Driving accuracy has now become just as important as distance on the pro tours. Course superintendents can only make their courses so long before it gets too ridiculous for the average player. Instead, they are making the courses tighter and really punishing shots that creep away from the fairway.
The same techniques that help the pro get out of knee-high hay and scraggly plugged lies in deep grass will help the average player as well. Listen up and take some of these tips to the course the next time you find yourself in the deep stuff.
I have yet to see a driving range that has a spot for practicing shots from the rough. And why not… the average player spends more time in the rough than on the fairway anyway… so why are they only practicing from perfect lies? To get better from the rough you need to find some, drop a bunch of balls and practice shots with different clubs to see how the ball reacts coming out. Like most things, practice makes perfect.
Choke down on the club for added control and stability. Also grip the club slightly tighter than normal to combat against the club twisting into impact. Remember to tighten using your last three fingers of each hand, if you do so with your thumb and index finger, you’ll be reducing your wrist cock.
Ball first contact is essential when in the rough. A shallower swing has to sift through a lot of grass to get to the ball, causing the club to twist and hit the ball off-line. Try to make a more “V” like digging swing to hit the ball first and get it airborne quickly.
Back in the stance
A great way to encourage a steeper angle of attack is to play the ball further back in your stance. Consider placing it dead center, or slightly further back to encourage a swing path that bottoms out after the ball.
Forget the woods
Unless the ball is sitting up, leave the fairway woods in the bag. Irons are designed to dig, whereas your fairway woods are designed… well… for the fairway. The added loft of your irons will also give you a better chance of getting the ball up and out of the rough.