If you are a fan of the game of golf, you know that the game can be a bit complicated. Each time you turn around, you will notice that you are in a new lie, with a new angle and a new pin location. Golfers have to learn how to hit a variety of different golf shots if they want to be great players.
If you have ever wondered what golf club to use for each shot, we have you covered. If you have wondered whether it makes sense to use a fairway wood, a sand wedge, or a seven iron from a certain lie, keep reading to find out more.
For the most part, golfers will use a driver from the tee when possible on the par-four and par five golf holes. The driver gets the most amount of distance and, when hit well, will give you the greatest advantage when it comes to an approach shot.
Not all golfers are going to be good at hitting a driver. This is where it sometimes makes sense to use fairway woods as a club to tee off with. The fairway woods won’t go as far, but the results could be quite a bit more consistent.
The approach shot on the golf course is going to vary depending on your yardage into the hole. The golf clubs you pull out of the bag should take into consideration the total distance to the hole, the pin location, and the ball flight or launch angle of the club you are hitting.
Some golf courses play hard and fast, and you will need to land the ball before the green and have it roll up. To learn what golf club number to hit on approach shots, you have to have a good understanding of the golf clubs in your bag.
The fairway bunker typically means that your golf ball is a long way from the hole but still in a bunker-type lie. The key here is to not take much sand and pick it clean. Luckily with a fairway bunker that has a lower lip, you can even hit a hybrid out of the bunker.
If, however, the fairway bunker has a higher lip, make sure that you are considering the loft on your golf club and how high you can hit it. You may need to hit something like a pitching wedge depending on where your golf ball is located.
Most greenside bunker shots are going to be best suited for a sand wedge. With the greenside bunkers that are very close to the pin with almost no green to work with, the lob wedge is a great choice to consider. Professional golfers are very good at evaluating a greenside bunker lie and determining which club to use.
So many golfers get worried about a greenside bunker shot and their ability to get the ball out of the trap. These shots are not all that hard if they are practiced, and the right golf clubs are chosen. Try to learn how to hit a gap wedge, pitching wedge, lob wedge, and sand wedge out of the bunker. This will give you more versatility on the golf course and in your golf game.
Chip From Fringe
From the firing, you can take a look at how far away the pin is and decide on which club to use. If you don’t have much room to work with, sometimes you can putt the ball. If you are going over quite a bit of grass, but the pin is still on the front of the green, use a club like a lob that will have more loft.
With the pin in the back of the green and more area to work with, try taking a lower lofted club like a nine iron.
Experienced golfers will tell you that hitting a driver into the rough is like getting a 1/2 stroke penalty. The average golfer will not hit a great shot out of the rough and have it land close to the pin. The rough makes the interaction between ball and club less effective, and it affects the distance and direction of the shot.
Hybrid clubs are great at helping players get more distance from golf shots that are in the rough. Low-numbered irons are the wrong choice out of the rough because of their low loft.
If your golf ball is really buried in the rough, try to consider hitting a wedge or something like a nine or eight iron to get the ball back into play. Most golfers don’t have the clubhead speed necessary to hit a shot out of the rough with a higher launch angle and spin that is necessary to keep it on the green.
Punch-Out From Under Tree
Sometimes your golf ball will not have room to go up. If you have a tree branch that is causing you to punch the ball out, look for something like a five iron or four iron to help you punch the ball out. Long irons can get a lot of spin and forward roll when they are hit correctly.
For these types of shots, you can close the club face a bit and take a more abbreviated swing. You won’t want the loft angle to increase as it could end up hitting the branch or obstruction as you come through the ball. The longest clubs in your bag typically have the lower launch angles; keep this in mind.
Downwind Golf Shot
When hitting the ball downwind, you will have to realize that the ball is going to be knocked down a bit, and it will also carry further than an upwind golf shot. Many times the downwind golf shot will have a difficult time stopping on the green because of the extra push it is getting from behind.
A downwind golf shot is one where some players will want to hit the ball up into the wind and let the wind take it. However, many great players will try and keep the ball lower and stay in control of the golf ball. You can use several different clubs depending on the distance to the hole, but remember you always have the option to cut the wind out and hit the ball low, even downwind.
Into The Wind
The higher you get a golf ball into the wind, the more it will push back. Hitting a shot into the wind affects distance, and sometimes it makes golfers swing much harder than they need to. Players should consider using a lower lofted club and keeping the ball below the wind.
Many players take something like a five or four iron, decrease the club heads loft by closing the club a bit, and hitting more of a bunch shot that goes through the wind.
In the heavy greenside rough, you will want to use a sand wedge or a lob wedge to cut through the thick grass. The heavy greenside rough is going to knock the ball down, and you won’t get much spin. Try to ensure that you are giving the ball plenty of room to roll once it hits the green.
Golf Ball Lying In A Divot
Sometimes a perfect drive in the middle of the fairway is going to be sitting in a divot. This is unfortunate and will often cause you to get quite frustrated with the golf course conditions. As they say in golf, this is simply the rub of the green.
If your ball is sitting in a divot and you have a long way into the hole, it may make sense to look at using a hybrid golf club. Hybrids are so forgiving you can hit them from various lies and still see quite a bit of success.
A golf ball sitting on the top of the rough is going to fly a long way. You won’t get all that much spin, and this kind of a lie is considered to be a flyer. Hit the ball with an easy-to-hit golf club and make solid contact. This is the kind of lie that you can hit a fairway wood from.
Hopefully, you now feel a bit more well equipped with which club to use and from where. Learning to analyze the lie you have and which golf clubs to hit from that lie will help you become a much better player.
The way the golf balls are sitting on the golf course and the club that you apply will have a tremendous overall impact on a player’s scoring and shot-making ability. Spend time practicing all different lies and clubs so that you can be prepared for any shot that comes your way.
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I started playing golf at the age of seven. After college, I turned Professional but fell in love with teaching the game of golf. I became a Class A PGA Professional and had hundreds of students from age 3 to 93 come to me for lessons. Teaching and player improvement is my passion.