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

Stephanie Higginson, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, says people need to focus their attention on the upcoming byelection in Chilliwack. (BCSTA image)
‘Let’s not talk about Barry’ says BCSTA president on Chilliwack trustee

Higginson says impending Chilliwack byelection will require ‘laser focus’ to ensure balance of power

New Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust.
Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust in the mix for Swiss U20 roster spot

Fust is hoping to make the team that will compete in the World Junior Hockey Championships

An employee at a Chilliwack McDonald’s location tested positive for COVID on Nov. 21 (File photo by The Associated Press)
Employee tests positive for COVID-19 at McDonald’s restaurant in Chilliwack

One case was detected at the Vedder Road location, which briefly closed its doors

Asbestos bag from 2011. (Chilliwack Progress file)
New limits coming for asbestos at the Bailey Landfill in Chilliwack

Restricted to 20 bags per day per property because they don’t have capacity for larger loads

Cascade Falls Regional Park is one of several Fraser Valley parks that saw record usage during the summer of 2020. (File photo)
Residents flock to Fraser Valley parks amid pandemic

Some trails saw usage double during summer months of 2020

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Most Read