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How to Flush Your Ball From 8 Tricky Lies

Golf is a demanding sport at the best of times, but when you throw in the many nasty lies your ball may find throughout a round, the difficulty level skyrockets.

Many of us spend an hour or two at the driving range each week, but it's not a realistic representation of the shots you'll face on the course. The shots you hit off a perfect lie on the driving range mat won't prepare you for the variety of lies you'll encounter during 18 holes.

Whether it's after a bad break or a ropey golf swing, if your ball comes to rest in a spot that's far from ideal, you'll need to know the adjustments required in each situation below.

Check out these 8 nasty lies, each with its own explanation of how to escape with limited fuss.

The uphill lie

The uphill lie is generally one of the easier uneven lies you'll find on the golf course - but it's still possible to get it all wrong. If your ball has come to rest on an upslope, you'll need to match your shoulders to that slope at address.

Tilting your shoulders to mirror the slope will mean more of your weight will shift to your trail leg. It will also allow you to hit the ball on the way up.

This upward strike and the addition of loft to the shot means you'll need to club up. Depending on the severity of the slope, this could be one club - or perhaps as much as two or three clubs up.

The downhill lie

A downhill lie is a little trickier, but by making the correct adjustments, it needn't cause you too much trouble. You pretty much just reverse the advice for an uphill lie.

Mirror the slope at address, resulting in most of your weight shifting to your lead leg. This will help you squeeze the shot and hit down and through the golf ball.

You'll also need to play the ball back in the stance to reduce the chance of hitting it fat. Choose one club less to allow for the lower trajectory.

The sidehill lies

With the ball above your feet, you'll want to stand a little taller and choke down on the club. The more the ball is above your feet, the more you'll need to choke down.

Doing this helps to guard against slamming the clubface into the hill on the way down. Also, aim a little to the right to allow for an amount of draw spin (right to left shape for right-handed golfers).

With the ball below your feet, as you can't make the club any longer, you'll need to get lower to the ground and sit into the shot a bit more.

Importantly, maintain those angles throughout your swing. It's very easy to come out of these shots early, so the feeling of sitting down throughout the swing will help.

You should expect the golf ball to move from left to right - and the more below your feet the ball is, the farther it will move towards the right side.

The fairway divot

No matter where you stand on the fairway divot debate, you're cursing your luck if your ball comes to rest in one after a striped drive. Understanding how to tackle them will help you simmer down when it inevitably happens.

Place the golf ball around two balls back from the centre of your stance, and move your upper body a little closer to the target. From here, your angle of attack will be quite steep and the trajectory relatively low, so take one club less.

Nasty thick rough

Playing from thick, tangly rough will be a challenge if you fail to make the necessary adjustments in your setup. The thought process here is simple: just get it out.

To do that, it's all about creating a steep angle of attack into the back of the ball. Play the ball closer to your trail foot and feel like you're more over the ball rather than hanging back.

Additional wrist set on the way back will help create an even steeper attack angle. You'll likely have an abbreviated follow-through, so hold on to the club more tightly to control the clubface.

The flyer lie

A flyer lie is one of the most confusing lies in golf. Finding your ball sitting perfectly up in the rough is generally better than when it's buried deep - but you need to be wary of the 'jumper' (particularly when there's trouble long).

Because a golf ball on a flyer lie will rocket off the clubface, you'll want to club down, choke down and take a three-quarter swing.

The tight lie

Bare/tight lies are undeniably tricky. You're only one wrong move away from fatting your chip shot two yards in front of you - or thinning it off the back of the green.

Bounce becomes a problem on tight lies. More bounce on your wedge equals a higher chance of the club contacting the ground before the ball and 'bouncing' into it.

Take the bounce off your wedge by placing your hands forward, and don't actively hit down into the golf ball. Keep your backswing short and your weight on your front foot. Your setup will achieve a downward strike without any need to manipulate it.

The 'fried egg' lie

Given that many pro golfers fear this lie more than most, it's clear to see that hitting a plugged ball from the sand is difficult to execute.

Place the ball in the centre of your stance, then weight forward, hands forward, pick the club up and come down steeply with plenty of speed.

Because of the amount of sand you'll be travelling through, your club may stay in the sand after the follow-through - that's perfectly normal.

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at our recent list of golf equipment mistakes everyone can fix. You can read it here.


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