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djake

Need Insight - Thick Rough Lie Right at the Green

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I appreciate your advice and help, this shot is a challenge for me and I am not figuring it out.  Your insight on club selection and how you hit the ball is appreciated.

The Shot:

Ball has nestled into the thick, like real thick grass just past the fringe.  It maybe 3" to 6" into the thick stuff.  The shot is downhill with the cup at the legal 8' from the edge of the green so you very little green to work with.  Due to the quality of the rough and how thick it is more times then not the grass is wet, especially when it is a early morning round.  Later in the day this thick near PGA quality type rough will dry out but still the grass really maintains the moisture.  Then also the green speed has picked up.

These greens roll exceptionally well, they are very fast.  At one time at a 12.5 stimpmeter reading.  They have brought the speed down a tich, like between a 11 & 12 now.  But if you find your line these greens roll so true that it you can trust them.

Quick recap:

Very thick rough, ball is nestled down, you can see it.  Probably 6" deep

The fringe is like 12"

8' of green to work with

Downhill on fast greens, after the cup is a lot of down hill so if you hit it to firm you will be in a very long up hill putt that is more then likely a 2 putt now.

I am at work and will be checking back from time to time so sorry for any delays in responding

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Sounds like you might want to go with more of a specialty shot, such as a flop. I only just learned the proper technique for these last weekend, but it is something I'm working on getting confident with as I do see some value in being able to hit it when the situation arises.

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8 minutes ago, djake said:

It maybe 3" to 6" into the thick stuff.  The shot is downhill with the cup at the legal 8' from the edge of the green so you very little green to work with.

I didn't know anything closer was illegal? Oh well.. 

How I would play this shot.

  1. I would take my lob wedge, open it up. Set it down behind the ball and then line up to the club so it's forward in my stance.
  2. Get the center of my chest to be just in front of the ball with a lot of weight on my front foot.
  3. I want to pick the club up vertical and hit down a bit steeper than I would normally do to combat the grass gripping the golf shaft. I will just let gravity and my pivot generate a ton of speed. There will be very little follow through since the club is coming in steeper and I want gravity to do most of the work. The ball should just pop out. 

 

 

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Obviously the priority is put it on the green. Since the tendency is to get cute and stab, make sure to follow through a bit.  Depending on how long the grass is, i might go for the toe down, chip like swing to give it a little pop. 

3 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

Sounds like you might want to go with more of a specialty shot, such as a flop. I only just learned the proper technique for these last weekend, but it is something I'm working on getting confident with as I do see some value in being able to hit it when the situation arises.

Probably not a flop. Don’t need to go far and if there is uncertainty in the thickness we don’t want the face closing.  

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4 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

Sounds like you might want to go with more of a specialty shot, such as a flop. I only just learned the proper technique for these last weekend, but it is something I'm working on getting confident with as I do see some value in being able to hit it when the situation arises.

I learned the flop shot this season for a lot of the shots around the green out of this rough.  If it is an uphill shot this tight I will hit a flop.  Downhill though has not worked out.  Blading it has happened and developing the touch when it is such a soft shot.  The wedge doesn't get thru the rough

 

2 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I didn't know anything closer was illegal? Oh well.. 

How I would play this shot.

  1. I would take my lob wedge, open it up. Set it down behind the ball and then line up to the club so it's forward in my stance.
  2. Get the center of my chest to be just in front of the ball with a lot of weight on my front foot.
  3. I want to pick the club up vertical and hit down a bit steeper than I would normally do to combat the grass gripping the golf shaft. I will just let gravity and my pivot generate a ton of speed. There will be very little follow through since the club is coming in steeper and I want gravity to do most of the work. The ball should just pop out. 

 

 

Way back in the 70's & 80's when I worked at a golf course i\I was taught the pin could not be any closer then 8' from the edge of the green when setting them.  Maybe that has changed because it sure feels like the pin is closer then 8' to the edge when I am looking at this.

I will practice this shot.  This is different then the flop I have been trying.

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7 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I didn't know anything closer was illegal? Oh well.. 

It's not. There are only recommendations. No such thing as a legal or illegal pin placement.

 

Anyways, as for the deep rough I'd just have Fatrick Reed play the shot for me... 😉

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8 minutes ago, djake said:

I will practice this shot.  This is different then the flop I have been trying.

For me it feels like the hands stop around outside the left hip (for righty) as the club thumps down and below the ball to pop it out of the thick rough. 

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9 minutes ago, phillyk said:

Obviously the priority is put it on the green. Since the tendency is to get cute and stab, make sure to follow through a bit.  Depending on how long the grass is, i might go for the toe down, chip like swing to give it a little pop. 

Probably not a flop. Don’t need to go far and if there is uncertainty in the thickness we don’t want the face closing.  

A flop doesn't need to go far at all though. I think the variation @saevel25 is describing sounds like a reasonable thing to try.

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46 minutes ago, djake said:

I appreciate your advice and help, this shot is a challenge for me and I am not figuring it out.  Your insight on club selection and how you hit the ball is appreciated.

