Golf Strategy: How to Play a Tight Lie

How to play a tight lie is one of the most challenging shots in golf. Proper execution is undoubtedly important, but selecting the proper shot is really the key to success! Do you putt the ball, chip it or flop it are just some of the things that go through your head as you look over the situation. I came across the picture below and thought I would get your advice on how you would play it.

Chipping for Success

How would you play this golf shot?

This shot happened a few years ago at a scramble golf tournament. My three playing partners and I were lying 2 on a par 5. As we surveyed the shot, each of us played it differently. Here is what happened:

  • The first player tried putt the ball and you can see the results in the picture.
  • The second player hit a bump and run. He tried to hit the ball short and hoped it would bounce up to the pin. His shot was short and the player picked up.
  • The third player flopped the ball, it landed on the fringe and the ball rolled up about 8 inches from the pin. It was an easy tap in for birdie.
  • I tried to flop the ball to the pin with the hopes of the ball landing just short and slowly rolling into the hole. I was unable to put a spin on the ball, so my ball released 4 feet past the hole.

As you can see, we tried a different shots to make the up and down. The success of the third player made my shot easier and thus I was more aggressive than normal. How I would play the shot is really not important; what is important is how you would play the shot!

How would you approach this shot?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

14 thoughts on “Golf Strategy: How to Play a Tight Lie

  1. Jim,

    Based on the photo, I’d probably pull my 52 or 56 degree wedge, put it a little back in my stance and land it about a foot short of the green (with my 52), or just onto the green (with my 56), and look for it to check up a bit and then roll up to the hole…oh and it went in!! (at least in my dreams)


    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh,

      You are describing what actually happened….except the going in part. I would use my 60 degree and land the ball just on the green. The total distance was about 15 yards. The pin was only on 5 yards if I remember correctly. So many choices!


      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would most likely putt the ball from that distance if it was a really tight lie. If it was a little more fluffy than I would flop it, I have started flopping the ball a lot more this past season and since my highest loft is a 54 deg I had to open the face. I think Santa is bringing me a 58 Ping Glide Wedge so that should help. I’ll have to take out my 23 deg hybrid or 4 iron. Still on the fence about putting a 3 wood in the bag next year.

    Liked by 1 person

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