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boogielicious

Rough Time with Rough

24 posts in this topic

I am struggling lately with playing shots out of rough.  Not pitch shots or shots with wedges, but longer shots that would require 7 iron to a 3 hybrid.  Below are three photos of different lies.  Assume you need to hit it with a 6 iron or more to reach the green.  How would you set up to hit these balls out or would you change your approach and just "get the ball out" with a wedge?

There is even some worse grass that I have been in lately with very tough material.  I will try to get a picture of that stuff.

1.  Light rough with little grass behind the ball.

2. Medium rough with the ball lying down.

3. Deep rough with the ball down deep.

Thanks for the help.

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Good idea for a thread. Looking forward to people's answers, especially those who suggest good setup and swing modifications to get the best contact.

I don't have much to offer, but:

1. I'm fine. Looks like a bit of a flyer to me, so I'd just swing normal 2. I don't think anything above 7-iron would work for me. Hybrid would probably be fine though. 3. I'm screwed. Probably my best move is sand wedge and advancing it like 60-70 yards down the fairway.

If there's one thing I've noticed about rough shots, when the ball is sitting way up, if I evenly distribute my weight, I get better contact. If I lean too much into my front foot, I tend to hit the ball too high on the face and I lose a lot of distance.

Again though, looking forward to what others have to say.

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1, Pretty normal- maybe even be a fairway at some muni's I've played :-D. Might fly, so adjust accordingly. 2. Might get at it with a hybrid or one of those railed fairway woods, possibly a 7 iron at most to get out, if there isn't a lot of room to work with or similar situation. Aim a bit right (for a righty) as the grass might grab the hosel and yank it left. 3. Just looking to advance the ball. I *might* attempt a 7 wood with a steeper angle of attack, if there isn't any trouble short in case of a chunker, but most likely a higher club like a 7 iron or more to get it back into play. Now, having said that- it would really depend on the type of grass. that looks pretty fluffy with little bite to it. A real grabby velcro type of grass would affect my decision. A harmless looking lie in medium bermuda could be a real nasty experience.
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# 1 is a breeze, #3..argh..play it back in my stance and hit Down with whatever club will get me close to where I'd like the ball to be.

BTW, # 3 looks like the rough at my home course...only thicker.. :-(

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One the first I'm mostly aware that I could hit a flyer if there's trouble long but I would expect a good shot most of the time.

On the second I would expect to make decent enough contact to hit a normal shot but would also have both the chance of a flyer or for the grass in front to smother it somewhat. So my odds of missing either long or short are greater than a ball in the fairway. Doubt if I would change my normal AOA on that one.

On the third I would expect big trouble with distance control and direction. Wouldn't exactly want to be going for an island green from that lie. I would change to a steeper AOA and expect the ball to come out lower. Probably less likely to miss long than the others (but still possible). More likely to come up short or miss left from the grass grabbing the hosel. With any trouble around I would consider laying up with a wedge even though laying up is not in my nature.

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Two things I do to help with balls from thick rough.

  1. Swing a bit more left. It helps to have a slightly steeper path into the ball. The ball shouldn't curve much anyway since it's coming out of the rough.
  2. Move the ball forward in my stance. This I favor because it lets me slide everything (head, hips, etc.) forward to really aggressively "go after" the ball. With the ball back in my stance, I might tend to tip back or flip at it a bit to add loft, which will just put more grass between the ball and the clubface.
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I have a pretty steep angle of attack naturally which helps when deciding not to play in the fairway.  That would be my first thought, to steepen the angle of attack.  If hitting a punch shot, I have had success opening my stance and moving the ball back.  I feel that opening my stance allows me to stay behind the ball when punching it out.  I find that it is even more important to make sure that you stay behind the ball when coming out of medium to heavy rough.  Otherwise I have a tendency to get too far ahead of the club face, really de-lofting it and snapping it shut in the grass causing major issues.

1. I wouldn't make much for adjustments.

2. I would club up in this situation.  It is tough to say exactly without standing over the ball but it looks like I could get through it.  Would hit a running punch (when applicable) if I am unable to get through the ball by just clubbing up.

