As a low handicap golfer, I encounter a tight lie several times a round. It is a shot that I have learned to manage over the years, but I am always looking for new ways to improve on what I have learned to date. Hitting shots off a tight lie is a bit more difficult that one would think because of the multiple opportunities to hit the ball thin or fat. But have no fear, Hale Irwin has some great advice that might make your shot making off tight lies easier and more productive.
To clear up what I mean about tight lies, I found this definition that will add the basis for further discussion. A tight lie is when the golf ball is sitting with an eighth of an inch or less space beneath it, on a surface so firm you can’t take a normal divot. You can pick the ball in a sweeping, bump-and-run motion with a low-loft club. (Golf.com)
Over the years, I have developed several techniques using different clubs. The toughest was always my 56 degree sand wedge. The bounce was an issue at first until I learned what Hale discusses (trying not to give away his teaching point). I also use different clubs, but that is discussion for another day.
Here is what Hale has to say:
The biggest challenge I had in the past was not opening my club face slightly to help hit the ball cleanly off a tight lie. This slight move allowed my clubface to square on contact and to help eliminate me hitting the ball fat. I practiced for many hours to find the right club positioning on a tight lie and it paid off. Now I am confident hitting out of tight lies and I would choose those shots of many others around the green.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!