Tip From the Archives

Sandy Rough Shot

Problem

The ball landed in the rough but the lie is also very sandy.

Cure

Focus only on getting the ball back in a playable position. The way the grass parts and feels in this situation will feel foreign; so do not place too much expectations on this shot. This might mean hitting it in the wrong direction if it means getting the ball somewhere that is more playable.

Therapy

Tighten your grip a little more with your forward hand to help prevent the clubhead from turning in the tall grass. Be certain to stabilize your swing like you would in the sand by digging your feet into the sand and compensate the height difference by choking down on the grip. Take a good look at your lie. Use a hybrid if you have a good lie and need a lot of distance. Think of it as being a teed ball and try to sweep it clean off of the grass. Use a shorter iron or wedge if you are not far from green. Steepen your swing by the clubhead off of the ground earlier in your swing or hinging your wrists earlier. Focus more on hitting down on the ball. The more grass between the clubhead and ball, the steeper you want your swing to help prevent the club from turning in the rough. Treat the shot like an explosive bunker shot if the grass is sitting down on the sand. Enter the sand an inch behind the ball and accelerate quickly during the downswing and well into the upswing to help get the club out of there without any interference from the grass.

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