Advanced Golf Lessons: Five Tips for Escaping the Stymie

When you find your ball stymied behind an obstacle somewhere on the golf course, it can be a frustrating situation. While you don’t want to give up on making par on the hole, you also don’t want to get yourself into deeper trouble and really make a big number. With the right strategy and a little practice, you can get out of this tough spot without doing too much damage to your scorecard.

Try using one or more of the following tips the next time you face a stymie on the course –

  • Be patient. Trying to pull off a heroic shot from a bad spot on the course rarely pays off. Try to stay patient and play the smart and safe shot which gets your ball back into good position to complete the hole. Spending one shot now to get out of trouble is better than wasting two or three by trying to do something incredible and causing more problems.
  • Practice a punch shot. Often when you find your ball in trouble, hitting a controlled punch shot is the best way to get back in position. Choke down on the grip of the club and make a shorter swing than normal to hit a safe punch shot back into the fairway or down toward the green.
  • Don’t hurry. It is important that you consider all of your options before playing a shot from a bad position on the course. Don’t rush through the process and hit the first shot that you think of because you may end up making a decision that you regret.
  • Remember the basics. When in a tough spot, it is easy to get distracted by the challenge and forget about the fundamentals of your swing. Don’t let that happen to you. Once you pick the type of shot that you are going to hit, and the target that you are going to aim at, focus your mind back on the same mechanics that you use for any other shot.
  • Relax. Losing your temper in this situation is only going to make things worse. Keep yourself calm and focused on the task of recovering as quickly as possible. While you might be frustrated at hitting a poor shot to put yourself in this position in the first place, that anger won’t help you at this point. Relax, think clearly, and hit a good shot.