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Tip of the Week Archive

The Mud Ball

Ever find your golf ball in the middle of the fairway
with a nice big chunk of mud hanging from it? If you're in a tournament and playing "Lift, Clean, and Place" (of lift, clean, and cheat as Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are fond of saying), then it's no problem. But if you're not and you have to play it as it is, then certain adjustments have to be made.

The first thing to remember is that the golf ball will tend to spin or curve in the direction opposite of the mud. Therefore, if the mud is on the left side of the golf ball, the ball will tend to curve to the right,
and vice versa. So make sure you aim accordingly to take the curvature into account. Also, take an extra club (a 6 in place of a 7) and swing easier at the shot. The easier you swing, the less spin you will produce and the ball will not curve as much.

Does this actually happen? I was standing near the 10th fairway at the Masters this year with another golf professional and we watched as Colin Montgomerie found his ball in the middle of the fairway with a clump of mud on the left side. We both wondered aloud if Colin knew about how the ball reacts to the mud. He then hit the shot and we watched as his ball wobbled through the air as it curved into the right greenside bunker. Maybe I should try to find Colin's email address so we could subscribe him to our newsletter?!?

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