Here’s a fail-proof recovery shot for when you miss the fairway

recovery shot from the trees

Try this recovery shot next time you're in a tough spot.

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You’d like to split the fairway on every drive, but the truth is, you don’t. And when you get wayward, your ball invariably comes to rest in some pretty tough spots. The one I’ve unfortunately found in the photo below is a real doozy, for example — ball on pine straw with some nearby fescue potentially interfering with my through-swing. Awkward situations like this are no time to get greedy.

Josh Ritchie

Job 1 is to get the ball back in play, despite what your inner Bubba or Phil tells you. First, grab a high-lofted club and open the face a few degrees at setup. Grip down on the handle and squeeze it hard to better control the clubface. Take a narrow stance and play the ball back of center. Finally, set about 70 percent of your weight over your front foot and keep it there as you swing. Making these adjustments prior to starting your motion almost ensures success. When it comes time to make your swing, stop at three-quarters and limit your follow-through. Think of this as a “punch” shot with the club remaining beneath your shoulders on both sides of the ball. Even though you’re shortening your swing, remain aggressive through impact. The last thing you want to do is quit on the shot.

Michael Hunt is director of instruction at Bayonne GC in Bayonne, N.J.

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