Essentials of Playing from the Rough

Essentials of Playing from the Rough

Before you play from these lies you will need to assess the lie and how you think the ball will come out. 

Ball Sitting on Top of The Grass

  • You will need a shallow bottom to your arc to sweep the ball off the top of the grass. It is very easy to get too steep and go under the ball or hit it with the tip edge fo the club.
  •  This is the typical flyer lie where backspin is greatly reduced and the ball not only flies further but will roll more when it lands. This can be very difficult to predict and control.
  • On a positive note, you will be able to get a lot of distance from this lie.

Ball Sitting Down in the Rough

This is a totally different prospect and will need an alternative approach.

  • Firstly, decide what the longest you think you can hit from here is (assuming that you have a long distance to the green).
  • You will need to deliver a slightly, 'chopping' motion into the ball so lean forward and get your hands forward of the ball.
  • Keep your weight left and hit down keeping a forward leaning shaft through the strike.
  • The ball will come out lower and less far than normal. Needless to say, it will have limited backspin on it too.


Advanced Section

Judging the flight of the ball and the spin you are going to create are the biggest challenge. Anything that is down grain, is going to catch a flyer. That great news when you are trying to advance the ball up the fairway but highly troublesome when you are downwind and trying to stop it on a green. In this scenario, I would hit less club and hit it harder to get as much spin as possible.

Playing into the grain will be much harder to create a decent strike and achieve any distance.

Movement Psychology

The mental challenge here is to trust that a downward motion will get the ball out and advance it up the fairway. Any intentions to lift the ball will result in topping it only a few yards.

Additionally, don't take on more that you can manage. It is far preferable to hit a pitching wedge 70 yards than to try and hit a longer club and leave it in the rough.