Hardpan. The straw. A fairway bunker …
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. We have video to prove it. In honor of recovery shots and the trouble and hazards that put us there, here are the 9 greatest recovery shots in golf history:
“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.
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.
Kyle Stanley From Beneath a Cactus
At the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2012, Kyle Stanley’s ball found its way under a cactus, making it difficult to see the ball, let alone make a clean swing. Stanley took a stab at it and somehow hit it to 15 feet.
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.
Sergio Has No Fear of Trees
Sergio Garcia’s famed running-jump came after he hit a bending shot around the base of a tree at the 1999 PGA Championship. Garcia landed his ball on the green, continuing his pursuit of Tiger throughout the tournament.
This wasn’t Garcia’s only famed encounter with a tree. In the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Sergio climbed a tree to not only retrieve his ball, but play it from between the branches.
Phil From the Augusta Pine Straw
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.
Ballesteros from His Knees
The legendary Seve Ballesteros played one of the more creative shots we’ve seen, 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.
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.
Matt Kuchar Holes It To Win RBC Heritage
Kuchar buried it from a greenside bunker on the legendary 18th at Harbour Town to win the RBC Heritage over Luke Donald.
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