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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Karen Stupples in the Trees

The LPGA is playing at Sahalee, which just might be an old Native American word for "lost in the woods." Karen Stupples did this video on getting out of the trees for Morning Drive. She shows two possible options and tells how to pull them off.

Option #1: Just Chip Out
Often this is your best option, simply because it gets you back in play with only one lost shot. (And if you're fortunate, you might even scramble for par.)

You want to keep the ball low to get under the branches. In this video Karen uses a 5-iron, plays the ball back a little in her stance, and makes a short swing. This is basically just a big chip shot -- easy to play, very low risk.

Option #2: Thread the Needle
Some folks believe in what Matt Kuchar says in his Skechers commercial -- the only time you play safe from the trees is when you still live at home with your parents. Karen shows you how to be the hero -- with as little risk as possible.

A very important strategy note here: Karen says the trees are about ten feet apart in this video BUT you have to consider how low the branches are nearly 60 yards ahead. Those limbs are the big consideration here.

She's using the 5-iron again, as well as an old favorite trick of Jack Nicklaus to aim: She picks a spot about a foot or so ahead of her ball, on the line she wants to hit the ball. That's where she aims the face of her club. And note that she isn't worried about what her feet are doing, just where the clubface is aimed.

The ball is back in her stance again; in the video, it's nearly back in front of the big toe of her trailing foot. She grips down on the shaft, for extra control. And again, she makes a short swing -- in this case, it's more like a pitching swing (call it a half-swing). She said hers went about 80 yards... and you can guess it rolled quite a bit to get there.

So there you have it -- a safe shot and a hero shot. Choose your escape route from the trees based on how high a score you're willing to tolerate if you goof up.

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