Your drive ended up in the ROUGH…

nov blog approach from rough Your drive ended up in the ROUGH...

Before you decide how you want to play an approach to a green from the rough, you first have to decide how severe the lie is.  Before you make your club selection, you need to understand how the ball will react when it leaves the clubface based on the lie. Here are a few tips on playing from the rough based on how deep the rough is and how your ball comes to rest in the grass:

Light Rough (ball on the right in picture): This is actually the preference of some amateurs. The tight lies in fairways require more precision and a descending angle of attack to hit an approach close. The light rough will usually only take a little spin off the ball. So take a little less club and play for the shot to hit and release onto the green.

Intermediate Rough(middle ball in picture): This is where you will usually encounter the ‘flyer lies’. The grass is thick and makes it difficult to put clubface on ball. Because the grass gets in the way, the ball comes out lower and without any spin. In this situation, you want to make your swing steeper to limit the amount of grass that comes between you clubface and the ball. Keep your weight on the lead side and hinge your wrists on the way back to promote a steeper swing. Take into account that the ball won’t have much spin and might fly farther than usual.

Heavy Rough (ball on the left in picture): When the ball comes to rest in the heavy rough, its usually time to take your medicine. Find the most accessible part of the fairway and plan to play a short shot back into play. The thick grass tends to grab the face and shut it down, so you will want to grab a lofted club.  Play the ball back in your stance and start with your weight on the lead side. Engage your wrists quickly and feel as if you come straight up and down onto the ball. The steeper angle of attack and lofted club should get the ball out of the rough and back onto the fairway.

Before you hit the ball in any of the above lies, go ahead and make a few practice swings near the ball to see how the grass will affect your club as it move through impact.  Based on this information and the lie of the ball, you are now ready to make your club selection.

These tips should help you make the proper club selection when your drive lands in the rough and save you a few strokes in the course of your round.

Hit ’em straight,


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