The Shot:

Ball has nestled into the thick, like real thick grass just past the fringe.  It maybe 3" to 6" into the thick stuff.  The shot is downhill with the cup at the legal 8' from the edge of the green so you very little green to work with.  Due to the quality of the rough and how thick it is more times then not the grass is wet, especially when it is a early morning round.  Later in the day this thick near PGA quality type rough will dry out but still the grass really maintains the moisture.  Then also the green speed has picked up.

These greens roll exceptionally well, they are very fast.  At one time at a 12.5 stimpmeter reading.  They have brought the speed down a tich, like between a 11 & 12 now.  But if you find your line these greens roll so true that it you can trust them.

Quick recap:

Very thick rough, ball is nestled down, you can see it.  Probably 6" deep

The fringe is like 12"

8' of green to work with

Downhill on fast greens, after the cup is a lot of down hill so if you hit it to firm you will be in a very long up hill putt that is more then likely a 2 putt now.

I am at work and will be checking back from time to time so sorry for any delays in responding

I’m interested to know this hole layout. What are your chances of avoiding this lie altogether? A par 3? Is this your approach on a par 4 or or your 2nd/3rd on a par 5? If this shot does occur which obviously it did I agree with @saevel25 technique.

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38 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

For me it feels like the hands stop around outside the left hip (for righty) as the club thumps down and below the ball to pop it out of the thick rough. 

I'm with Matt, I think of this as similar (not identical) to a bunker shot.  Set up open, open the face to the line.  I want to have a significant amount of clubhead speed so the grass behind the ball doesn't kill it all, but lots of loft to keep the ball from going real far.  The idea of a steeper attack helps to decrease the amount of grass you have to swing through.  This is the difference from a bunker shot, the steep approach, and the early finish.    The other REALLY important thing, you don't want to hit this shot a second time.  Get it out of the rough on your first try, no matter what.  A 20, 30, even 40-foot putt is almost certainly better than having to try this again.

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If it were me, I’d use a lob wedge and try to land it just on the fringe and let it trickle down to the pin. 

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46 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

For me it feels like the hands stop around outside the left hip (for righty) as the club thumps down and below the ball to pop it out of the thick rough. 

this makes even more sense now, thanks @saevel25

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

his is the difference from a bunker shot, the steep approach, and the early finish. 

For a bunker shot, I tend to open the clubface up slightly and lower the handle slightly, then do a normal pitch motion. The finish is much more around waist high for a bunker shot, but that might be I am not hitting a massive amount of grass. 

 

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24 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I’m interested to know this hole layout. What are your chances of avoiding this lie altogether? A par 3? Is this your approach on a par 4 or or your 2nd/3rd on a par 5? If this shot does occur which obviously it did I agree with @saevel25 technique.

It is more common type of shot on this course.  The course is 101 years old, greens tilt back to front with a lot of undulation.  They hold extremely nice but the only way you are on the green is if you hit them.  If you are short you are short.  The approach and fringe gobble up shots.  No bounce and roll on.

This shot is terrifying when the pin is at the back of the green and you are just long.

If the pin is on either side of the green and you are just above it at and angle it can be a steep downhill run.  

The rough is like this throughout the course.  Runs along side the fairways and continues around the greens.  Sand traps are your friends here.  I would much rather end up in the sand trap then this rough.

Add in the fact that this is not a flat course.  Lots of terrain change, uneven lies.  It is a fun and tough course

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11 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

For a bunker shot, I tend to open the clubface up slightly and lower the handle slightly, then do a normal pitch motion. The finish is much more around waist high for a bunker shot, but that might be I am not hitting a massive amount of grass. 

As we both know, feel ain't real, and descriptions can be tough.  I bet we play the shot from the rough pretty similarly, open face, plenty of speed, relatively steep attack.  It sounds like maybe our bunker techniques are a bit different.  

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm with Matt, I think of this as similar (not identical) to a bunker shot.  Set up open, open the face to the line.  I want to have a significant amount of clubhead speed so the grass behind the ball doesn't kill it all, but lots of loft to keep the ball from going real far.  The idea of a steeper attack helps to decrease the amount of grass you have to swing through.  This is the difference from a bunker shot, the steep approach, and the early finish.    The other REALLY important thing, you don't want to hit this shot a second time.  Get it out of the rough on your first try, no matter what.  A 20, 30, even 40-foot putt is almost certainly better than having to try this again.

Amen.  Priority one is don't have to hit this shot a second time.  Get it out of the tall grass.  Sometimes you just have to take what the course allows and in this situation a shot that leaves the ball on the green or short grass is good.  Close to the pin would be a miracle. 

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One additional option you could do depending on how buried it is is to use a hybrid/3 wood and just pop it out onto the fringe and let it release down the hill. Less risky than a flop shot IMO

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15 minutes ago, klineka said:

One additional option you could do depending on how buried it is is to use a hybrid/3 wood and just pop it out onto the fringe and let it release down the hill. Less risky than a flop shot IMO

I disagree with this. If the ball is sitting up in the grass, then probably a PW chip shot may work out better. I think it would be extremely hard to judge the speed and trajectory of the ball off the clubface when you use a hybrid or 3-wood. Also, both of those are flatter than wedges, and more likely to get caught up in the rough. 

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