play the run up 1

    When playing from thick rough, it’s generally wise to take the most lofted club possible based on your distance to the target. It’s also difficult – and inadvisable -- to play a low, running shot from thick grass.

    The exception to both rules is when you’re relatively close to the green and have room to run the ball onto the surface.

    For example, let’s say you’ve got 120 yards to the flag, with no hazards between you and the front of the green. While you could try to muscle the ball to fly the full distance, you risk a big pull if the grass grabs the hosel and turns the clubhead over. Instead, take one or two clubs extra (8- or 9-iron instead of pitching wedge) and pick out a spot short of the green where you want to land the ball.

    play the run up 3

    Then execute the shot by:

  • Gripping down a couple of inches and squaring the clubface to your target.
  • Placing the ball in the center of your stance and aiming slightly right of your target; the ball will often come out left when hit from heavy rough.
  • Making a three-quarters swing that accelerates through impact.

  • The ball will shoot out low, hit the ground running and roll onto (or at least near) the green. This method makes it easier to control the shot, removing the variables that come into play with a full swing from thick grass.