5 steps to hitting pitch shots from the rough like Patrick Reed

March 7, 2020
Patrick Reed's competitiveness and confidence have propelled him to among the game's elite.

Whatever you think of Patrick Reed, it’s hard to deny the competitive spirit and confidence that have propelled him to the game’s highest level. Reed is a grinder, unwilling to accept a bogey without a monumental battle. His sterling short game and clutch putting keep him in tournaments when his ballstriking isn’t on point. His technique can teach you a lot about the technical aspects involved in successfully hitting a pitch from thick rough. What his technique can’t show—and what might be more important—is the determined mindset of a grinder.

1. Logo up
Playing soft shots from thick rough requires serious clubface control. Keeping the back of your left hand facing the sky prevents the rough from grabbing the hosel and closing the clubface.

2. Softer is better
While the rough requires a bit more control from the left hand, softer arms allow the clubhead to maintain speed through impact. This is critical to producing the height and spin needed on firm, fast putting surfaces.

3. Excavation
The lie should always dictate the angle of attack around the green. If the ball is sitting down, the leading edge of the clubface needs to dig into the heavy grass to get the ball out and onto the green.

4. Narrow stance
A narrower stance makes it much easier to hit down into the turf instead of skimming the top of the grass. While a wider stance is advantageous for hitting up with your driver, it guarantees chunk or thin shot from the heavy grass.

5. Constant flex
Reed’s left leg maintains its flex through impact. Perfect. The constant flex helps your swing bottom out in the same spot time after time, helping you create consistent contact—even from the junk.

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