the club, you will hit the ball less distance, so take a club or two more to make up for that. Since you are more than likely to hit a "punch shot" when you have a bad lie, concentrate on not breaking your wrists and end the shot with a low follow-through.
Step 3
Pay attention to the depth of the grass if your ball ends up in the rough. If the ball is sitting up, hit it as you normally would. But if it is down in the grass, move it farther back in your stance if your ball is in higher grass, because you will need to hit the ball with the steepest plane you can muster to get the ball up and out of the rough.
Step 4
Keep the angle created by your wrists for as long as you can during your downswing, because you will need all the power you can muster to get the ball out of an extremely bad lie. Some golfers try to flip the ball out by breaking their wrists early in the downswing, which makes it more difficult both to get the ball up and to hit it the required distance.

About The Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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