Every golfer has played themselves into a position where a high risk shot is needed. Whether we are in a tournament or having a great round, sometimes that impossible shot is placed right before us and it cannot be ignored. This happened to me a few rounds ago and I decided to make the high risk shot instead of playing it smart. Well, it took two tries, but I made it!
This particular shot reared its ugly head during a round on a wet gloomy day.
I found myself in this unfortunate position because I pulled my drive off the 14th tee. Having to make a difficult second shot on this dogleg right hole is actually more common that I had ever hoped. But, alas there I was.
My ball was 25 yards from the trees and 185 yards from the green. Normally, I would hit a PW or 9 iron over the trees down to between 50 and 75 yards to the green; I would consider this a medium to low risk, but it is the smart shot. I could also pitch to the right of the trees with a gap wedge and leave myself 160 yards to the green; this would be a very low risk shot. Or, I could hit through the gap in the trees and try to make it to the green. Obviously the latter is the highest risk of my choices.
I was feeling risky that day and decided to try the shot through the trees. I settled on a 4 hybrid because I could swing easy, definitely have the legs to get to the green, and I can control my ball flight easier. Additionally, I needed to draw the ball once I was through the gap because hitting it straight would put my ball in the trees across the fairway.
My fist attempted was very poor and I was over thinking the shot. I topped the ball and it squirted through trees somehow to the rough before the fairway. I had an open shot to the green, but it was pure fluke. Disappointed at my first attempt, I decided to try this shot again, just for laughs.
Well, surprisingly (or not), I hit the ball through the gap (see red dot) with a draw. My hall finished on the fringe about 3 yards from the green. It was the results I expected on this high risk shot, albeit on my second try.
I found out an important lesson during that shot. It is one I actually knew from before, but had forgotten when making these very challenging attempts. The key to success is to not actually thing about the shot, while making the shot. All my thinking on my successful attempt was complete prior to actually swinging the club. I picked my target line, set up for a baby draw, positioned my body correctly, and then swung away.
During my second swing, I was only focused on making contact with the ball. As a result, my ball sailed through the gap, landed about 15 yards from the green and rolled up to the fringe. All in all, it was a great lesson on how to make a high risk golf shot.
From time to time, I take the opportunity to practice these challenging high risk golf shots. I think that is important to at least try them because one never knows when this skill will be needed. Also, it is just plain fun! So, the next time you are faced with a high risk situation on the golf course, take the time to try it you might be surprised at the results.
I am a grateful golfer! See you at the links!