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  In the rough > Tip of the day

 

Tip of the Day

Explode from Greenside Rough

When their ball is nestled down in deep, greenside rough, I see many of my students attempt a standard chip shot. This just won’t work—your clubhead will catch in the grass and you’ll make inconsistent contact: the ball will come out hot one time and advance only a foot or two the next. Others will try to pitch the ball out of the rough, taking a steep swing in an effort to catch the ball first. This is an extremely difficult shot with a miniscule margin for error—most weekend players will fail to pull it off nine times out of 10. Or, they will try to hit up on the ball in an effort to lift it out of the rough. This move is a disaster that will produce a fat or thin shot every time.

The next time you find your ball sitting down in moderate to heavy greenside rough, treat it like an explosion shot from a bunker. Open your stance slightly so that your feet, knees and hips are aimed 10 to 12 yards left of the target (for a right-hander). Position the majority of your weight on your forward foot and be sure to leave it there throughout the swing—keep your lower body as quiet as possible. Aim your sand wedge directly at your target and don’t allow the clubhead to release through impact—finish with the clubface pointing up to the sky. And finally, don’t try to lift the ball into the air or to hit down on it. Instead, make a U-shaped swing, keeping the clubhead moving through the grass as long as possible. The ball will fly out high and soft—every time.

A standard pitch shot or bump-and-run will not work when your ball is nestled deep in the greenside rough. Set up as though for a bunker explosion, with your body lines aimed left of the target and the clubface open so that it is pointed slightly to the right.

Swing the clubhead to the ball along your body lines (a slightly out-to-in path) and hit behind the ball. It will fly out high and land soft


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