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Short Game Shot With A Tight Lie

Jul 19, 2008
Temperatures are dropping during this time of year all over the country. Luckily in the southern states, we can still play golf. However, this means playing a shots from a tight lie or a thin lie (little grass) which can be very difficult without the correct club in your hand. Tending to play on a tight or a thin lie from around the green this time of year, presents plenty of physical and mental issues for us to fight through. Many players do not have confidence when it comes to playing a short game shot off of a thin lie to get the ball on the green let alone close to the flag.

From around the green, using a hybrid club from a thin lie could be the answer for you. It will improve your confidence to get the ball up and down from this type of position like a thin lie. Once the hybrid chip is added to your list available shots, it can also be executed it great conditions as well.

A great example of when to use your hybrid from around the green is Pinehurst #2 course in North Carolina or many of the British Open courses. Todd Hamilton was the first person that I remember who really used this type of shot to win The Open and the type of shot was publicized. The finishing hole at this year.s PGA Tour Qualifying school was much the same way. The flag was in the back-left hole position without much green behind and to the left of the hole.

Once off of the green, the grass was shaved so the ball would roll to the bottom of the hill. Once there, the players were face with a shot to an uphill green from a tight flag AND from a tight lie. Whew! Many of these players thought the best option that they had to get the ball close was to chip with their hybrid. The players that did try to throw the ball up in the air wer not bale to get their ball within twenty feet.

Enough is enough. So how do you play this shot? Select one of your hybrid clubs becasue it has at least 18 degrees of loft. With your ball position off of your back foot, hold the shaft as vertical as possible and place the grip so that it runs through the life line of your left-hand (for a right-handed player). With this grip the heel of the club head should be off of the ground.

You will need to choke down on the grip and maybe even to the shaft. Do not be scared to grip the shaft, if it is more comfortable for you. Use the "excess" grip and place it on your left forearm. This will confirm that you will use a one piece motion and not use any hinge in your wrists.

Now that you have a proper setup for the short game shot, simply use your putting stroke and keep the shaft on your left forearm, during the entire motion. Hold your finish for a slow count of three seconds. I am positive that with just a little practice, this shot will be a reliable part of your short game.
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