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Tips for getting out of the trees

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

I have been having an issue keeping the ball low enough to get out of trees when I do get in trouble... What club to use and what should I do ? I normally try my 3 hybrid or 4 iron with no luck

post #2 of 38

A three hybrid or a 4 or 5 iron is a good choice, but you have to deloft the club. Hit it from back in your stance and/or get your hands well forward. And try to keep your follow throught low - extend it.

post #3 of 38

I like to use my 5 Iron for the situation you described.  I find the 3 or 4 sometimes isn't enough loft and sometimes it will not make it completely clear of the rough and trees.  I hit it very similar to the way Shorty described.  I play the ball in line with my right foot and open my stance a little, almost like when I chip.

post #4 of 38

For me its a 4-iron, open up my stance, play the ball back in my stance and feel that Im almost swinging over the top.

Playing the ball back in your stance is going to make the ball want to go left, so I feel like Im swinging to the left to help counteract that.

post #5 of 38
I'm in the 3 hybrid camp. The lower loft keeps the ball down and the sole shape allows for better contact from a variety of lies. The hotter face also gives you more distance so you won't feel the need to swing harder than necessary from what's already a tough spot. It's not difficult at all to hit a low little scooter 80-100 yds with little more than the equivalent of a really firm putting stroke.
post #6 of 38

I vary the club depending on how much room I have once I clear the tree line, nothing sucks more than having to punch out sideways only to see the ball rocket across the fairway and into the trees on the other side!

 

I have found I can use just about any club in my bag as long as I de-loft it enough. I'll often use a 7 iron with my hands WAY forward and the ball back.

 

If I have room to let it really run out I'll hit a short, punchy chip with a choked up 5 wood.

post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

A three hybrid or a 4 or 5 iron is a good choice, but you have to deloft the club. Hit it from back in your stance and/or get your hands well forward. And try to keep your follow throught low - extend it.

Exactly this.

I take my green side chip approach with a 4 iron, hands well forward with an open stance which results in a delofted club. My swing is then similar to Phil Mickelson's "hinge & hold", with speed varying on how far I need to deliver the ball, with ball placement off of my back foot. Holding the club off will squirt the ball out, typically, no higher than 3-4 feet off of the ground with a lot of run. I can also hit a cut/draw from under the trees with this setup and have gone all the way up to a 7i delofted in the same manner as well, depending on how far I am from the green or how much ceiling (height between branches and ground) I have to work with.

post #8 of 38

I use a driver choked down with a chip and run or punch motion.  It goes longer with less effort and it is easier for me to keep from swinging too steeply and popping the ball up too high.  I also get more roll and distance.  With irons I tend to hit down too much on the ball and get too much loft even with it delofted and back in my stance.  Even when I mishit the driver and get it on the ground, there is usually enough on the shot to power the ball to the edge of the tree line or out.  If I hit it well, then I will get a low shot that slices and will run in the fairway.

post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmer1609 View Post

I have been having an issue keeping the ball low enough to get out of trees when I do get in trouble... What club to use and what should I do ? I normally try my 3 hybrid or 4 iron with no luck

 

Depends on how high the tree limb is, and were i want the ball to go. If i have enough room to run a shot down the fairway, even make the front of the green, i will go low and hard. If i need to go under than over something, i will hit a shot that just gets under the limb, with a bit more spin to keep the ball landing softly. 

 

How do i do this, practice. Really its hitting different shots over and over again so i memorize the trajectories. I can go into a shot and know, i can get underneath it with a punch 7, or a mid to low trajectory 5 iron, ect.. From there i can pick the shot i want for the outcome.

 

When ever i practice, the last 20-30 golf balls are always weird shots with irons.

