Column: trick shots in the toolbox

Every golfer gets into trouble, and Chilliwack Golf Academy instructor Jennifer Greggain has tips to get out of a bad spot.

The first time I had the opportunity to watch a PGA Tour event in person, I noticed that every player, at some point, hit a shot or two offline. Finding a not so ideal location, the player was forced to open their tool box of ‘trick shots’ to get them back on track. Here are some trick shots I recommend every golfer have in their bag.

Everyone should know how to hit a low recovery shot from the trees, especially residing in BC where every course has tree-lined fairways.

The key to keeping a low running shot is in the set-up.

Be sure to use a low lofted iron, like a four or five iron. Place the ball further back in the stance, closer to the trail foot. Set your hands well ahead of the club head, which de-lofts the club and keeps the shot-trajectory low.

Make an abbreviated swing, no bigger than half or three quarters, and mirror the size of swing in your follow through. Take a few practice swings with the swing arc bottoming out on the ground. The result is a low lofted ‘punch’ shot  that will stay under tree branches and roll out to the target.

When faced with a shot that requires a delicate high lofted trajectory with little roll, make sure you know how to hit a solid ‘flop’ shot.

Choose your highest lofted wedge, and if you plan on using this shot often be sure to invest in a quality lob wedge of at least 60 degrees.

For those who struggle with this shot, I use the analogy of a popular fair game — the water balloon toss.

Imagine tossing the balloon high in the air to your partner, assertively enough to throw it far but delicately enough that it doesn’t break in their hands.

Feel completely relaxed through your hands, and grip the club as softly as you can.

Set up with the ball slightly forward in your stance, and open the club face to add loft.

Allow your wrists to set in the back-swing, and turn through the shot with your body.

The club-head should strike the ground at the bottom of the arc, creating a soft, high trajectory pitch. The swing itself should feel a bit longer and relaxed, yet keeping just the right amount of assertiveness.

Done correctly, this is also one of the most enjoyable shots to pull off, causing a fair amount of grief to your playing partners.

Finally, one more shot everyone should know is the dreaded plugged lie in a greenside bunker.

Again, choose your setup for this shot wisely. Play the ball forward in your stance, but instead of opening your club-face like a normal bunker shot, instead close or hood the face.

Take a somewhat smaller swing with an abbreviated finish position, which will cause the ball to softly pop up and out of the bunker.

Golf isn’t about hitting perfect shots all the time. Its about enjoying hitting a wide range of different types of shots.

Some players view difficult situations as adversity, and others will face it as a challenge.

Which one will you choose?

 

Jennifer teaches golf to adults and juniors at the Chilliwack Golf Academy. She played professionally on tour for over 10 years, including 2 years on the LPGA. She was also named the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Tour Low Teaching Pro of the Year, and is now the lead instructor of the Sardis Golf Academy.  She can be contacted at 604-798-9805, chilliwackgolfacademy.com, or at Jennifer@chilliwackgolf.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Science World brings vibrant, visual demos to Chilliwack schools this week

Science World’s On The Road team will be visiting nine schools in the Chilliwack School District

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2

PHOTOS: Chilliwack junior roller derby team celebrates long-awaited win over Seattle

NWO Junior Roller Derby hosted two games on the weekend against the Seattle Derby Brats

Violin meets piano in The Red Violin at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Jasper Wood joins the Bergmann Duo for an intimate morning concert in Chilliwack

Bold and brazen singer Begonia brings colourful show to Tractorgrease in Chilliwack

The musician from Winnipeg is equally comfortable singing lullabies, headbangers and ballads

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Henderson at the Chilliwack SPCA

Henderson, also known as Biggy, has FIV, a virus similar to HIV in humans

Kobe Bryant’s helicopter flew in fog that grounded other choppers

The cause of the crash that killed Bryant, his daughter and several others was unknown

Victoria-area wolf tranquilized after being seen running around neighbourhood

Officials say wolf unharmed during its ‘arrest’

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Most Read