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

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read