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How Do I Play Out Of The Rough?

Jun 19, 2008
Have you ever pushed your ball wide of the fairway? Have you ever sliced it into the cabbage? I'm guessing the answer is yes. Let's face it, when have you ever played a round of golf without putting your ball into the rough at some point? Never!

The designers of golf courses have several weapons in their armoury to make playing golf a challenge and one of those weapons is the rough. Rough is as rough does and can vary from a slightly higher cut on the sides of the fairway to foot high jungle that seems impenetrable for even the most seasoned golfer.

With a bit of practice and the right technique this does not have to be a score wrecking situation. The majority of lies can be played, you just need to know how.I give you these tips to help you play from the worst positions in the hope that they will save a few strokes and help to make you a better golfer.

The key to playing out of the rough is, dont panic. You can end up thinning a shot which will disappear into greater trouble or duff it and leave the ball buried deeper. Calm, collected thoughts will see you back on the fairway or green in no time.Choose a highly lofted wedge such as a sand wedge or, even better, a lob wedge.

First consideration is the set up. You want to set your weight favouring the leg closest to your target, the left leg for righties. All directions in this article will be for right handed players henceforth. Feel your weight leaning slightly along the intended line as this will assist you to perform a nice steep downward strike on to the ball. Keep a fairly wide stance to help you balance and flex your knees to allow you grip the club lower down. This is important to increase the level of control you can get.

You will want to firm up your grip to prevent the grass from twisting the club as you swing through but keep your wrists fairly soft to allow a good wrist cock. The swing is mainly in the arms and wrists, again this is to achieve a steep angle of attack.

Swing the club with meaning. A definite action is needed to get the clubhead through the grass and less than full commitment will result in a duffed shot. With the clubhead impacting on the ball at a severe downward angle the ball will pop up and out. A word of caution, with a lot of grass between the club and the ball any control of spin will be lost so don't expect the ball to check up significantly. If it is greenside rough aim for the widest part of the green so the ball has a chance to stay on it.

Most players that do any practice at all will generally play off of a smooth surface such as a fairway or practice ground so go one better and try a few balls out of the scary stuff and when you need it, you got it. May your golf gods go with you.
About the Author
Norman Stanley is a weekend hacker and part time tutor with particular interests in the mental game and short game wedge playCheap Golf
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