LPGA Pro Natalie Gulbis and PGA Pro Jimmy Hanlin discuss what a flyer lie is, how it affects spin and distance and how to properly handle the situation for the best shot possible.
What is a Flyer Lie?
So what is a flyer lie? As Jimmy shows in the video, Natalie’s ball lies in front of a tuft of grass on the ground, making it impossible for her club to make contact with the ball without getting blades of grass in between. In addition to a flyer lie, there’s also something known as a fluffy lie, which is when your ball is in heavy rough and held off the ground by the grass.
Rely On the Grooves in Your Club to Create Spin
Normally you can rely on the type of club you’re using to hit the ball a certain distance, but when grass is in the way, the club face can’t get the full impact of the grooves on the ball and create that necessary backspin. Without that spin, your ball will fly and roll much further than it needs to—and in a direction that you may not expect—or “knuckle out” as Jimmy puts it.
How to Handle a Flyer Lie
Natalie’s solution when hitting a flyer lie is using less club. In the video, she explains that for this particular shot, she’d normally use a 4-iron, but because the ball will fly further than she wants it to, she’ll take it down to a 5-iron to decrease distance.
Take a look at how Natalie and Jimmy handle a flyer lie in this clip from 18 Holes.