Trick Shots Pros Can Actually Hit

Trick Shots to Most of Us, Standard Repertoire for the Pros

Now and then we see the most magical shots possible in the game of golf, such as Bubba’s Masters-winning shot on the 18th – and I thought he was going home disappointed. We have seen shots around and over trees, and water shots that seem possible at 1/2 inch deep, but not much more than that. Vicarious beings that we are, we usually try a few of them at some point in our golfing lives. For a pro, changing a swing on a moment’s notice, or adjusting everything for a new grip or stance for one shot is all part of the job, or at least part of winning at it.

An article on Tiger Woods and his famous “stinger” from the tee claims that everyone has tried it just to see if they can make anything out of it. I have not, but now that it’s been brought to my attention, you bet I’ll try, right after warning my chiropractor to be on call. I read an analysis of the stinger, but am still confused. It’s like a punch shot with an ending, albeit a limited one, related to what they call the “knockdown,” suitable for bad weather when you need to keep the ball low.  Ok, here are the leggo pieces. You’ll have to assemble them yourselves – long iron or fairway wood, stance narrow, no rush, club low to ground, limit follow-through, wrists stay firm, practice it at thirty yards, hands forward, don’t fall back, wrists won’t turn over. Choke up on club, full forward rotation, hands to right ear on backswing.  My next question is, “So, is this a distance shot or just a control shot?” As a kid, all I knew to do in the wind was put the tee low and try to second guess the wind gusts. It didn’t always work, but trick shots like this look too hard for me.

i see all sorts of videos about hitting a fade or draw, normal or severe. When you have to hit around a tree, one pro suggests a super draw or cut. On the draw, club face out right where you want the ball to start. Line the stance up even further right. Swing along  the body line (not entirely sure what that means) and it will draw nicely, just as you pictured it. You can’t imagine how many cornfields I’ve gotten lost in because that ball went exactly where I sent it, without the draw. All I knew was to drop my right foot back for a draw, and my left foot back for a cut. That is horrendously primitive for what the shot really requires, but I got some good duck hooks out of it. For me, it was better to use a normal grip, but in a severe situation, they tell me to alter it a little. I tried that once or twice, but I must have altered it a lot. Went to places I’d never seen before on the golf course. . Adjust hands to the right for hook, right for slice. I used to move the right hand over the right a bit more, but none of us should probably do that.

How about that water shot? I saw Gary Player do it when I was a kid, and have been thrilled by the idea ever since. I sort of get it if it’s a little ways in. Move it back in the stance, close face, move it through quickly, etc, but there’s a youtube of this woman doing the same thing in about four or five inches of water. Apparently, you don’t want the club to turn into an oar and stop as it cuts through the water. Keep it a blade, which she does. The only other thing she does is swing like an angry grizzly bear, but only on the way down. Oh well, I use the old damaged balls around water anyway. I might not ever bother with that one. Water shots aren’t trick shots – they’re humiliation shots, and who wants to play with wet socks?

Of my favorite trick shots, the one that got me into the World Golf Hall of Infamy is dubbed a “super-flop.” When green space is short and all kinds of trouble lies between, time for my super-flop. As a kid, I thought I had invented it, but it’s really just a perversion of the real flop-shot., although I actually got pretty good at it. Open the face all the way, like a sand shot.  Line up the stance aimed way left, and swing with a thump underneath. It will go straight up at about ten yards per one yard forward. If you live in a wet climate, you’ll have to drop it right in the hole, but it will stop quickly, even in the desert.

If you’re just getting the hang of golf, I advise leaving these alone. If you’re pretty good, still  good to be careful, and tell everyone to the sides to move way way back.


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