Tiger Woods Hits Left-Handed Recovery Shot

As seen in this video of Tiger Woods having to strike the ball left-handed with an upside-down clubface, situations and conditions sometimes arise during a round that call for imagination and special shots to score your best. It is wise to spend some practice time on a variety of situations and conditions that may challenge your mind, patience, and skill levels.

  1. In high wind conditions, keep your backswing super slow to enhance the timing and rhythm of your golf swing, which will be thrown off by the wind.
  2. Learn to play the knock-down shot in heavy winds. This shot flies underneath the winds, so your ball's flight is not as affected by the gusts. First, select two clubs less than you would if you were playing the shot on a windless day. Then, choke up 1" on the grip, play the ball from the middle of your stance, and take a 3/4 backswing.
  3. Hitting from non-level lies requires adjustments. The two basic non-level lies are uphill lies and downhill lies. There can be the added variations of the ball sitting above your feet or ball sitting below your feet. You must make adjustments in your posture, where you aim the clubface, club selection, and where you grip the club for each particular case.

Uphill Lie—you tend to draw the shot to the left. So make these adjustments: 1. Stand perpendicular to the hill, leaning slightly to the right, so your clubhead releases through impact, not drives into the slope of the hill. 2. Aim your clubface and align your body slightly right of the target line. 3. Select one club more than you normally would hit for the distance because the uphill lie adds loft to the club.

Downhill Lie—you tend to fade the shot to the right. So make these adjustments: 1. Stand perpendicular to the hill, leaning slightly to the left, so your clubhead contacts the ball solidly at impact, not tops the ball and travels up into the air. 2. Aim your clubface and align your body slightly left of the target line. 3. Select one club less than you would normally hit for the distance because the downhill lie subtracts loft from the club.

Here is an example swing key from the Practice chapter of Modern Golf Thoughts:


Shorten your follow-through to impart maximum backspin to the ball.

Make your follow-through 1/2 the length of your backswing for shots that you need to stop quickly on the green, where you do not have any room for the ball to roll to the hole.

The Special Shots chapter of Modern Golf Thoughts has 6 swing keys, which all involve special circumstances you may face during a round of golf.

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