How to Escape from Long Fescue
As a power hitter, you might be able to hit the ball a long way, but lack some consistency. Here's how to get yourself out of trouble.
Lets say you miss your approach shot left and find your ball nestled in some gnarly rough—the kind of tall, wiry grass that routinely torments players at the British Open. To get this shot near the hole, you need to steepen your angle of approach and slide the clubhead under the ball, just as you would if you were playing a greenside bunker blast. Here's how to escape the thick stuff.
HINGE IT QUICKLY
Set up as you would for a normal pitch shot, with the ball in the center of your stance. Be very careful not to disturb the grass around the ball—you don't want to incur a two-shot penalty. On the backswing, hinge your wrists immediately to set the club on a steep, vertical plane. A steeper approach adds loft to the shot and reduces the time the clubhead spends in the grass—and the likelihood of it getting snagged by the grass.
SLIDE UNDER, TURN THROUGH
As you swing down, picture the clubhead bottoming out behind the ball and then cutting a swath of grass from underneath it. Keep your right shoulder level and turning toward the target until your hands reach waist height in your follow-through. This will keep the clubhead accelerating through impact and into your finish. Keep turning, and you might just make a memorable up-and-down.
Continue to turn your shoulders toward the target after impact, which will keep the clubhead moving and allow the ball to escape the grass.