This story is for you if…
• A little rain never keeps you off the course.
• The conditions at your local are always a bit soft.
Rain last night left the course a bit soft — you’re splashing up water on every iron and wedge swing and having a difficult time making crisp contact.
Hitting from wet ground is not too different from hitting from a fairway bunker. In both situations you’re standing on soft ground and you need to make ball-first contact. Follow the steps at right to catch it clean every time.
HOW TO PINCH THE BALL OFF SOFT TURF
STEP 1: Take a bunker setup
When you address the ball on wet turf your feet will sink into the ground, just like they do when you swing from the sand. To offset the fact that your swing arc has been lowered, make sure to grip down on the club a full inch. Position the ball in the center of your stance (or just forward of center if you’re hitting a long iron or hybrid).
STEP 2: Hover your club
Stand taller to the ball (don’t bend as much from your hips) so that you can comfortably hover the club above the ground and line up the leading edge with the ball’s equator.
STEP 3: Hit the grass in front of the ball
Aim for a spot one inch in front of the ball. Your goal is to hit the back of the ball and then drive your club into ground at that spot. This gives you ball-first contact and negates any interference from the wet turf. A good swing thought is to picture your clubhead and right knee reaching the ball at the same time. (If your right knee hangs back, you’ll catch it fat.)
You can take relief without penalty from casual water (outside a hazard), but the water must be visible before or after you take your stance.