Among the very useful shots which it is possible to play with the mid-iron and that is the best club to get distance is that out of water.
This shot gives a nice little problem to be solved, if it is played successfully. It is well known that water is incompressible, but at the same time it is very fluid. By referring to figure 1, you will observe that the aim and sweep of the club are as
though you were going to half top the ball and first meet the water about two inches back of it. The result of the blow against the water is to make the water in front of the club rise to a higher level with a very sharp jump, and no matter how fast the club is moving, the water will jump up and carry the ball with it with an equal speed.
In addition to the wave created ahead of it by the club, the pressure of the water in every direction, forcing up to replace that which is splashed in the air, causes the ball to move with it to meet the club and intensifies the blow which is being reduced by the resistance of the water.
By the time the club actually reaches the spot formerly occupied by the ball these various forces have jumped the ball up so that it is practically suspended for an instant in the direct path of the center of the club face, but there is yet considerable speed and power to the club, and the ball will go forward about fifty to seventy-five yards if the shot is well played.
The success of the shot depends upon striking the water at the right point, neither too far back of the ball nor too near it. In the former case too much water will be taken and the ball will jump up so high that the club will come under it, and in the latter case the ball will actually be half-topped.
The correct distance is about two to three inches back of the ball, and the player should endeavor to skim off about a half inch of the water ahead of it.
The blow must not be delivered with a cut as though you were cutting into the water with the bottom edge of the club, but should be as though you were trying to see how far you could plow along the surface of the water with the club sunk about a half inch into it.
Taking too much water will kill the force of the blow, while too little will not jump the ball up high enough to meet it squarely. Study the illustrations carefully and you will get the right idea.
The follow through is of the very greatest importance, and to make the shot successfully the player must not fear being splashed.
Above all else, it is important to keep the head still in order to see that you hit the correct distance back of the ball. By tilting the mashie or niblick so that the club face is presented at the same angle as the cut, or at right angles to the surface of the water, the same shot can be played with those clubs, but the shot is not as sure, because the tendency is to go under the ball, as these two clubs feed into the water too quickly, too much water is taken, and the ball jumps over the club head. Hit hard and freely.