Pro Golf Tips: Roughing It

No matter what your skill level is in golf, if you have played, you have been in the rough.

Rough is the grass along the fairways and around the greens that is typically long grass and can wreak havoc on your next shot. Depending on the conditioning of your golf course, this grass can be anywhere in the range of two inches long up to five or six inches long and more.

Although the best way to get out of the rough is to not go in it, here are a few tips to help you.

The first thing that you want to do is check your lie. Your lie is how the ball is sitting. If it is sitting up and you can see most of the ball then you’re in luck. That means you have a much better chance of advancing the ball the distance that you need to approach the green. If your lie is sitting down, meaning that you can barely see the ball, then you need to make a few correct choices.

A ball sitting up in the rough

This shot can be played fairly similar to a fairway shot with a few exceptions. If you will be making a full swing to get to the green you need to be aware of a “Flyer.” A flyer occurs when a little grass gets between the ball and the clubface at impact, taking spin off the ball and resulting in a shot that goes farther than planned. When visualizing your shot and selecting a club, you may want to account for a flyer.

A ball sitting down in the rough

This shot needs to be played without any greed. In other words, if you have 150 yards to the green and you hit a 6 iron 150 yards, you may be better off hitting a pitching wedge out of the rough back to the middle of the fairway and another pitching wedge onto the green.

More often than not I see amateur golfers trying to hit their 6 iron in that situation or even worse, taking a 5 iron and swinging harder to get to the green. The result is typically a topped shot or possibly even a shank.

Loft is your friend when trying to get out of deep rough. The set up is to play the ball in the middle of your stance or slightly towards the back foot, ensuring that you are hitting down on the ball. Grip the club fairly firm so that the club will not turn in your hand as it goes through this thick grass.

When you’re in the rough, take a good look at your lie, visualize a reasonable shot to play, select the proper club, make a practice swing or two for feel, then execute the shot. Try out this plan and get out of the rough with more success.

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