It’s inevitable that we all find ourselves in deep rough from time to time. The key here is to make the right decision in order to avoid posting that big number on your card while giving you the chance to still save par. Follow the steps below and you’ll be well on your way to making better shot selection and limiting the damage to your round.
- When you’re in the rough, try to find a patch of grass similar to the one your ball is resting in for your practice swings. Don’t take a practice swing close to your ball though – you can easily disturb the grass your ball is sitting on, causing it to move and resulting in a penalty stroke.
- One of the biggest mistakes that most golfers make is being too greedy with their club selection. More often than not, you should take a very lofted club (like a wedge or 9 iron). Yes, that may automatically rule out reaching the green, but a less lofted club won’t get the ball up in the air quickly enough or it will come in at too shallow an angle getting caught up in the grass behind the ball.
- Find your straightest line to the fairway from the rough, so that even poor contact gets you out of difficulty. I see so many golfers try to gain a few extra yards either with a lower lofted club or by taking a more direct line to the flag. Even if it works out, all they’ll steal is a few extra yards making little difference to their next shot. Why not take the safer route and give yourself more room for error?
- Playing the ball in the back third of your stance will help you get a steeper angle of attack on a golf ball buried in thick rough. You may also want to hinge your wrists a little earlier in the back swing to feel like you’re picking the club up. This will allow you to make contact with the ball first rather than getting your club head caught up in the thick grass.
- Tighten your grip so the high grass doesn’t wrap itself around the club neck and twist the club in your hand. This would close the club face before impact and spell disaster.
It’s all about course management and making the right decision so you can give yourself the best opportunity to make par while minimizing the chances of posting a big number. Next time you’re in the rough, don’t try and be a hero because if things don’t work out, you may look quite foolish (and ruin a good round of golf).