 

As for a punch shot, i choke down on a iron, near the end of the grip. I will cock the wrist, keeping my weight forward, and slap the ball with an abbreviated follow through. Ball comes out low and fast

post #10 of 38
Based on your Handicap number, I would ask at least one question. What kind of shot are you trying to hit? The hero shot through a gap no wider than your golf bag? Or a smooth chip back into play on the fairway. If you are going for the hero shot... don't. If you are just trying to smoothly get back to fairway, then you might be trying to hit it too hard. I've used all kinds of clubs, including a 3 wood, choked down to the shaft. If the lie allows I've even gone down to the putter with a sharp downward 'pinch' stroke at it. This gets it rolling with a lot of topspin and will NOT go too high to get in trouble.
post #11 of 38

Simply put, the height and distance of a golf shot is a function of ball speed, launch angle, and spin rate. With a low lofted club (long iron or wood), a long slow swing will result in a low ball speed, low launch angle, and low spin rate, which makes for the perfect shot from the trees.

 

You may be trying to hit the shot too hard. In that case, you can often hit the ball much higher than intended.

post #12 of 38
Thread Starter 

I rarely go for the "hero" shot, but try to advance the ball down the fairway a little bit.  From the sound of it, I must be swinging too hard and get too much flight.  I've tried everything and a lot of times the 3 wood may be my best option.

post #13 of 38

It depends on the situation every time. What the lie looks like, where the gap is, and what I'm trying to do. I often punch out with a PW. Grip down and deloft it with a short swing. That's usually enough to get me back in the fairway. If I'm trying to do more with it, I find a 5 iron is more often than not the club in my hands. I am very confident hooking or slicing it to advance it further down the fairway, or possibly have a shot at the green. 

 

I don't think I've ever hit a 3w out of the trees. 

post #14 of 38
"advancing down the fairway a bit".... could be a bit optimistic for many high handicappers. That might mean trying to thread past SEVERAL trees with rarely enough room for a lot of error. It is better to take the shortest most comfortable route back to the fairway, instead of trying to hit out from the woods AGAIN if you don't make it.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

"advancing down the fairway a bit".... could be a bit optimistic for many high handicappers. That might mean trying to thread past SEVERAL trees with rarely enough room for a lot of error. It is better to take the shortest most comfortable route back to the fairway, instead of trying to hit out from the woods AGAIN if you don't make it.

Agreed. Sometimes I think it's the best choice for low handicappers as well. I'm not a Phil Mickelson type. If the gap is clearly doable, then lets try it. But I'm not threading any needles with the golf ball. 

post #16 of 38

Keys to getting out of the woods:

 

1. Actually get it out of the woods

2. See key 1

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

Keys to getting out of the woods:

 

1. Actually get it out of the woods

2. See key 1

+1

 

I used to play some very wooded courses as a high handicapper (like Medinah in the 80's before they took out over 200 trees) . Unless advancing the ball was very likely, AND advancing the ball meant getting it on the green in one less shot than going sideways, I'd simply get out and into play. There is little advantage to trying to hit a 60/40 shot under limbs that leaves you 100 yards in when you could have punched out and had 175 left but gotten out 95% of the time. Even though the shot may not be a "hero" shot, unless you will get out nearly every time, the odds are better taking a safer route.

 

Even today, I try to get out. Better for me to have 190 left from the fairway than trying to leave 130 and instead leaving it in the woods. That sideways chip-out costs the same as as missing a five foot putt. Make one more putt and you've made up for the errant tee shot. As my high-cap buddies know, eights are the round killers, not one sideways punch out.

 

If I have no options other than to try a long and low shot, I use my 5 iron (lowest iron I carry), play it back in my stance, and swing easy with a long chip shot swing. I find few times when I need that shot and the lie is good enough that I'm comfortable hitting a hybrid or 3-wood.

 

Prelude to  geauxforbroke"s advice is:

 

A. Stay out of the woods in the first place.

post #18 of 38

Lots of good advice here which I'm soaking up too.  My little contribution is to suggest going to the range and practicing some of these suggestions.  So what if someone that isn't carefully watching what you are doing thinks you're dribbling the ball off the tee?  Practicing one or two escape techniques from time to time will make #1 from above much easier when it is time.  I think a simple short punch out to the fairway and an intentional "worm burner" toward the green (or ample fairway) should be a good start.

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