By Chuck Wood
Rain, rain, and more rain have greenside rough long, gnarly, and nasty. What do you do when the ball sits deep in the rough next to the green? Conditions that cause players to either stub chips or blade them into oblivion. “Heel Up” is the answer!
Stand with feet narrow and player posture so that your eyes are over the ball- similar to that when putting. Hold grip with hands a bit upright so that the shaft of the club is perpendicular to the ground. Raise the heel of the club up leaving only the toe of the club resting in (or near the top) of the grass behind the ball. Adjust the clubface so that the loft of the face angle is approximately 45 degrees. By using the toe (red colored portion of the club face in the picture), of the wedge, a minimal amount of the club is in contact with the long grass during the swing. The angle of the toe will spread the willowy tops of the grass with minimal resistance.
The swinging stroke is similar to a long flowing putting stroke. Thick grass will part and the ball will be excavated from the lie with a softness that will have a pretty predictable roll out.
Keep it down the middle!