Saturday, January 14, 2012

How is Mudball Hit in Golf?

The sight of a golf ball sitting in the mud can strike fear into the heart of duffers and pros alike. To make the best of the shot, you must allow for the fact that a muddy golf ball -- known as a mudball -- has a different curvature than a ball that is clean. Other factors to consider include how deep the ball is sitting in the mud, as well as the amount of mud stuck to the ball. Using the proper techniques can increase your odds of making this challenging shot.
Mudball Features
Mud on a golf ball causes non-symmetric dimple pattern and uneven weighting, making one side heavier than the other. This in turn causes wobbling and affects dispersion, or how far the ball lands left or right of the target. According to Probable Golf Instruction, a study in "Golf Digest" compared new, scuffed, grassy and muddy balls and found that mud balls had a dispersion of 10.8 yards, as opposed to 4.6 yards for a clean ball. In an article published in 2001 in "Golf Digest," world-class golfer Tiger Woods notes that mudballs travel in the opposite direction of the mud -- a ball caked with mud on the left side will travel more to the right than normal, and vice versa.
Rules Governing Mudballs
Swing Surgeon notes that unless you are playing under "lift, clean and place" rules -- sometimes called "cheat golf" -- you can't clean off any additional mud or substitute an additional ball. You must instead take the shot as it lies. If there is any doubt as to whether the ball is yours, reports that you must announce your intentions verbally and receive a signal from your opponent that he understands. You should then mark the ball's position, pick it up and check it, only cleaning off enough mud to facilitate identification. Improper procedure can result in a penalty of two strokes in stroke play and one hole in match play.
Ball Sitting in Mud
According to Tiger Woods, mudballs should be hit with an easy swing to avoid creating excessive spin; you must also adjust your aim to account for a ball that is mud-caked on one side. Swing Surgeon suggests using less loft and hitting the ball low as an additional way to avoid spin. According to Woods, your best bet is the "half inch" approach: choke up on your club half an inch more than usual, with the ball back a half inch further than normal. The power should be generated from your shoulders, with a quiet lower body and feet firmly planted on the ground. A sweeping backswing and standard follow through is the final step in making the best of this situation.
Ball Stuck in Mud
A ball stuck in the mud must be approached differently from one that is merely muddy, or sitting in a muddy lie. To increase your chances of successfully dislodging the ball, Improve Golf Swing 411 recommends using a pitching wedge or a 9-iron. Begin with an open stance and the ball moved back past the middle of the stance. Use a firm grip and swing across the foot line with a downward approach to free the ball and send it forward toward your target. Although the sand wedge may seem a logical choice for this shot, Improve Golf Swing 411 cautions that you should forego it due to the risk of the club digging into the ground.

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