What Is a Fluffy Lie in Golf?

The term "fluffy lie" is applied by golfers when a golf ball is sitting up in high or even long rough, so that there is space underneath the ball between the ball and the ground.

The danger of a fluffy lie is that, with the ball perched up on grass rather than sitting on the ground, the golfer will pass his or her club right underneath the ball on the shot. That can result in missing the ball entirely, which is really embarrassing; or in making only glancing contact and the ball not carrying nearly as far as intended.

Therefore, having a fluffy lie can making judging the appropriate shot distance for which to play more difficult. Unless you make crisp contact, you can't be confident of how far the ball will fly.

One thing you usually want to avoid doing when you have a fluffy lie is opening the clubface — even if that is what you are used to doing on short chips or pitches. An open clubface just increases the odds of your club sliding below the golf ball with little or no contact.

You also don't want to play a ball in a fluffy lie from a forward position in your golf stance, for the same reason you don't want to open the clubface. Position the ball more toward the middle, perhaps even a little bit back of center. Take one less club, or choke down on your usual club, and try to make a flatter swing to, again, decrease the odds of sliding the club under the ball.

Note that "fluffy lie" can also apply in bunkers when the sand is very light, loose and deep. Check out videos on YouTube for more about playing fluffy lies.

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