Even the top professional golfers spend time in the rough, so as amateurs we’ve got to face that fact that we’re likely to be playing a significant amount of our golf in the long grass. If you accept the previous statement – and I think that it would be difficult to argue against it – it seems surprising that we don’t spend more time in practicing playing golf shots from the rough.
We are content to spend time at the driving range and on the practice ground, but we don’t seem to practice the skills to get us back into the game when we have hit an errant shot. How many times during a round of golf have you carved your tee shot into the rough, only to blast your second shot further into trouble or across the fairway into the rough on the other side?
Whereas, if we had taken a little more time in practicing to learn the required techniques, we could have been sitting pretty on the fairway or even on the green. During my experience of hacking through the jungle rough, I have picked up the following tips over the years, which have helped to keep me out of trouble…
* Assess your lie and decide how aggressive or defensive your next shot can be – if you have a good lie with little grass likely to get between the club face and the ball, you can potentially go for a longer shot, even perhaps the green. However, if your ball is lying well down in deep grass, you may have to take your medicine and just try to get back to the nearest point of fairway.
For Good Lies
* If you have good visibility of the ball in light rough, take a nicely-balanced normal stance, with the ball positioned roughly in the center of your stance and your weight very slightly favouring your front foot.
* Take one extra club than you normally would for the distance you are trying to achieve and grip slightly down the shaft.
* Make a deliberate, slow, smooth backswing and only take it to ¾ of your full swing, without cocking your wrists, aiming to catch the ball as cleanly as you can. Don’t try to hit the ball too hard – let the swing and the club do the work. shot blasting machine
* Make a smooth follow-through and finish as you would for a normal shot
For Slightly Deeper Lies
* As above, except take a shorter iron and make your swing a little steeper to try to keep as little grass as possible between the ball and the club face at point of impact. Accept that you will probably not get the full required distance and that you are just looking to advance the ball down the fairway.
For Buried Lies
* If the ball is really buried, there’s no point in trying to be heroic – your aim now should just be to pitch back to the nearest point of fairway, even if that is slightly backwards. It’s much better to do that than try to be greedy and simply end up playing your next shot from the rough as well.
* Take your most lofted golf club as the blade on a wedge will be the best implement to help you cut down through the grass to the ball.
* Open the blade very slightly and take a firm grip – the long grass will twist the club in your hand if your grip is too light.
* Once again, only take a smooth 3/4 swing, so that you remain as balanced as possible and swing as steeply as possible. However, again don’t try to hit the ball too hard to smash it out of the grass, because you just run the danger of driving it further in if you slightly miscue.
If you follow these tips, you might not be on the green for your second shot, but more importantly you should be back in play with a chance to go for the green with your next shot. These golf tips for playing out of the rough don’t cover the most glamorous aspects of the game, but they might help you to stay in the game, rather than let the rough destroy your day.