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Get out of trouble: Take aim and avoid the hazards


Smart golfers plot strategies that avoid hazards, but when those strategies invite even more trouble, what’s the point? Take the situation below. There’s water up the left side—the natural tendency is to aim well to the right. First it’s your toes, then your hips and shoulders. By the time you sole the clubhead, it’s pointing so far right that even if you hit a decent shot, you’ll be miles away from your target—and maybe out of play.


Smart golfers aim the clubface first, which I’ve done here, to a safe spot in the middle of the fairway. Notice how this sets my body lines (which typically run parallel to the club-target line) straight toward the water. Scary? A little (well, maybe a lot). But here’s where you need to remind yourself that clubface aim trumps body aim. Although you may feel like you’re headed for the drink, you’re targeting terra firma. Trust how you’ve aimed the clubface, then smoothly pull the trigger.

By Kellie Stenzel, Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton, Fla. and Palm Beach C.C., Palm Beach, Fla.