Having trouble getting your shots around the green close to the hole? You’re not alone. Sometimes the lie that you have can be deceiving, with blades of grass going in the opposite direction of your target, also known as, “into the grain.” In this Play Better Golf segment, Titleist staff, James Sieckmann, recommends that when hitting into the grain shots, you reduce the effective bounce and loft of your club, and add effective bounce and loft with your stance and setup. With this new setup, you then play the shot how you normally would.
James Sieckmann: I’m James Sieckmann director of instruction at Shadow Ridge Country Club in Omaha, Nebraska and I’d like to share with you a tip on how to use your golf club properly with turf. I have a pretty simple looking shot here, maybe about a 10-yard carry, land it just on maybe medium height, bellybutton height. Problem with that is that’s all that information is all lying to you because the grain of the grass where the lie is is it’s uphill and it’s also into the grain, into the grain tight lie. And if I took my club I could ruffle the grass and you can see that the grass is laying this way. You know this feels and looks like a lob wedge shot maybe just normal or slightly lower than normal but if I lean the shaft a little bit address to get that trajectory that sharpens the leading of the edge a little bit and it takes the bounce off the club. So even though it looks like a lob wedge it’s really not. What I want to do is I want to add effective bounce and effective loft with a different club. So I’m going to take my lob wedge and throw it away quite honestly I think I’d take my sand wedge and throw it away and I’m going to use my pitching wedge. And if I take the shaft lean out and open the face that’s going to help this back edge interact with the turf easier and I should be able to make a swing here and let the club just skip off the grass and not dig. So I’m gonna hit a higher than normal shot with my pitching wedge into the grain. Most people when they come out, especially if they’re playing in a cart, they come out with just one club, just their lob wedge, and that’s their only choice and they’re really forcing themselves to play the wrong shot. So one of the tips I have for you besides whenever you want to use the bounce, take a less lofted club, take the shaft lean out, open the face, would be you have to come out and have choices. So bring all your clubs with you and once you assess your lie, then you can pick the right shot and the right club.