Ouch!!! That had to hurt!
Did you see Rory McIlroy’s shot attempt from the roots on Thursday of the PGA Championship? He pulled his tee shot left on only his third hole of the day. It finished among the trees in a barren area under the tree canopy where there were several exposed roots.
His ball came to rest just a few inches if that from one of those roots. This kind of thing happens to us weekenders more times than we care to mention. How does your group handle these potential injury situations? Are your playing partners sticklers for the rules or do you allow the player to take a drop in the nearest safe location no closer to the hole without penalty?
That’s what we do.I mean the player still has a trouble shot to deal with but the lie is made safe for the attempt. It just doesn’t make sense to risk serious injury or damage to our clubs when it is just a friendly game of golf. Wouldn’t you agree?
But the pros can’t do that with all that is on the line for them. So how should they deal with this dangerous trouble shot situation.
Rory attempt a full shot with his 7 iron. He has been roundly criticized for it too with those critics suggesting he should have hit a little shot just to punch it back out to the fairway. Even his caddie is said to have discussed the punch out option with Rory overruling him and going for the full shot.
Rory hit the shot and struck the root immediately after striking the ball. Ouch! You could just see it coming. He released the club which went flying a few yards in front of him and began to grasp his right wrist with his left hand. He had hurt himself and as he said later he rendered himself to be a one-handed golfer for the rest of the round.
The result of this high risk shot? It flew weakly ahead failing to escape the trees. He finished the hole with bogey and played the rest of the round hurting.
You be the judge. Golf is a game of risk/reward decision making. Was the aggressive shot Rory chose worth the risk it presented?
For my two cents, definitely not. That is not just hind sight speaking either. When I face these shots, even after our free drop, I am most likely thinking bogey would be a good score.
I have learned that you have to make conservative decisions if you want to avoid a big number. The average duffer couldn’t have made bogey from where Rory had to hit his third. Just punch it out. Reach the green and hope to make a par putt. Worse case would be a two putt bogey. Disaster avoided.
Conquering the trouble shots requires both good skills and good judgment. You have to understand your limitations and the margin of error you shot allows. Chose the shot you estimate you could hit successfully more than 5 times out of 10 tries unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. Very compelling.
The judgment is something you develop over time based on your knowledge of your game. The skills are learned and honed through practice. If you just focus on hitting longer straighter drives you reduce the number of times your facing a trouble shot but let’s be honest here; you or I will never be so good off the tee that we always hit the fairway. So it makes sense to prepare yourself for the inevitable wouldn’t you think?
You can get better at escaping golf’s trouble shot situations. “How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots” is just the guide you’ll need to develop a full set of trouble shot skills. It is just slam full of tips, drills and help for you to use on the course to make the best of any bad situation you might face. It can be the difference between your score and the others in your group.
Want to lower your handicap, play better golf and enjoy the game even more? Then I am sure that “How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots” will help you do just that.