I know it is hard to believe, every once in a while I hit a wayward golf shot. My ball leaves the fairway, much to my dismay, and ends up in the cabbage. Usually after a short look and a foot wedge I miraculously have an awesome lie. The times when my playing partners are in range, I have to make a magical shot out of tough lie. However, making the stroke required can be daunting and of course challenging.
All joking aside, when I have to hit the ball out of the cabbage I think about three things. These first thoughts have saved me many strokes over the years. Additionally, if I do not use this process or second guess my conclusions, I usually end up with a higher score than I should.
As I check out my cabbage shot, the three things that first come to mind are:
- Can I get my club face on the ball? Is there a possibility to make a full swing on the ball without getting into more trouble.
- Can I reach the green? If so, is it worth the attempt? If not, how far do I need to hit the ball to set up my next shot? This decision drives my club selection. An important point about this part of my decision process is that I try to never swing harder than 75% of full power. My experience tells me that if I swing too hard, I make more mistakes than I should.
- Are there any hazards between my ball and the green? If there are: where, location, and type. Is it worth risking a shot and end up in the hazard? If it is a water hazard. Out of Bounds, or an area that will put my ball in worse trouble than I currently in. If so, I am more defensive. I will say though, if it is a bunker, I very less concerned and will be more aggressive.
Hitting the ball out of the cabbage is a challenge. My process works very well and saves me strokes most of the time. I believe that each shot from difficulty has its own set of challenges and has to be addressed differently every time. But if I use my simple process and stick to three questions, my success rate goes way up.
I think we can all agree that not exacerbating the problem is the key to low golf scores. Do you have any thoughts or other questions I should ask?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!