Hardpan. Pine straw. A fairway bunker. Trees … Trouble.
We’ve all been there — even the professionals. The great thing about golf, though, is that it gives you a chance — probably more often than you’d like — to pull off a recovery shot for the ages. Each and every time you hit the links, you’re bound to find trouble and give yourself another chance to pull off a memorable recovery.
The same goes for the game’s best and we have the video to prove it. In honor of National Go for Broke day, here are 10 times where pros bucked conventional thinking and went for it.
Phil From the Augusta Pine Straw in 2010
It wouldn’t be a list of miraculous shots if Phil Mickelson wasn’t on it, right? Phil found himself in the pine straw on the 13th at Augusta during the final round of the 2010 Masters. With no hesitation, Mickelson hit the shot of a lifetime around a tree, over the stream and onto the green within five feet of the pin. Mickelson would go on to win, with this shot playing a big role in the victory.
Bill Haas From the Greenside Pond
At the 2011 Tour Championship, Bill Haas played a shot that we have all been tempted to do: hit the ball out of the water. The only difference is that Haas spun his shot to two feet, helping himself go on to win the championship.
Sergio Garcia’s Scissor Kick at the 1999 PGA Championship
Sergio Garcia’s famed running-jump came after he hit a bending shot around the base of a tree at the 1999 PGA Championship. The young Spaniard landed his ball on the green, continuing his pursuit of Tiger throughout the tournament.
“Bubba Hook” During the 2012 Masters
Apparently, playoff holes bring out the best shots in golfers; at least for Bubba Watson. The famous 40-yard Bubba hook-shot on the second playoff hole at the 2012 Masters will go down as one of the most spectacular shots in golf history.
Charl Schwartzel Goes Off the Road
It isn’t often that you see a golfer hit a shot off of a road, but Charl Schwartzel pulled off an incredible shot by doing so. During the third round of the 2014 Volvo Golf Champions, Schwartzel found his ball lying on a road, with no clear path to the green. He decided to play it from the road, and he nearly holed out from this ridiculous position, sticking it to two feet.
Tiger Chips in on 16 at Augusta – 2005
Who can forget Tiger dead to rights behind 16 green on Sunday at the 2005 Masters? Needing every shot he could get — eventually winning his fourth green jacket in a playoff with Chris DiMarco — Woods clipped the absolute perfect chip shot that checked perfectly at the top of the ridge and slid down into the cup, putting Verne Lundquist on the spot to ask the entire world if, “in your life, have you seen anything like that?”
Ballesteros from His Knees
The legendary Seve Ballesteros played one of the more creative shots we’ve seen at the 1997 Open de France, hitting his ball through the trees from his knees. Although the ball didn’t reach the putting surface, Ballesteros gave us a shot to remember.
Sergio Garcia Climbs a Tree
Sergio second run in with a tree on this list occurred at the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational. After his tee shot got stuck in it, he shimmied his way up not only to retrieve his ball but play it from between the branches!
Miguel Angel Jimenez Plays Wall-Ball
At the 2010 British Open, Miguel Angel Jimenez found his ball a little bit too close to the stone wall for his liking. Jimenez decided to get creative and knock his ball off of the wall, flying it over the rough and onto the green.
Victor Dubuisson From the Cactus – 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play
Victor Dubuisson found his ball in a precarious situation under a cactus facing elimination at the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play at Dove Valley. With a little bit of luck, the Frenchman somehow managed to play this miraculous shot to within four feet and then drained the putt to keep the match going.