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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Improve Your Chances of Getting Out of the Rough

It figures. Golf Digest did an article on getting out of the rough after the US Open. (I can think of some big names who could have used this earlier...) This article is pretty detailed so you'll want to read it all, but I'll give you the high points. (Rough, high points... get it?)

Phil making some rough calculations

First of all, ignore the yardage and take a club that will actually get the ball out of the rough. Obviously you don't want to hit the ball into a hazard because it didn't travel far enough, but neither do you want to leave it in the rough because it didn't travel at all!

Bill Schmedes III (the instructor featured in this article) also says you need to move the ball back in your stance at address. He specifically says "an inch and a half." It's nice when a teacher gives you a specific number. I suppose he means an inch and a half back of your normal ball position for the club you choose, not just an inch and a half back of center.

Coupled with the ball position change, he says to aim more to the right (for a rightie; more to the left for a leftie) because the rough will likely grab your club and cause a hook.

Finally he says to make sure you hit down on the ball. If you try to help it up, you'll come in too shallow and get too much grass between the ball and clubface. He has a short list of things that might help you do this more easily; you'll want to read the article and see which one will help you the most.

While few of us have to deal with fescue, thick rough is just a fact of life. This article should give you some tools -- and some hope -- for the next time you end up there.