TREES? WHAT TREES?!
An errant tee shot often leaves you with a big decision to take – do I simply get the ball back in play, or go for the more ambitious shot to the green? One of the most common scenarios you’ll face on the course is a recovery shot over trees from the rough. And this is how to approach it…
Should I go over the trees?
The key factor is the trajectory. You need to know how far it is to the green and what club you need to hit to get it there. Then it’s a simple visualisation of whether your normal launch with that club will clear the trees with a little room to spare. If it does, then go for it and fully commit to the shot.
How to play it
Understand the lie
The rough is actually your friend here, if it’s not too thick and the ball is lying well, because it often helps the ball launch higher. The slope is also important – a downslope will make the ball launch lower, an upslope will launch it higher.
Steeper attack in the rough
You want to reduce how much grass gets trapped between the clubhead and ball when you’re playing from the rough. Do this by moving the ball back half a ball’s width in your stance, so you swing more steeply down into the back of the ball.
Commit to the strike
The rough could slow the clubhead a little, so you’ve got to be really committed through impact. You also want to stay down through the shot to compress the ball rather than trying to lift it.
You have to hit down to launch it high.