How’d He Hit That: The Shot Out Of Water

Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley

SwingU Instructor

Welcome to this week’s episode of How’d He Hit That? where every week we take a look at an unbelievable golf shot and help you to learn how you can use that shot in your game.

This week, SwingU instructor Josh Kelley goes over a shot that requires some discipline and risk-reward calculations before attempting to pull it off — the shot out of water.

We see these shots on a relatively regular basis on the professional Tours, but none is more iconic than Bill Haas’ up-and-down from the penalty hazard at the 2011 Tour Championship, which led to him winning the FedEx Cup. 

The first thing you need to do when you’re considering playing the shot is, of course, the ball. While being able to see the ball is a must, ideally we want to have as much of the ball as possible above the surface of the water as possible. 

The second part of the thought-process is understanding that this isn’t a shot that will be traveling a long way. The point of hitting this shot is getting the ball out of trouble. As such, we want to use a lofted club to get the ball up and out as easily as possible. 

Next, we want to slightly adjust our swing path to come into the ball as steeply as possible to avoid excess interaction with the water. Similar to a greenside bunker shot, we want to explode through the ball and let the water we’re moving do a lot of the work for us. 


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