Flush it from the rough.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - By Jeff Rit­ter

When you’re done cy­cling through the typ­i­cal phases of a golfer’s men­tal state af­ter hit­ting one in deeper rough – from dis­ap­point­ment to anger to an­guish to fi­nally, res­ig­na­tion – give your­self a healthy slap in the face (glove hand, pre­ferred) and cue the in­ter­nal “Raiders of the Lost Ark” theme song. You’ve got this.

Not only are you go­ing to put the ball back in play, you’re go­ing to give your­self a de­cent chance of hit­ting the green. It helps to have the right at­ti­tude, but what re­ally mat­ters are the ad­just­ments you make to your club se­lec­tion, setup and swing.They’re not that com­pli­cated, and re­mem­ber­ing to do even a few of them can help keep you from play­ing your next shot a cou­ple of steps in front of where you are now. So take heed.

First, club se­lec­tion. If the green is too far away for a short iron – which is al­ways the smartest op­tion from the rough – go with a hy­brid or higher-lofted fair­way wood in­stead of a longer iron when the lie isn’t that bad. It’s a judg­ment call, but I wouldn’t use any­thing more than a short iron for the scary lie you see here. But why a hy­brid in­stead of a long iron?The wider sole gets through the grass more eas­ily, so you don’t have to throw your back out to reach a green.

Se­cond, ad­dress. Make sure the ball is no far­ther for­ward than cen­tre in your stance, grip down a touch on the club, and put a lit­tle more pres­sure on your front foot.This will make it eas­ier to get the club­head back to the ball with as lit­tle in­ter­fer­ence from the grass as pos­si­ble. Also keep in mind that the blades tend to tan­gle around the club, which can twist the face shut.That makes it a lot harder to get the ball up and out.To coun­ter­act this, set the club­face a touch open and hold on to the grip a lit­tle tighter.

Third, the swing.Adopt a take­away where the hands hinge the club­head abruptly up­ward, cer­tainly more than they would for a fair­way lie.This sets up that sharper an­gle down into the ball you want for de­cent con­tact.

I re­alise that sounds like a lot to re­mem­ber, and many of you are look­ing for that “one thing” to hit this shot. Fair enough. Here’s your swing thought: up and oomph. Up means a steeper take­away to help avoid the grass, and oomph means swing­ing down with an ag­gres­sive at­ti­tude. Feel like you’re go­ing to power through what­ever dares to stand in your way, and your club­head will reach the ball with plenty of en­ergy.

The su­per­in­ten­dent might think his rough is tough, but we know bet­ter.

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