With a little practice, most golfers can learn how to be accurate with chip shots from good lies. But when a golfer approaches the green and sees his ball buried in high rough, he may quickly lose confidence in his ability to execute the shot. Typical errors include hitting behind the ball and leaving it short -- sometimes not even reaching the green -- or swinging too hard and knocking the ball over the other side of the green.
Reliable play with your wedges can help you lower your score on the golf course. Skilled golfers often keep up to four different wedges in their bag for play inside 100 yards and around the green. Each wedge has a different loft to make it useful in specific situations.
Most players don't hit straight shots very often; to do so, their swings have to be almost perfect. Curved shots are easier to repeat than straight shots. There are two basic types of curving shots – one curves to the right and the other to the left. The words "slice" and "hook" generally refer to shots that curve a lot. Sometimes you want to hit a big slice or hook – perhaps to get around a tree – but usually you just want a little curve. A little slice is called a fade, and a little hook is called a draw. Imagine you're standing inside a circle when you hit your ball. If the ball curves around the circle (and you), that's a hook. If the ball curves away from you, that's a slice.
The short game is a very important part of shooting lower scores. Golfers will have many shots around the green during a round of golf. Shots around the green are played very differently based on the length of the shot and lie of the ball. A short chip shot from a tight lie around the green is one shot that strikes fear in the hearts of many amateur golfers. Learning the right club selection and technique for this shot will make life around the greens much easier. With a little practice, you can begin to save par from any tight lie.
On any golf course around the world, it's common to hear the word "fore" being shouted at times. If you are an experienced golfer, hearing this word should prompt you to take quick action. If you are inexperienced, it's important to understand the word and its implications so that you can react accordingly.
A windy day can make a big difference in how you approach the game of golf. Everything is accentuated when a ball gets in the wind, including any spin. The ability to keep the ball low can minimize the effect that the wind has on your game and keep you scoring low, even while those around you are walking away with bogeys, double bogeys and worse. Hitting low requires some adjustments in your stance so that you actually remove some of the clubs loft at impact.
There is nothing more frustrating than to hit an excellent tee shot, only to have your ball land on a difficult lie. A bad lie requires a different approach in order to get the ball back on track. Here are a few guidelines that you can follow to rescue your shot out of a bad lie.
Ending up with a shot from a bad lie might mean that your previous shot was way off the fairway, or it might mean that you landed in a divot. In any case, we all eventually have to deal with hitting from a divot, bare ground or deep rough, and learning to hit this type of shot can take strokes off your game. Your goal here is to hit the ball to a good position for the next shot. To help accomplish this, steepen the angle of your swing.
Playing golf is not always about hitting great shots and sinking memorable putts. All golfers, including Tiger Woods, find themselves in trouble on the course from time to time. One of the most troublesome spots is thick rough, which can trap the club and keep the ball from flying.
Hitting out of the thick grass, or rough, can be a major challenge. It requires changing your swing to use power to get the ball out of danger. The golf ball may also be partially or totally obscured by the thick grass; that lack of a visible target may cause you to mishit. Knowing how to get under the ball and generate extra power may help you maneuver out of trouble.
Improving your putting makes it much easier to reach your scoring objectives in golf, whether that means breaking 90 or breaking 75. During the long, cold winter months when you can't get out to play or on rainy days in the South, develop a regular game-improvement routine that includes exercises such as stretching and plenty of putting practice.
A duck hook is a shot that curves hard to the left of your target, if you are a right-handed golfer. A duck hook almost always gets a golfer into some kind of trouble on the course. A closed club face at impact and an inside-to-out swing can cause a duck hook. Learning to swing with a square club face, to release the club properly and to swing on the proper path will help eliminate your duck hook.
Hitting your golf ball into a water hazard is no laughing matter when it comes time to write down your score, but the situation is somewhat improved if you're able to retrieve the ball. Every golfer who plays on a course with ponds or water hazards should carry a golf ball retriever, which is built specifically for the purpose of salvaging balls that land in the water.
A fairway is a closely mown area where tee shots are designed to land. The Rules of Golf cover the term fairways as areas "through the green." Fairways are cut by specially maintained mowers and often reflect linear or checkered patterns for aesthetic impact.