You know the feeling - You smack a big drive off the tee box only to watch it peel like a banana and land deep in the rough. Not exactly what you had in mind, but hey it’s still in play and it wasn’t THAT bad of a shot.
First thing that little voice inside your head tells you after a shot like this is, “Hey the lie won’t be that bad up there…you can still get it on the green in regulation!"
Even when you walk up to your ball and find it settled down deep in the rough that little voice inside your head might still be saying something like, “Well…at least you can see the top of the ball…and if you can see it why not try to launch it up on the green with that trusty 5 iron of yours...right???"
This is the exact moment when most golfers can take one bad shot and turn it into a confidence crushing blow-up hole.
You’re better than that little voice inside your head, and you can play SMART from the rough using today’s simple tips...
Choose a high lofted club. When your ball is lodged in the rough a wedge or a short iron (8 or 9) is going to help you pop it up and out. Clubs with low lofts like long irons, fairway woods, or even hybrids can get caught up in the rough and cause you to duff your ball completely, or worse send it rocketing off into the lumber yard.
Get it back in play. It’s hard enough to hit a long approach shot onto the green from the fairway, and when you add some thick grass to the mix things only get worse. Instead of trying to be a hero and aiming for the pin, pick a target in the fairway that will position you well for your next shot. Think of it like a game of chess - you’re setting yourself up for your next move.
Hit down on the ball. Once you choose your club and your target all that’s left to do is blast your ball out of the rough, but you don’t need to swing like a caveman. To pop the ball up hit down on it, and be sure to finish your swing with a full weight shift to your front foot.
While it might be hard to swallow your ego and punch out into the fairway in these situations it's going to be well worth it when you are counting up your strokes (and your winnings) at the end of the round!
Helping you get the golf swing and game you've Always Imagined!
Daniel is the Head of Golf Instruction at IMAGEN Golf and Best Selling Author of "Unleash The Golfer Within".