Why practising out of rough will boost your ball-striking
ith all due respect to the late Sam Snead and his well-intended advice, if you grip your club like you’re holding a baby bird and try to maintain that light pressure, you won’t like the result. Ever see tour players hit shots in slow motion? Do they look like they’re out for a Sunday stroll? No, they’re taking a serious rip at the ball, and the strained expressions on their faces prove it.
One of the biggest mistakes I see is golfers trying to make loosey-goosey, tension-free swings. Things easily get out of sync that way, plus there’s no real power behind the shot.The arms and body should be working together, especially through the impact zone.
One of the best ways to improve that partnership is to hit iron shots out of thick grass. It might sound like a strange practice drill, but believe me, you don’t see people trying to get out of the rough with oppy swings. They might start relaxed, but the pressure between the arms and body builds as the swing progresses. They instinctively brace for impact to stabilise the club as it moves through the heavy grass.
That stable feeling is what you want on your shots from the fairway, too. So go find a spot in some rough where you can practice. I’ll give you a couple of keys to help your technique.
a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, is based at the Stanford (California) University Golf Course and the Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco.