Deep, Deep Rough

By John Green

You are on your back nine of the day and playing decent golf. Your driver has been working pretty well for you today and that’s a good thing because your two buddies who teed off ahead of you both blasted what seemed like 300 yard drives. Now it’s your turn. Instead of listening to your mantra that your pro taught you: “middle is good”, your ego ignores this and you take a big swing at the ball. Unfortunately, you hit a big pull-hook. As you see the ball sailing left, you remember there is a cart path over there. You are thinking: Redemption, I’ll get a fifty yard bounce farther down the hole and hit it past my buddies! In another “That’s Golf” scenario, the ball kicks to the left into some really deep rough.

Yes, you will able to hit it out of there, but don’t hope for a long carry. Your goal is to get it out of there and back in play. And the only way the ball will come out successfully is the club has to come down into the ball at a very steep angle. This is important because we want to try to catch more of the ball with very little grass. If you hit more grass than ball, you can probably expect to get a second chance to hit this shot out of the deep grass! First, get set up with the ball back in your stance as shown in photo #1. This will help your club come in at a steeper angle.

On the takeaway, you need to pick the club up very quickly with your hands as we don’t want the club to come in contact with much grass on the backswing. Think of cocking/hinging your wrists immediately on the takeaway. From there, you will be in a position that I am in photo #2. Now, using both hands, pull down on the grip, and keep pulling all the way down and through impact. This will help your hands stay far ahead of the clubhead which results in a very steep angle of approach to the ball. From the deep, deep rough you will be hitting down, down at the ball!

For more help with your game, see your local PGA or LPGA Professional. For help with your ego, see your local sports psychologist.

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