Trick Shots You Can Use From Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers

August 7, 2012

Show the green your backside when you can't stand on the proper side of the ball.

What It Is
An abrupt punch you hit with your back facing the target.

When to Use It
Any time you can't take your normal right-handed stance. You could opt to hit this left-handed with the club flipped upside-down, but this swing gives you a little more pop (expect a good 20 yards from a decent strike) and is easier to execute because you're using your dominant hand.

How to Hit It
Step 1: Choose one of your wedges. Since you won't be looking at the ball during contact, having the largest clubfaces gives you the benefit of a broader hitting area.

Step 2: Turn your back to the target, stand about six inches to the left of the ball and grip your wedge with your right hand only in the middle of the handle. Flip your club around so that it faces the target and rests on its toe.

Step 3: Cock your club up by bending your right elbow keeping your upper arm as still as possible. Add just a touch of wrist hinge.

Step 4: Straighten your arm and slap the clubhead into the back of the ball. Make sure you accelerate all the way to the ball so that the club doesn't flip past your hands.

Next: The Bellied Wedge

Here's one situation where it pays to catch it thin.
Demonstrated by Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs.

What It Is
A putt you strike with the lead edge of your wedge.

When To Use It
When your ball is caught where the rough and the fringe meet. The lack of grass under the ball means you have no cushion, while the heavy grass behind the ball makes solid contact nearly impossible.

How to Hit It
While the term "bladed wedge" may send shivers down your spine, it's the perfect shot for this lie. The shorter length of your wedge gives you more control than if you tried chipping the ball with your hybrid, and its sharper leading edge slides through the heavy grass much easier than your putter can.

Step 1: Grip your pitching wedge like you would your putter and address the ball as if you were setting up for a putt.

Step 2:Align the leading edge with the equator of the ball without grounding the club and make your normal putting stroke. Your goal is to strike the ball on its equator with the leading edge.

Step 3:This is an arms-only shot so keep your body still. The ball will bounce first but roll smooth after a few feet.

Next:The Lefty Punch

Can't take your stance? Take a swing from the other side.
Demonstrated by Top 100 Teacher Steve Bosdosh.

What It is
A little punch swing from a left-handed stance using a left-handed grip.

When To Use It
When your ball is against the base of a tree or other obstacle and you can't stand to the left of the ball.

How to Hit It
Step 1: Stand to the ball in a lefty address position. Rotate your sand wedge so that it points at your target with the toe section hanging down. Set the toe (the fattest portion of the clubhead) directly behind the ball-that's your strike area. Then grip the club left-hand-low, with your right hand at the top of the handle, and position the ball off your left foot.

Step 2: Since bad things happen when you try to hit this shot too hard, swing the club like it's your putter. Before you hit this shot, make a few practice swings from a similar lie nearby. Find a leaf and try to catch it on the fat part of the toe section.

Step 3: Repeat your best practice swing and enjoy the round of applause you're your playing partners. Note: The last thing you want to do with this shot is use a lot of wrist action. That increases your chances of bottoming out too early or too late. Lock your wrists and make a smooth, left-handed putting stroke.

Next:The One-Foot-Out Blast

You can't take a regular stance in the sand. Big deal. Step back on the slope and swing down the hill.
Demonstrated by Top 100 Teacher Mike Adams

What It Is
An explosion shot taken from a stance where at least one foot is set outside the bunker.

When To Use It
When your ball ends up near the back edge of a greenside bunker.

How to Hit It
Step 1: Step into the sand with your left heel even with the ball and flare your left foot open for extra balance. Place your right foot on the hill behind the bunker far enough up the hill to make your shoulders and hips even with the slope.

Step 2: Make a few practice backswings (without touching the sand) to make sure you clear the lip. Keep in mind that your body is tilted with the hill-make sure your swing does the same.

Step 3: Take the club back and through on a plane that matches the slope of the bunker. Some extra wrist hinge is a good idea to avoid catching the back lip of the hazard. From the top, a good thing to think about is moving your left-hand knuckles down the hill on your way back to the ball. Since you've adjusted your body to the slope, the ball should pop out like a regular bunker shot.

Next: The Punch Out From Your Knees

It's not a comedy skit, it's a par-saver!
Demonstrated by Top 100 Teacher Jason Carbone

What It Is
A recovery shot you hit while kneeling on the ground.

When to Use It
When you can't reach the ball with your normal stance because the ball lies under an obstruction such as some low-hanging branches.

How to Hit It
Step 1: Grab your shortest hybrid or fairway wood. A short iron might be easier to control, but with it's long hosel set so close to the ground you'll hit the turf way before the ball. Drop down to your knees and spread them as far as you can to establish a solid base. If you can, flare both feet out to give you even more stability.

Step 2: As you settle into position, notice how much the clubface points to the left when you sole it behind the ball. It'll look strange, but don't change it. If you keep your hands ahead of the clubhead through impact (think about pointing the shaft left of target as you swing into the hitting zone), the face will square up and the ball will fly straight.

Step 3: Try to make a baseball swing back and through. Obviously this is an arms-only motion. Make sure to hinge your wrists and swing your left arm across your chest on your backswing, and release the club while unfolding your right elbow following impact. You'll be surprised how much distance you'll generate.