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3 Steps to Hitting Your Recovery Shots Like Hideki Matsuyama

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

After two rounds in the books, the Arnold Palmer Invitational is shaping up like it does almost every year. Tough conditions and a stacked leaderboard seems to be the norm when the PGA TOUR makes its way to Arnie’s place at Bay Hill.
During Friday’s round, co-leader Hideki Matsuyama, who is tied with five others, had an incredible recovery shot on the third hole. Standing in the water with the ball well above his feet, Hideki nearly hold out for the eagle.
Hitting out of trouble is one of the most challenging aspects of golf, and it can range from shots out of heavy rough to navigating your way out from under a tree. These shots can undoubtedly be intimidating and often lead to high scores. But with the right approach, you can avoid having some ugly numbers on your scorecard.
Here are my go-to steps for getting out of trouble:
Step One: Assess the Situation
Take a moment to evaluate your options. Consider the ball's lie, the distance to the green, and any obstacles in your way. It is important to consider your safest play rather than looking to make a hero shot.
Step Two: Choose the Right Club
Each situation where you find yourself in trouble will pose different challenges. Choosing the right club accordingly is a crucial step.
Sometimes, you'll want to select a club with more loft to get the ball into the air, over obstacles, or out of heavy rough. In other situations, you may need less loft to keep the ball low and let it run along the ground.
Step Three: Focus on Execution
When you're ready to hit the shot, you need to have a clear picture of what you want to do before you actually pull the trigger. Take a few practice swings to get a feel for the shot, then focus on making solid contact. Being confident in the execution stage is a must.
Remember, hitting out of trouble is all about staying calm and focused. Don't let a difficult shot rattle you, and make sure you approach each shot with confidence and composure. With patience and practice, you can master the art of hitting out of trouble and perhaps hit a gem like Hideki.
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Brendon R. Elliott, PGA


Executive Director/Founder

Sorrento, FL

Brendon Elliott is considered by his peers in the industry as one of the top youth golf coaches in the world. He is a multiple, local, state, regional, national and world award winning instructor with a focus on junior golfers ages 3-18. With numerous appearances on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, local TV, nationwide radio and countless publications, Elliott is one of the foremost experts in the youth golf arena. His Little Linksters 501c3 nonprofit is recognized as an example for introducing children as young as three to the game as well as how to help introduce youth with disabilities to our golf. Elliott has been recommended by industry titian's such as Nicklaus, Player, Floyd, Sorenstam, Speith and more. Among his numerous accolades, Elliott was named the PGA of America's 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award Winner in 2017.