Tips for Getting out of Trouble
So, you push your drive off the tee and now you’re stuck under another tree. What should you do?
Take a look at your surroundings. While doing so, think of what shots you have in your arsenal. Are you far enough from the tree to play a fade or draw? Do you have to go to a bit of an extreme and play a hook or slice? Are you close enough to the green and far enough away from the tree to play a flop shot? Do you have to pull out a 5-iron and play a low punch shot and roll it to the green? Or, do you have to suck it up and play a small punch shot to put you in the middle of the fairway?
There are a lot of shots and different ways to get yourself out of trouble (and sometimes into even more). Golf is a game of recovery shots. I can’t tell how many times I have completely messed up a tee shot and because of my recovery game have been able to save par (or in some cases a bogey). When in a situation like that above, or any trouble situation, play it smart. Think of what is most practical and what shot you KNOW you can make 4 out of 5 times. DO NOT go for the “Hail Mary” between two branches over the water shot (unless you are just goofing around or really want to lose that ball). It is best to suck it up, punch into the fairway and sacrifice a stroke to save two.
– John Chopp / ex- Rancho Sierra pro and starter