PGA Professional Bill Flood’s-Golf Tips
Rough Shots Made Easier
In light rough it is essential that we minimize the amount of grass contacted between the clubface and the ball at impact. Your normal swing will approach to shallow (or level) to the ground causing the hosel of the club to become entangled with the long grass. This will close the clubface before impact, resulting in a low, hooking shot. The grass wrapping around the club head will also have a tendency to slow down the club head creating poor contact and a loss of distance. Therefore, shots from the rough require a swing with a steeper angle of approach of club to ball.
There are three choices of shots from the light rough.
Situation 1: Low, running shot to achieve maximum distance. Select a club with adequate loft (7 iron) and de-loft the club head at address playing the ball further back in your stance, with hands and weight set toward the front foot. Swing the club head up steeply in the back swing and hit down into the back of the ball using predominantly hands and arms. The steeper approach of club to ball will minimize the amount of grass contacted between the club face and the ball allowing solid impact and produce a shot that will fly lower and run much farther than normal ( maybe as much as a four iron distance).
Situation 2: A high shot from the rough. Select a club with less loft than normal (an 8 iron for 9 iron distance). Play the ball further forward at address (opposite the front foot) with the clubface set slightly open. Swing the club up and down the alignment of your shoulders making sure to continue to turn the hips through the ball towards the target. This will produce a slightly out-to-in (steeper) swing with a slightly open clubface, resulting in a high-flying lofted shot.
Situation 3: Using a fairway wood from the rough. Always use a wood with plenty of loft; preferably a five or seven wood. Set up and play the shot exactly as described in situation 2 (the high, soft shot). Because there will be less backspin on the wood, but still some slice spin from the open face, the ball will tend to fade. Aim slightly left of your target to allow for this.