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