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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Are You Stuck in the Deep Stuff?

Since the big boys struggled so much up at Merion during the first two rounds of the U.S. Open -- and will probably continue to do so over the weekend -- I thought this might be a good time to look at ways to escape the deep stuff.

And I do mean DEEP stuff. There is plenty of instruction on how to play out of the rough, but the videos rarely ever show the instructor hitting out of SERIOUS rough. For example, Martin Hall has video showing the techniques but he's in a studio. Other teachers demonstrate techniques out of only 2- or 3-inch rough.

But not Irish golf instructor Barry Power. He's in some seriously deep rough here and, while it may look a bit sparse compared to the green stuff at Merion, the color of the grass is misleading. You can barely even see the ball...

He has three main keys to pulling this shot off, and they're very simple: Take your grip so the club face is open about 45 degrees, just like in a sand shot, position yourself so the ball is about an inch back of the center of your stance, and then make a "confident" swing -- which means you don't have to swing out of your shoes.

The idea is to hit the ball without catching any more rough than necessary. Moving the ball back in your stance helps with that because it gives you a steeper swing down onto the ball. Likewise, opening the club face presents less of the leading edge to get hung up as you swing down.

Then, once you're down into the rough, the grass snags the hosel and twists the face square so you get a solid hit. You don't swing out of your shoes because you need to make solid contact, not jerk away while pretending you're a bodybuilder, and making solid contact in the rough is hard enough as it is.

This is an easy-to-use method for getting out of the deep stuff. Some of the pros could use it this week at Merion!

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