How To Hit The Perfect Shot From Behind A Tree In Golf
You're in an intense match with only a few holes left. With your heart beating fast, you hit your drive off the fairway and it lands behind a tree.
In order to give yourself the best chance at scoring low, follow the steps below to find a way out of trouble.
Step 1: Picture your options
From behind your ball, look at the possibilities ahead of you. You'll want to imagine several options of escaping from behind the tree. You should define three options:
- Option A - The Hero - This is the perfect shot with the greatest risk, but the highest reward. With a high degree of difficulty, success usually means you will have a shot at par or even birdie. If you fail to hit the shot properly, you may find yourself in worse trouble.
- Option B - The Middle Ground - This option gives you the best chance at your ideal score with some risk, but less reward than Option A. In extreme cases, you may only be able to advance the ball 30-100 meters short of the green. If you fail to hit this shot, you'll likely be in a similar position for your next shot or slightly better off.
- Option C - The Safe Play - This is the option that removes you from the trouble with the least amount of risk. You will be able to hit a simple shot that puts you back in a safe position. In some instances, this may mean playing away from the hole.
Step 2: Evaluate your lie
The conditions surrounding your ball will limit your options. With a bad lie, you may be forced to play Option B or C, as Option A will be impossible. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you stuck directly against the tree or its roots?
- Is your ball in the rough, dirt or an unusual surface?
- Do you have room to stand upright and make a full swing?
- Are there branches or tree trunks in the way?
- How will each of the above impact your options?
Step 3: Weigh the possibilities
After you've determined your lie and your ideal option out of trouble, you have to evaluate your own confidence in performing the shot. You'll want to choose the option that you believe you can perform. If you have any doubt, pick a safer option.
Step 4: Be an athlete and execute
With confidence in your game plan, perform two or three practice swings while you visualize the shot you want to hit.
Even though you have been very cerebral, you need to rely on your athletic ability. Remember, you don't think about physics when you throw a piece of crumpled paper into the wastebasket.
When you’re ready, hit your shot to the best of your ability.