Make sure the reward is worth the risk

DOUG-WEAVERI hit my drive into the Palmetto trees. As you can see, I have two options. One is a clear path to the fairway to the right of the trees. The second option is a gap between the trees that I must keep it low, straight and it requires that I fly the ball over the rough an extra 50 yards. I must consider the risk/reward.

The first option has little risk, however, I will have a 180-yard 5 iron into the green. The second option of going through the gap has high risk. If I am successful, I will only have a 100 sand wedge to the green. Which do I take?

Johnny Miller, winner of the 1973 Heritage and the 1973 U.S. Open used to live in Palmetto Dunes Resort. He was known for practicing in the trees so he could develop trajectory control and shape the shots to fade and draw.

Some power points to keep in mind when executing the highrisk option of going through the gap.

I invite you to do a playing lesson with me. "Play with the Pro" and learn as you go.

  1. Have someone else watch the ball flight. When you look up, you will not like what you see. When a golfer looks up too early, it changes the posture and alignment, therefore changing the direction and trajectory the ball is going.
  2. Remember to practice this shot before you try it on the course. Miller would help the pro by hitting the range balls out of the practice range woods.
  3. Swing down and the ball goes up. Most golfers get anxious taking the high-risk option and tighten the swing, resulting in shorter arms and a topped ball that bounces, staying in trouble. Do your pre-shot routine. Accentuate your breathing and relax and do not go to the ball until your arms feel long and relaxed.

Doug Weaver is the Director of Golf Instruction at Palmetto Dunes Resort. He can be reached at 843-338-9598.