Tip From the Archives

Rough near the Green

Problem

You find yourself in greenside rough and want the ball to get up into the air. You might also have problems skulling shots from the rough because you only brush the top of the grass.

Cure

You should select either a sand wedge or lob wedge, based on the distance to the pin. Feel the grass near the ball to assess how deep the lie is. If the grass is higher than the ball, you could gently brush your hands over the top of the grass for a better feel. This will help you determine how low the clubhead needs to be in order to make contact with the ball because you need to swing down into the grass in order to obtain proper loft. The further down the ball is in the rough, you should open your clubface a little more and shift weight more towards the target. If it is sitting up on the grass, then you need a level approach with your weight a little more centered.

Therapy

Take practice swings near the ball where the grass is about the same depth as the lie and visualize executing the shot at hand. Your arms and the shaft of the club maintain a Y-shape from address through impact. Do not be afraid to take a divot as you swing down into the bottom of the grass. Your head should be just ahead of the ball to help get the bottom of the swing arc behind the ball for a downward blow. The speed of your swing will be dependent on how much grass there is between the ball and your clubface; the more there is, the faster your forward swing needs to be.

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