How to get out of the Rough
My first point with this article would be, come to one of our PGA qualified golf professionals and get some lessons so that your golf ball does not miss the fairway as often, they will be able with a slight tweak here and there to make you find more short grass than ever before.
But if you do have a bad day and end up in trouble, here are a few pointers you need to remember to get yourself back into play as quickly and painlessly as possible. At this time of the year the grass will be starting to grow like wildfire, and much though the greenkeepers will be working like mad, they will struggle to keep pace with it, so the rough becomes lusher and thus tougher than ever.
First generalisation I would go for is the longer the grass you are in the more lofted the club you should use. So if you are in light rough and think that you can get your rescue club on it, then go for it, but remember we have all done the hole where you end up hopping up the whole length of the hole in the rough, going from one bad lie to the next without ever getting free. Don’t be greedy, take your medicine and use enough loft on the club, sure you sacrifice some yards, but you will get out quicker.
Then there is the angle that you come out at. Again, this depends on each circumstance, but if you have 150 yards of rough to clear to get to the green from an appalling lie, you will inevitably be hopping your way up the rough to the green in a lot of shots. If the lie is terrible, there is no ignominy in hitting sideways back onto the fairway, but preferably try to find an angle that will allow you to get back on the fairway without having to make a career defining quality connection and shot.
Then there is the shot itself. Firstly, when you have found the ball, be careful that while addressing the ball you do not clumsily place the club behind the ball and disturb the grass that the ball is lying on as if you move the ball by accident, even just half an inch that will count as a shot. Your opponent may be 50 yards away on the other side of the fairway and you have moved your ball one inch, but it is down to your integrity whether you admit to that. Also be aware that you may remove from around the ball any material that is dead and now unattached to the ground, although by moving this if you move the ball in the process, that will be a penalty shot, so the touch of a surgeon may be required, anything alive and attached has got to stay that way.
Finally there is the technique to this shot. Position the ball in the middle of your feet, lean your weight substantially onto your front foot. During the swing make sure you do not move your weight at all and in fact try not to move other than swinging your arms and the club. This will cause a very steep angle of takeaway and lead to a very steep angle of attack on the ball. This steepness will allow the club to have the minimum amount of tangling with the grass between clubhead and ball prior to impact. If your clubhead catches the grass a lot before it makes contact with the ball then this will slow the speed of the club head and thus reduce the amount of power applied to the golf ball and thus reduce the chance of the ball coming flying out of the rough.
By virtue of the steepness of the angle of attack of the clubhead into the back of the golf ball there is likely to be little or no follow through as you will have to have removed half the Earth’s core to get to follow through. So when you start the swing remember to grip the club tighter than usual as the grass will try it’s best to rip the club out of your hands.
So all in all try to avoid the rough, let our professionals show you how, but in the event of a freak wind or a bad bounce, this should help you get out of the rough.
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