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LeftyWhiff

Swing Advice for Saturated Fairways

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We've had an unusual amount of storms and rain in upstate New York the last few weeks and the courses are saturated. I really struggle with ball contact in such conditions, much worse than usual. I guess I'm looking for quick fixes or basic stock advice. How do people adjust their swing to play better under such conditions? Should I swing with a more sweeping motion, or steeper into the ball? What do people normally do to play better under such conditions? 

 

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In situations like that I will tend to use my 4 hybrid instead of my 5i or even 6i. Just choke down and hit it easier and hope for a gir or a ngir. There is a better chance the club won't take too much soil. On closer approach shots I will be careful to take a few practice swings and feel how the turf interaction will be. I may also want to take a little extra club and try to take a little off the shot , since swinging hard can tend to cause me to have less control and perhaps hit it a little too fat, which is disaster with saturated soils. Around the green I will also keep my 54* and 58* wedges in the bag and opt for my UW or PW that has a wider sole and won't want to dig and grab too much sod. On sloped or higher ground that has better drainage, I go back to regular club selection. 

Would love to hear what better players do, as this is a great question.

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I tend to play my metal woods more than irons in wetter conditions. I will also use my Ironwoods more than my regular irons. 

The wider soles don't tend to dig into the softer turf, and I use more of a "sweeping" swing to help my cause. 

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I'll defer to more expert opinions, but my first instinct would be to play it like I do fairway bunker shots - further back in my stance to try and give myself a better chance at hitting the ball before I hit any ground.

Around the greens I'd be more inclined to hit more lower lofted chip type shots and fewer pitches where my club would just dig underneath everything and chunk it.

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10 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I'll defer to more expert opinions, but my first instinct would be to play it like I do fairway bunker shots - further back in my stance to try and give myself a better chance at hitting the ball before I hit any ground.

Around the greens I'd be more inclined to hit more lower lofted chip type shots and fewer pitches where my club would just dig underneath everything and chunk it.

That sounds about right to me.

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On 8/20/2018 at 7:08 PM, LeftyWhiff said:

We've had an unusual amount of storms and rain in upstate New York the last few weeks and the courses are saturated. I really struggle with ball contact in such conditions, much worse than usual.

Hit the small ball first. 

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I feel the need to get my weight far in front of the ball and hit a 'flighted' shot with a low trajectory. This tends to get me hitting down more and more likely to strike ball before standing water. Also looks cool and makes a cool splash when you hit the turf.

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21 hours ago, dennyjones said:

From AMA:  @iacas replied to my query:

 

Capture.PNG

I could be wrong, but it sounds more to me like he was giving you a swing tip that isn't really related to the fairways.

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22 hours ago, dennyjones said:

From AMA:  @iacas replied to my query:

 

Capture.PNG

Thanks for digging that up. I'll have to keep that in mind next Spring.

To the OP, I honestly don't know what to tell you since I hate playing in those kinds of conditions! But there we are every Spring, mucking around in the slop because we're Jonesing for golf so bad! After a period of frustration, I tell my buddies that I'll wait for the courses to start to dry out.

I think the variability in my performance comes from a lack of confidence in striking the shot. Some I'll hit well, others thin, and some I'll dig up a yard of turf. And it just occurred to me that I'm coming off of a several month layoff from golf, depending upon how severe the Winter has been. I have no idea where the bottom of my swing is.

I would suppose, or hope, that I would do better in soft conditions in mid-season.

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1 hour ago, Golfingdad said:

I could be wrong, but it sounds more to me like he was giving you a swing tip that isn't really related to the fairways.

Very well could be..

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I'm assuming the fairway is soaked, but without casual water. You have to sweep the ball. Pinching the ball between the clubface and the ground doesn't work to well in these conditions. And if you're even a hair fat, you get nothin'.

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6 hours ago, The Recreational Golfer said:

I'm assuming the fairway is soaked, but without casual water. You have to sweep the ball. Pinching the ball between the clubface and the ground doesn't work to well in these conditions. And if you're even a hair fat, you get nothin'.

This post confuses me and seems to propagate a myth.

Good golfers never "pinch the ball between the clubface and the ground." You can hit down (not sweep) the ball off a wet fairway… because you're hitting the ball first, and the ball is gone before the clubhead is affected by the wet turf.

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Thanks for all the replies. Seems the consensus is, whether you club up, sweep, or hit down on the ball, don't hit fat, hit ball first. I think my tendency is to hit fat and have been working on getting weight forward on the range. Fairways are drying out a bit now.

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On 8/21/2018 at 4:59 AM, Patch said:

I tend to play my metal woods more than irons in wetter conditions. I will also use my Ironwoods more than my regular irons. 

The wider soles don't tend to dig into the softer turf, and I use more of a "sweeping" swing to help my cause. 

I struggle in these conditions, but this is about the best thing that works for me - I have a 28 degree hybrid and a 22 degree 7 wood that cover a good range for these shots, and can pitch and run when appropriate from shorter distances. As well as friendly soles, for one reason or another, I tend to be more likely to catch these clubs thin rather than fat. Of course, if caught fat, even these clubs will lose a lot of speed. 

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