Getting out the rough
I always like showing customers this technique at this time of the year as, by now, the rough is growing like wildfire. The greenkeepers are doing their best to keep it down, but there will always be those patches of the golf course that you were not supposed to be in. Possibly the ones that have not had the attention they should have from the staff.
Firstly, I have an equation for you: the longer the grass you are in, the more lofted club you take. If it is jungle, get your sand wedge or even lob wedge out and take your punishment. These clubs are not only lofted but are very heavy headed. In fact, they’re custom made for the removal of matter, sand grass and anything else that gets in their way.
Take the short route out
Next piece of advice: choose a way out that will get you back into play. I see many guys in long rough aim straight for the green with their recovery shot. This may require them to move the ball over 100 yards of rough before arriving on manicured surfaces again. Nearly always this will be followed by what I like to call “Bunny Hop” shots, as they progress down the rough, 10 yards at a time. Take the easiest and shortest route back onto the fairway. Take your medicine. Remember, you shouldn’t be in here in the first place so don’t compound the error.
Finally, when you have chosen the club and exit route, here is the technique. Position the ball in the middle of your feet. Lean your weight heavily onto your lead leg. Grip the club tight and lift it steeply upwards not allowing your shoulders to turn or your weight to transfer onto your trailing leg. This will then allow you to deliver a sharp, steep, downward blow into the back of the ball. This minimizes the amount of grass tangling between the club and the ball before impact.
Hopefully with sufficient contact on the back of the ball the loft of the club and weight of it will shoot the ball upwards and outwards back onto the green stuff. This is where you want to stay :).
By Jon Woodroffe: Master Professional, World of Golf London