How to pitch from muddy lies

For many of us, muddy lies are a frustrating reality of winter golf. These are most threatening when you’re faced with a soft, delicate short game shot. Being able to hit the ball a relatively short distance but still commit to the shot in hand is tough but with some crucial changes to your approach, you should survive.

The key to coping with this scenario is to rely on your bigger muscles – feeling that the club is responding to the rotation of your core.

Start by moving the ball a little further back in your stance and place more weight on your left side, this will help you find a steeper angle of attack to ensure you make contact with the ball before the mud. During the swing, make sure that your arms work in synchronisation with the rotation of your body. Feel that your elbows are almost connected to your rib cage – this will give you the synchronised feeling that lies at the heart of this play. Alot of golfers use their hands and arms for chip shots without rotating the body but this brings inconsistency into play, both in terms of the strike and your distance control. A compact stroke that works in conjunction with your body rotation is a far more reliable technique – regardless of the lie.

One thing to watch out for is to not flick your wrists at the ball, this will make poor strikes far more likely and brings the smaller, twitchy muscles in your hands into play. Keep your wrists fairly solid throughout the stroke. Finally, concentrate on rotating your upper body through the shot. In the finish position your chest should be pointing at the target along with the clubhead. This is essential. By using your bigger muscles, the club should keep moving through the sticky turf.

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