A ball perched high in the greenside rough can cause all sorts of problems. The worst case is when your club slides completely underneath the ball, failing to make contact. You’ve lost a stroke and been embarrassed in the process.
Fortunately, that’s a rare and usually avoidable occurrence. But you must pay close attention to your lie and swing to ensure it doesn’t happen.
First, check out the ball’s position. Is it sitting up in the grass, at least an inch above ground level? If so, proceed with caution.
In these cases, the sand wedge is your best friend. The club’s bounce means it’s got a thicker bottom, so there’s less chance of the blade slipping under the ball cleanly. Sand wedge in hand, here’s how to handle a fluffy greenside lie:
- Place the ball back in your stance – right of center (for righties).
- Your hands should be ahead of the ball, the shaft leaning toward the target.
- Keep the clubface square or slightly open to the target.
- Make your normal chipping swing, being sure to hit down on the ball by keeping your hands ahead of the club. This will prevent you from cutting underneath the ball.
Don’t try to be a hero in these situations. If you go for the fancy flop shot, you may end up whiffing the ball.