Out Of The Rough
By Chris Foley
When faced with a shot out of the rough, there are a few factors that we need to consider to properly execute the shot. Shots being hit from the rough are not nearly as straight forward as a shot hit from a nice lie in the fairway.
• Assessing the lie – how the ball is sitting in the grass and the length of the grass influence our club selection, ball position, and our angle of attack on the golf ball.
• Club selection – From a clean lie in the fairway, a well struck shot should go its “stock” yardage for the golfer. Out of the rough, distance is going to be affected by how the ball is sitting. A ball sitting down in heavy, thick, rough is going to fly shorter and likely more off line due to there being more grass between the clubface and the golf ball at impact. A ball “sitting up” in the rough may fly further than it would out of a lie in the fairway. The ball will tend to hit higher on the face and fly higher and further.
Once you have determined the lie of the ball and your club selection then make the following adjustments.
• Move the ball position back slightly to promote a steeper angle of attack.
• Depending on the thickness and depth of the rough, grip the club firmer. Deep rough will cause the heal or hosel to catch and close the clubface. By holding the club tighter, this will help minimize this effect.
• Consider hitting a hybrid or fairway wood for longer shots. The design of these clubs allows the club to glide through the rough easier than an iron.
Accounting for and considering these factors will give you a better opportunity to hit quality shots when you find yourself out of the fairway!