Golf is tough, there’s no getting around it. Some days a round of golf can seem a Herculean challenge where every shot could go horribly wrong. But some situations on the golf course demand an extra degree of skill and/or self belief. Here we take a look at 10 of the hardest shots in golf.
The 1st tee shot
It doesn’t mater how well you’ve prepared, how mentally ready you are or how many balls you’ve hit in the nets, you have no idea how your day is going to pan out until you strike that tee shot on the first. This is the blow that will set the tone for the day. Can you compose yourself to swipe it down the middle in relaxed fashion? Or will it be a nervy, powerless prod that, quite frankly could end up anywhere? Whatever course you’re playing on, in whatever event, the 1st tee shot is a mental hurdle that you want to sail over rather than stumble into.
The 40-yard bunker shot
Ask Tour pros what the most difficult shot in the game is and many will answer the mid-length to long bunker shot. Give them a greenside splash shot from the trap and they’ll get up-and-down a high percentage of the time. But, put them 50 yards out and it’s a different story. If it’s hard for them, it should be quite clear how difficult it is for us.
This is a shot that requires absolute precision in terms of the strike. You must decide whether to pick it absolutely cleanly or use just a modicum of sand as a cushion. You must then commit to your decision and execute perfectly. Slightly heavy and the ball will come up woefully short, slightly thin and the ball will go flying through the green and, inevitably, into more trouble. If you get it right, you’ll be a legend of your own tee-time.
How to play the long bunker shot video:
The flop shot from a bare lie
As you wander to where your slightly misjudged approach shot has finished, a feeling of panic suddenly grips you. You look at your ball and analyse the lie – it’s sitting on a piece of ground that could only be described as baked mud. “Oh no,” you think. “It’s going to be very difficult to catch it cleanly from there.” The situation looks bleak, but things take a turn for the even worse when you look at what’s between you and the hole. Five yards ahead is a gaping bunker with the pin sitting just over the top of it. Could somebody please provide me with a brown paper bag?
The long iron shot into the wind
When it’s gusting straight at you and you’ve got a 4-iron in hand, you’re about to find out just how well you’re hitting it. Playing down breeze you’ve gotten away with a few iffy strikes and one that looked decidedly like a slice.
Any sidespin on this one and it could be a goner. You know the old moniker “when it’s breezy, swing it easy,” but it’s just so hard to adhere to that when you’re battling into the teeth. It feels you have to throw the kitchen sink at it to get it to the green. But, if you do, you’ll put too much backspin on the ball and it will balloon and go nowhere. This shot requires a combination of physical prowess and mental control.
The pitch from thick rough to a downward sloping green
Just through the back of the surface you find your ball in a lie so tangled that it looks as though a crow has mistaken your Titleist for an egg and built a wee nest for it. The pin is just five yards on from where you are and on a downslope. Your only option is to throw open the face and swing aggressively. You’ll have to go under the ball perfectly to throw it up near vertically and get it to land as softly as a mote of dust touching down on a bud of cotton wool. Go too far under it and you’ll leave the ball exactly where it is. Catch too much of it, or allow the face to turn in and you’ll be 50 yards across the other side of the putting surface.