Play From Deep Rough

Sunday December 2nd, 2007

The situation

On the tee, you hoist your driver like you're trying to squish a bug on a 10-foot ceiling. On the way back down, you make a severe cut and leave a sizable divot on the tee box. There's no "around" to your swing -- it's all up-and-down. The result: a 165-yard slice that lands in a patch of nasty, thick rough.

The silver lining

You're now faced with 200+ yards to the green. You need some distance on your second shot so you can play your third shot close to the pin. The good news: with a mid-iron and that ugly, steep, cut swing you made on the tee, you'll be in business.

How to slice it from the rough

The slice swing starts by taking the club up vertically so that your hands are way above your shoulders.

From the top, come down steeply and allow your clubhead to move outside your hands.


Swing to the left of the target to complete the over-the-top move and escape the rough with power.

Why it works

The major problem with rough is that it gets between your ball and the clubface. You'll always suffer a loss of distance as a result. Plus, the long grass tends to grab the hosel through impact and close the face, making it impossible to control the ball.

A steep cut swing solves both of these problems. With your club approaching the ball on a steeper angle of attack, there's less contact time between the clubface and the grass, so your shots will fly nearly full distance. And since your clubface is open (a natural byproduct of a cut path), the shutdown from the grass will make everything flush at contact.

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