• Trouble Shot: Limited Follow Through


    At one time or another most golfers have encountered this scenario: Your ball comes to rest behind a tree. The tree is blocking your follow through and you are worried about bending the shaft on the trunk of the tree during your follow through.

    Limited follow through std setupIn the past, I used a standard set-up for this shot and would just try to stop my follow through before the shaft of my club hit the tree.

    Limited follow through hitting tree frontHowever, in tournaments I found that I was never able to commit to this shot because of fear of breaking my club. Because of my lack of commitment to the shot, I would usually end up stopping my swing too soon and would hit the ground too soon before the ball.

    Over the years I have figured out a much better way to play this shot. And, this better way holds up under pressure.

    Limited follow through better setupI set up to the ball with an extremely closed stance (shoulders and feet point well right of the target) with my left hip up against the tree trunk.

    Limited follow through in frontI close the clubface to my stance so that the clubface is pointed directly at the target. I also place my feet close together and set up with my hands higher than normal.

    limited follow through closed clubface

    From this set-up position I can accelerate the clubhead without fear of the shaft hitting the tree until well after impact.

    Limited follow through finishAnd, because I created room for the club to follow through past impact, I can make a committed swing every time!

    From this set-up position with an extremely closed clubface, the ball will take off much lower and roll farther than normal. For the punch shot required in these pictures, I normally would have chosen a 7-iron. But, because of my closed clubface, the 9-iron I chose will fly and roll just like a standard 7-iron punch shot.

    I know this trouble shot doesn’t happen very often, but when you encounter it, just remember to set up with a closed stance to your target line and a closed clubface to your stance. Then you will be able to swing freely around the tree trunk instead of into it.


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