Tips from the Rough: Full Shots

It would be nice to hit every shot during your round of golf from the fairway. Unfortunately, that’s not very realistic. No matter how great of a golfer you may be, you’re going to find your golf ball in some less-than-perfect lies.

One of the most common of these tough lies is the rough – the long grass that surrounds the fairways and greens. If you want to get back to the short stuff, you’ll need to know what it takes to get your ball out of the thick stuff.

Some Necessary Changes

If you’re in the rough after a wayward tee shot, or if you’ve still got a lot of yards to cover before getting to the green, you’ll want to hit a full shot to get the distance you need.

Problem is, though, the tall grass in the rough makes it more difficult to get the results you’d normally expect from your clubs. Here are some tips to take into consideration before and during your swing.

Club Down

A common mistake golfers make in the rough is thinking that they need more club to get out of it. The reality is that the longer the club, the less loft it has, leaving you less of a chance to get the ball airborne and out of the tall grass.

If you club down a club or two, you add loft to your shot. It may not reach the putting green, but it assures a safe exit from the bad lie you find yourself in.

For instance, imagine yourself in the rough, 250 yards away from the green. You might normally reach for your three-wood, but that may not be the best idea.

Depending on the length and thickness of the rough, the low loft of the three-wood probably won’t do you any good. If the grass is really heavy, your ball needs to get up quickly to make any progress toward your target. Instead of a fairway wood, try taking a five or six iron out of there. Sure, it won’t get all the way to the green, but you’ll be in the fairway on your next shot, and ready to knock it close with a wedge.

Hold On

Sometimes in the rough, the hozel of your club — the part of the clubhead that connects to the shaft — can be grabbed and tugged by the long grass, opening or closing your clubface before impact. What happens, then, is that you don’t make solid contact with the ball, and you won’t hit it on line, either.

When you take your grip on the club, make sure your leading (weak) hand holds the club with a little extra pressure. This way, you can fight against that natural tug the long grass will try to make on your club’s hozel.

Commit to the Shot

Regardless of what shot you’ve chosen to hit out of the rough, the most important part of getting out of the deep stuff is commitment. It’s never a good idea to be timid or to quit on a golf shot, but it’s especially dangerous out of the rough. Choose a target and the club you think will best get you there, and swing with heart! It’s going to take a bit of strength to get out of the rough with the results you want, but with practice and commitment to the shot, you’ll be back in the short stuff in no time.

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