HOW DO YOU HIT A SHOT FROM HARDPAN?
A shot from a tight lie on hardpan can be approached with the mentality of a fairway bunker shot. You have to be hitting down on the ball a little bit. You're essentially going to be making a little bit of a cut shot.
Sitting on hardpan can be one of the most challenging shots on the golf course. You can so easily hit it fat or thin if your angle of approach is too shallow. Hank Haney - Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Golf Digest's #4 instructor in the world shares how to make this hard shot - easy. You have to hit this shot a lot like a fairway bunker shot. You have to be hitting down on it a little bit. You should start by putting the ball position a little back in your stance. At address, you want to start with your hands a little bit forward, with your aim a little bit left of your target (right handers). Your swing path needs to take your club back at a steeper angle (a little more outside than your normal swing) to create a descending blow. You're essentially going to be making a little bit of a cut shot. You still want to make contact with the ball first and then the ground with good acceleration at impact because the ground is going to be hard.
Play it Like a Fairway Bunker with a Little Cut Shot
One of the difficult lies you'll find on a golf course is on hardpan. There's no grass and the ground is tightly compacted. It's a difficult shot and most club golfers will have a tendency to hit this shot either fat or thin. The reason is they don't use the proper angle of attack, with the club coming down to the ball. If your golf club comes into the ball on too shallow an angle, where it's too close to the ground, too far back behind the ball. If you hit the ground, you'll hit a fat. If you miss the ground, you catch on the upswing and hit it thin.
This shot needs to be played very similar to a fairway bunker shot. You have to be hitting down a little bit in order to do that. You're going to put the ball just a little further back in your stance. You put your hands just a little forward and you want to take a little bit of a slice swing. When you take the golf club back, you're going to take it just a little bit outside of your normal swing path. This will give you more of a downward angle of approach and help to ensure that you contact the ball first and then the ground. By doing that you've got to aim just a little left because you're going to play a little bit of a cut shot. Pro tip: with this lie, this shot is one that you've got to make sure if you're wearing soft spikes, you don't slip on because there's nothing for your feet to grab into.
Reiterating, in the backswing, the club will come a little bit outside. You're going to hit a little bit of a cut shot with a descending blow down into the ball and get it off that hardpan. This shot will help you when you get a tough break and land on the hardpan.
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