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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Chipping from Thick Greenside Rough (Videos)

Since the pros at Harding Park struggled so much from the rough on Friday, I thought it might be worthwhile to look at chipping out of really thick greenside rough.

I've linked an article at that describes the basics of "thick rough chipping", but apparently they didn't care enough about it to keep links to the photos that are referenced in the article. Still, the description is very thorough and hopefully a couple of videos will provide the necessary visuals.

One thing you want to remember when reading this article is that they assume you're righthanded. Anywhere you see the word 'left' you should mentally substitute the word 'lead.' That way, you lefties out there can follow the instructions as well.
We'll start with a brief video from Bradley Hughes.

The other video is from Kelly King and goes into a bit more detail.

The main keys you need to remember are:

  • You want to keep your iron shaft more vertical than normal so you can use the toe of the club to hit the ball. That way you don't get caught up in the rough so badly.
  • This means you want to keep the grip more in the palm of your lead hand.
  • The net result of these two keys is that you're going to make a putting motion without a lot of wrist break. (The grip simply won't let you use a lot of wrist action.) That will make for a more consistent contact as you hit the ball.
  • At address the ball should be in the middle of your stance or just slightly back of that and the shaft should point at your belly button. Your weight should stay on your lead side all the way through the swing from start to finish.
  • And make sure you swing hard enough that the club doesn't stop in the grass. You have to swing hard enough to get the club all the way out of the grass; if you just stick the club in the grass, the ball isn't going to come out. For shorter shots use more loft; for longer shots use less loft. The loft will determine how high the ball flies coming out of the rough; learning how much to use is just a matter of practice.

If you follow these keys, the ball will "squirt" out of the rough and run across the green to the hole. That's what you want!

Even the pros struggle when faced with thick greenside rough. That doesn't mean it has to wreck your score if you just keep the basics in mind.

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