Oh, So Tight with Scott Bunker

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HOW DO YOU HIT A CHIP SHOT FROM A TIGHT LIE?

A chip shot from a tight lie can be approached with the mentality of a bunker shot. Analyze the lie, choose your highest percentage shot for getting your ball close to the pin.

Master instructor Scott Bunker explains the dilemma of what to do when you draw a thin or tight lie around the green. He walks you through the club choice, set up and then demonstrates the execution of the shot. Every shot strategy begins with an assessment of the lie of the ball and the location of the next shot. When you draw a tight lie, it can be quite helpful to choose a more forgiving club like a sand wedge. The sand wedge has a good bit of loft, but also a forgiving bounce sole to the club. When drawing a tight lie, it can be helpful to dial open the club face a little bit, put a little extra weight on your target side leg and adjust your swing path to be a bit more vertical. This will ensure a descending angle of approach as you enter the impact zone. Due to the less-than-ideal lie, you will probably want to adjust your expectations, but you should still use acceleration into the impact zone.

Thinking Through the Tight Lie Chip Shot

Taking a look at tight lie situations and there's really two ways to play this shot. in this particular case I'm relatively close to the green. I've just missed my tee shot and I've drawn a very tight lie. In other words, the ground is bare. There's virtually no grass underneath my ball whatsoever. The lie of the ball is the first thing that you need to consider when you're selecting your club and you're formulating your strategy for your shot. In this particular case, I've got virtually a bare dirt lie and I am relatively close to the green, so I'm going to select my sand wedge because I need the loft and the forgiveness of the bounce of the club to be able to play this shot.

Because of the proximity to the green, I'm going to set the face open, instead of square at the address. I'm going to set the face just slightly open a little bit as this is going to increase the loft which is going to increase the height of the shot.  And it's going to make it easier for this golf ball to stop and sit when it gets on the green.  The swing that I will use for this shot is going to be just a little bit more vertical or a little bit more upright to allow me to get the proper descending angle of attack that I need to play this tight lie.

To conclude, you must start by analyzing your lie. Your lie will dictate your shot options and needed club. When faced with a tight lie with no forgiveness, select a club that gives you the best odds of escaping the trouble and not turning a tough situation into a disaster. It often pays to use a little more lofted club when seeking to escape a tight lie. And you might need to modify your swing a little to ensure that you make good clean contact with a descending blow. That's going to increase your odds of success.


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