3. I would definitely be looking to hit a low running punch shot if at all possible.  Depending on what I can get on the ball, I would take that club.  Probably nothing more than a 5 iron.  If I don't feel that I can get a good punch on the ball, I would just grab a wedge, advance and hope for par.

Regardless, I always choose the club/shot that I have the most confidence in when coming out of medium to deep rough. If I think I can get to the green but am not entirely confident, I try to pick something else.  I don't want to be hitting out of that stuff twice and I definitely don't want to penalize myself even further by introducing some sort of hazard.

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1, Pretty normal- maybe even be a fairway at some muni's I've played . Might fly, so adjust accordingly.

2. Might get at it with a hybrid or one of those railed fairway woods, possibly a 7 iron at most to get out, if there isn't a lot of room to work with or similar situation. Aim a bit right (for a righty) as the grass might grab the hosel and yank it left.

3. Just looking to advance the ball. I *might* attempt a 7 wood with a steeper angle of attack, if there isn't any trouble short in case of a chunker, but most likely a higher club like a 7 iron or more to get it back into play.

+1

With 3 I'd just take a rip and hope to advance it a good ways down field.  I would only use a wedge if I thought taking a rip wouldn't get the ball out of the rough.  Maybe @JetFan1983 's approach makes more sense though, since you would have more confidence in being able to put the ball in a particular spot.

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1.  Light rough with little grass behind the ball.

2. Medium rough with the ball lying down.

3. Deep rough with the ball down deep.

Thanks for the help.

1 - I'd change nothing except recognize the potential for a flyer.  So, if I was between clubs, for example, I'd choose the shorter one.  Otherwise, it's a normal shot.

2 - I'd move the ball back in my stance a hair to try and catch it with a steeper angle and theoretically get less grass.  (After reading Erik's explanation, however, I'm going to start trying that idea out)

3- - Same as 2 except I'd also club up and adjust my aim slightly assuming that I'm still coming up short.  If I'm in the left rough, for example, I'll aim for the front-right of the green instead of the middle.  If I come up short, I want to be in the fairway, not in the rough again.

Fun thread!

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I am bumping this thread hoping for some video from the masters @iacas and @mvmac . @JetFan1983 Shanghai'd the discussion with his wussy green side pitch shots.  I want help with manly 150 - 180 yard shots from the rough.  I had a couple yesterday and did fairly well with a 4 iron and 3H with lies in between 1&2 on longer holes.

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I am bumping this thread hoping for some video from the masters @iacas and @mvmac.   @JetFan1983 Shanghai'd the discussion with his wussy green side pitch shots.  I want help with manly 150 - 180 yard shots from the rough.  I had a couple yesterday and did fairly well with a 4 iron and 3H with lies in between 1&2 on longer holes.

Haha, yes. Yes, I did. I'm surprised this thread didn't take off as much.

And Bermuda flat out stinks when they grow it out!!!

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For #3 i would set up with the club a little open to the target. The rough has a tendency to grab the hosel and close the club at impact. Other than that, I would try and swing a little steeper.
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Some of the comments here think the high grass grabs the hosel, slows down the shaft and lets the face continue to the left. So aim more to the right of target. But others think the grass slows and opens the clubface, thus  ball shoots right. So aim more to the left.  I generally accept the latter.

Was it Rossi who advocated the baseball grip in high rough to prevent face from opening, and gripping strongly?

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This may sound heretical, but when I am faced with lie #3, I use a modified baseball grip with thumbs on top of shaft.

This prevents my club face from turning over and staying square through impact.

I hate the way it looks, but the result is always consistent with a low boring ball flight.

I hope this helps.

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This may sound heretical, but when I am faced with lie #3, I use a modified baseball grip with thumbs on top of shaft.

This prevents my club face from turning over and staying square through impact.

I hate the way it looks, but the result is always consistent with a low boring ball flight.

I hope this helps.

Interesting.  Thanks for posting @CarlOwen .

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sure! let me know how it works out on this thread. keep in mind, you do not have to overcompensate by aiming right, because the club will not turn over in the grass. Just aim straight for the flag.

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