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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Rickie and Butch on Escaping the Trees (Video)

With so many trees to contend with at Innisbrook this week, I thought a quick lesson on getting out of them might be appropriate. Here's Rickie Fowler and Butch Harmon with some tips.

Note that Rickie recommends you just try to get out of the trees, not hit some heroic shot. It depends on the situation, of course, but it's good advice if you typically struggle to get back in play when you end up in the woods.

Here are the keys Rickie mentions:
  • Choke down on the handle for better control.
  • Keep your lower body quiet. Remember, you're playing this like a big chip shot so you don't need to drive your legs hard.
  • Rickie doesn't ground the club because he's in loose stuff that might cause the ball to move. Hovering the club slightly above the ground might help you make a smoother backswing no matter what the ground is like. And you can't ground your club in a hazard anyway.
  • Use a narrower, open stance. Again, you're not trying to kill the ball so play it like a big chip shot.
  • And your final thought: DON'T HIT A TREE.
I'm going to say it one more time. Don't be ashamed to just get the ball back into play on the fairway. Approach this trouble shot like a big chip shot. You're more likely to hit the ball accurately between the trees that way.

And remember: One shot from the trees is ALWAYS much easier on the scorecard than two shots from the trees!

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