‘Assess the lie to pick the right recovery shot from the rough’
Most amateurs hit poor shots from the rough because they try something totally unrealistic – usually trying to hit a mid or long iron from a lie that not even a tour pro would attempt the shot from. Sometimes you can go for the green but check the lie before you decide on your club. If it’s a bad lie, be smart and get the ball back into play. But if you’ve got a reasonable lie you can go for it. Adjust your set-up and technique depending on whether it’s sitting up or down, as I describe below.
Favour your left side with your weight and move the ball a fraction further back in your stance to encourage a steeper swing that will get the clubhead down to the back of the ball for contact that is as clean as possible. The more you hit down on the ball the higher it will launch. Grip the club a little shorter given the ball is off the ground and you don’t want to swing underneath it and make contact high on the clubface – in that scenario, the ball will come out dead and fall short of your target. You still want to hit down on the ball for a solid strike. The first thing you have to do is analyse how the ball is sitting. If the ball is sat up on top of the grass you can try and get it to the green. But if it’s sat down then the maximum you can use is a short iron because you need loft to get the ball in the air. When it’s sitting up… When it’s sitting down… Assess the lie