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Destin Golf Instructor: Norm Tums Norm Tums
Director of Instruction
Sandestin School of Golf

Monthly Golf Tip

Tips from the Pros: "Against the Grain"

During any round of golf we are faced with many shot choices. Selecting the proper shot to match the conditions encountered is a must. Let’s face it, it’s much more fun to go for glory and hit the flop shot over the bunker and hit it close. Hook it around the trees onto the green or just go for it! Realistically with these shot choices, the odds just aren’t in our favor. I regret to inform you that the boring shots are usually the odds on favorite to keeping that dreaded snowman off your scorecard. 

Let’s take a moment to look at one situation you will encounter quite often around the greens and within short range. A lie where you are facing a chip from a short distance and the grass is lying against you, but there are no obstacles in your way. If you’re not familiar with grain, imagine when you’re practicing your chip from just in front of the green and the grass keeps stopping or grabbing your club. The grass is actually growing or leaning toward you and you are against the grain. It takes much more accuracy to get that wedge under the ball for that delicate precise contact necessary under these conditions. 

So here are our options:
Option 1 (if you insist on chipping): chose a club with some bounce, like a sand wedge or even a lob wedge. Open your stance and the club face like in a bunker shot. With this approach the ball should be forward of center stance. This option gives you some room for error and slightly increases your chances. 

Option 2: YAWN…Go grab a putter.  I promise that this is the odds on winner and is the most likely club and shot to get you on the green and save strokes. You can also use a hybrid or 3-wood and make a putting stroke and eliminate the chances of that nasty bit of grain adding strokes to your round.

Please contact Norm Tums, lead instructor of the Sandestin Golf Academy at (850) 267-8156 or by email at For more information about Florida golf getaway packages, call .