Butch Harmon has a new article over at Golf Digest about how to avoid hitting flyers from the rough. Now, you're probably not too impressed by this news. After all, everybody knows that you move the ball back a bit in your stance ("about middle for a short iron," Butch says) so the shaft leans forward a little, and then you hit down on it so you don't catch grass between the clubface and ball. Everybody knows this, correct?
But there's one small thing in the article that I bet you DON'T know... and that small thing is important.
Most of us expect a flyer when the ball sits down in the rough. Butch is warning you against balls that sit on top of the rough.
That's a bit of a shocker, isn't it? If the ball is on top of the rough, that's a good break. And if you were using a wood out of the rough, it probably wouldn't be that big of a deal because there's less loft on the club. That means you're going to hit more toward the midpoint of the ball.
But with a short iron, the extra loft contacts the ball down below that midpoint. In fact, the face catches the ball much closer to the bottom of the ball... and if you catch it just a bit low, you're going to get grass between the clubface and ball.
And since the ball is coming out higher (because of the extra loft), with less spin (because of the grass between the clubface and ball), it's going to fly a bit farther.
So, even though the ball is perched on top of the rough, you need to be careful if you're playing a short iron. Read that article closely, folks -- it's the short iron that can cause the trouble.
Thanks for the tip, Butch!
[UPDATE: Yeah, I know I posted a video from Butch on how to hit irons perched on the rough a couple weeks back. However, that video doesn't have the warning against short irons causing flyers. That's the reason I posted this. But I know it looks a little weird. I blame Butch for doing them separate! ;-)]