How To Assess The Lie

Stan Utley

Stan Utley

SwingU Master Faculty, Golf Digest Top 50 in America

Here are two lies in the short cut. The difference between these two lies is one lot of the grass is growing with the ball, and the other is growing into the ball. Anytime you have a chip that’s down grain, it’s very easy to get your club to skid, but if you make an error with the shaft forward when you’re into the grain, that lead edge grabs the grass.

When your ball is in the short rough, the ball is going to backspin less. Take into account how clean you can hit the ball for how much backspin you get. That really affects the roll out.

In the next lie, the ball is sitting way down in the deep fescue. Play this shot with more loft to pick it up in the air because it’s not going to have hardly any backspin on it.

This shot is in a bit dried-out thin lie grass. It’s very tight but it also looks kind of damp under it. Make sure that you don’t run the lead edge into the ground soft because it’ll stick in the ground. This shot really leaves two choices; lean left and hit the ball first or lean the shaft back and use the bounce. Many times, you want to swing the club shallow, try to nip the ball first, and just pitch and run it.

Work on assessing the lie and predicting what the spin will do to the roll out.