Master the Hardest Shots in Golf

Fred Vuich

You would be crazy to choose the bold shot over the smart one every time. No matter what the commercial says, you are [not] Tiger Woods, and trying to hit shots you see the pros play on TV can be worse than unwise. It can be plain stupid.

Still, there are situations that call for the bold play. Maybe you need a final birdie to dormie in the club championship. Maybe you need a final birdie to break 80--or 70--for the first time. Or maybe you've just got a hunch that now's the time to go for broke.

Each of the six shots you'll see here presents an obstacle--physical, mental or both. Each is difficult but within reach. But remember: Never try a shot on the course that you haven't practiced off the course.

Bunker shot with water long
If you want to shoot for the flag, your lie in the must be perfect. Otherwise, don't get suckered--an imperfect lie will double your chances of disaster. Playing to the fattest part of the green, even if it's away from the pin, is better.

But if the lie is good and you must get up and down, go for it. Start with a full turn. Too many amateurs are skittish about making a big swing when there's water lurking in the distance. But remember: You're displacing a couple of pounds od sand, so you'll need plenty of momentum. make sure your hands reach at least chest height in the backswing. From there make no attempt to lift the bal out. Hit down into the sand a few inches behind the ball.

Approach over water






Cut the dogleg




Escape through trees




Long fairway bunker shot




Greenside lob over a bunker


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