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3 Step Guide to Getting Out of the Rough

Updated on January 14, 2012

Although most golfers don't have the opportunity to face rough that is as thick and long as the rough that touring golf professionals have to face, but rough on your local public or private course can still pose a difficult challenge.

A good thought to keep in mind when you've hit your golf shot off-line and into the rough is that a mistake has been made, and a par is going to be a good score. The rough is meant to be punishment, and even though the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy may not make it look as such, it is always best to just play safe and accept the best-case scenario.

There are three very basic, yet very important things to remember when approaching a golf shot out of the rough. Remembering these three things will ensure you'll give yourself the best chance of making a successful shot and a hope of getting up-and-down.

1. Analyze the Lie

The vast majority of giving yourself the best chance at making a successful shot out of the rough is the lie, which is why it is vital to analyze how your golf ball has ended up. Unlike the fairway, a golf ball in the rough could be sitting up on top of the grass of sitting down inside the grass. On top of these two scenarios, the ball could have grass in front of it - increasing the chance of grass getting between the golf ball and your club face at the moment of impact - resulting in a flyer. With the ball sitting on top of the grass, there is a significant chance of the ball impacting your golf ball very high on the club face, which results in an unexpected ball flight and reaction upon landing.

There are a lot of different things that can happen as a result of hitting the ball into the rough... You could even get bitten by a snake...

So before you've even thought about choosing a golf club to use, make sure you've analyzed the lie of your golf ball and understand the different effects the rough can have on your golf ball. Analyze and then make adjustments to your expectations. You'll increase your chance of hitting a better shot by predicting the outcome beforehand.

2. Make sure your weight is on your front foot in the stance

Once you've decided what type of shot you want to play as a result of the lie of your golf ball, the next thing to pay attention to is the strike you impart on the golf ball. When the ball is in the fairway, there is very little chance of grass getting in the way of your club face at the moment of impact.

The other benefit of placing all your weight on your front foot is it eliminates any chance of a sweep on your downswing, which will get rid of any chance of hitting the ball "chunky" or "fat".

3. Hit it hard

If nothing else, the one most important thing to do when your ball has landed in the rough is to hit the ball very hard when trying to get out. Chances are that if you're going to hit the ball hard, regardless of the quality of impact, you're going to get the ball moving - which is what we're looking for anyway.

Even if you've analyzed your lie and are placing all your weight onto your front foot, but swing slowly or decelerate into impact, your golf shot will still not be successful (the majority of the time). One of the major causes of a golfer swinging slowly is a lack of trust in the shot at hand. Trust is so important in the golf swing, as it allows your body to do what you've practiced for hours and hours on the range or at home. By not trusting that you've got the ability to hit the shot that you've visualized, you're undermining all the work you've put into your game. Why would you want to do that?

So, swing hard and confidently - then watch the ball land exactly where you've planned.


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