Most of us miss the fairway more often than we’d care to admit. If we’re lucky when we miss, the ball lands just off the fairway or in light rough and we still have a shot at the green. If we’re not lucky, the ball lands in heavy, thick grass—the junk, as some golfers like to call to it—and we have no shot at the green. The grass here is so deep and thick it covers nearly all the ball. In fact, you can just see the top of it. Getting out of the junk is never easy.

Below are eight keys to escaping the junk:

  1. Stand closer to the ball
  2. Choke up a few inches
  3. Aim slightly right of target
  4. Play the ball back of center
  5. Increase your grip pressure
  6. Forward press your hands
  7. Hinge the club quickly
  8. Swing down sharply

This shot is resembles a sand shot except instead of sliding your club through the sand, you’ll slam it steeply into the back of the ball. You’ll need to make a few adjustments to your normal stance and swing as well.

If you can see the top of the ball, use either and 8-iron or 9-iron for this shot. If you can see only a small circle on top of the ball, use a sand wedge.

Stand closer to the ball, play it back in your stance, and choke up on the club while you increase your grip pressure. Choking up gives you a bit more leverage on your swing and increasing grip pressures prevents the club from turning in your hands. Aim slightly right of target and forward press the shaft. You want it leaning towards the target.

On your back swing hinge the club quickly. You want your wrists cocked by the time your hands reach your thighs. From the top, swing down sharply. You want to feel as if you’re pulling the handle down into the ball. Keep your legs quiet.

You’re goal here is to get the ball out onto the fairway. If you can do that, you’ve done your job.

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