How to Hit out of the Deep Rough!


You hit out of a deep rough by:

  1. Choosing less club with more loft for the distance
  2. Placing the ball in the middle in your stance
  3. Using a firmer grip in your left hand and a looser club in your right hand
  4. Swinging normally but a little bit more vertical angle of approach
  5. Make solid ball then turf contact

Hitting out of the rough is never great for distance and accuracy, but you must have this shot for getting your ball out of trouble and staying on par.

Hitting Out of the Rough

Wouldn't golf be much more fun if all of our shots could be taken from a perfect lie in the fairway? Unfortunately, from time to time (more often than we want), your ball will come to rest in the rough. PGA Lifetime Member - Joe Beck shows you how to hit out of the rough. 

Obviously, the lie of the ball can vary considerably, but the biggest issue is that the club face can twist when it contacts the longer grass. When we strike the ball, it will come out with little to no spin. For this shot, you will want to use less club than normal for the distance. For example, instead of a nine-iron, you'll want to play a pitching wedge.

Your address position will have the ball positioned in the center of your stance. And naturally, you need to be aligned toward your target.

You want to make sure that your hands are on the club correctly. You will need firmer grip in your target side or lead hand, with a looser grip in your trailing hand. You need the firmer grip to prevent the club from twisting in the grass.

Use your normal swing. You want to make solid ball then turf contact. 

These are the keys to getting your ball out of the rough. This is not a hero shot. Quite the opposite. This is a safety shot to preserve your round. It won't have the same distance or accuracy, but it's an important shot that you know you need. That's what I'm talk'in about.

Golf's Rough, But Doesn't Need to Be

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PGA great Sir Nick Faldo shares a master class on how to play out of the rough. It's all about setup and swing adjustments. The longer grass most definitely will come into contact with the hosel of the club, creating some twist to the face, so by opening your club face a little and adjusting your swing path to make it a bit steeper, you can play a natural fade right out of the rough unless the situation dictates a totally different shot.

The key was to get steepness in the swing path and hold the angles. The goal is can you get the heel of the club face to the golf ball first. So, as you seek that more vertical angle of attack you want to hold your wrist hinge a bit longer and allow centrifugal force to pull that club face into the impact zone. Sir Nick speaks about having his trailing shoulder get to the golf ball first before the club head so that his angles will be maintained into and through impact without call for a release of the club.

And Sir Nick offers one more piece of advice for strategy of rough shots to play for the front edge. If the ball comes out hot, it will have the room in the back of the green. If played perfectly, it will bobble and trickle to the middle of the green.

It Ain't the End of the World

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Tom Stickney -Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher and Director of Instruction at the Big Horn Golf Club gives a great lesson on executing pitch shots from the light rough in your short pitch game. A few minor adjustments in your setup and swing path are the key. You first want to move the ball back in your stance a little bit (about an inch) to help encourage a steeper angle of attack where you are chopping down on the golf ball. Next, you want to set your wrists a little quicker in your backswing so that we can increase the angle of attack and chop down on the ball. Finally, swing solid and aggressive and chop down on the ball to get it out of the rough.

A lot of times people get in the rough and they panic. They're not really sure what to do especially when there's a hazard short of the green as we have here on the Canyons number 18. so how do you handle the rough? What do you do differently to make sure that you can extract this ball from the rough and get it up on that green?

  1. The first thing we're going to do is we're going to make sure that we put the ball back in our stance just a little bit. That helps to encourage us to kind of chop down on the golf ball.
  2. The second thing we're going to do is set our wrist a little bit quicker. We want to get this club set up a little bit quicker so it can increase the angle of attack, so we can chop down on it and hoist them up on that green.

A lot of times golfers too shallow an angle of approach. When they come in too shallow, the grass wraps around the hosel and it noses the club face down. When that happens, the ball comes squirting low and left - and it doesn't obviously get to the green.

So, we're going to put the ball back in our stance, just about a half inch or so, and we're going to set the club a little bit more, because it causes us to chop down on the ball. When we chop down on the ball, it's going to go on the green.

Set your wrists earlier to force yourself into a steeper angle of approach, so you can chop down on the ball.

An Alternative Method to Get out of Thick Rough

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Millbrook Resort Golf Pro, Ben Gallie demonstrates a different technique for getting the ball out of thick deep rough. The ball comes out high and soft and you will be more confident in this recovery shot from now on. 

There are two key components to getting out of thick, rough.

  1. One of them is loft. You must always use a lob wedge or a sand wedge. Don't try and use a five or six iron. It will not work. 
  2. The second key component is the angle of attack

Most people try and hit it from the top and really hook it. The toe of the club hits the ground and either opens up or the hosel gets caught and turns over - the ball doesn't get out.

An alternative way for you to get out every time is to come in from the inside and just let the club head cut through the grass. Because we're coming from the inside - the hosel doesn't get caught, it doesn't turn over and the ball pops out nicely every time.

So, remember the new way to get out of this thick rough. Use lots of loft, and an angle of attack where we just hinge it in and take it from the inside. From here just let the club fall down from the inside. It's not power, it is angle of attack that makes the difference when you're hitting out of a thick- thick lie.

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Sir Nick Faldo - PGA Hall of Famer
6 Majors  |  World No1  |  11 Ryder Cups  |  41 professional wins

It is incredible to think that, as a 14-year-old watching the 1971 Masters on his parent’s new colour television, Nick Faldo had never even picked up a golf club. Within three years he was a successful British amateur and by the age of 20 he had become the youngest player ever to qualify for the Ryder Cup. Thirty years later, and with six Major championships, more than 40 tournament victories and a total of 98 weeks as the world’s number one golfer, Nick is broadly regarded as the most successful golfer that Britain has ever produced.

Lead Analyst for CBS & Golf Channel

Since his first forays into televised golf coverage, Nick Faldo has proved himself to be an insightful, well-informed and witty addition to the commentary booth. Nick is currently the lead analyst for CBS and the Golf Channel and, as such, he has become one of the most recognizable voices of televised golf. Nick’s perceptive opinions have gained him a positive reception from viewers, colleagues and professional golfers alike. Having played, competed for and won some of the biggest titles in the game – as well as coming close on countless other occasions – his personal insight and direct experience of the various situations about which he is commentating is unrivaled. Nick covers many PGA Tour events, has commandeered the 18th tower at the Masters and has been a regular feature on the BBC’s coverage of The Open Championship.

Tom Stickney - Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher 
  • Golf Digest- Top 50 International Teacher
  • Golf Magazine- Top 100 Teacher 
  • Golf Digest- Best Teachers Under 40 (2007-2012)
  • Golf Tips- Top 25 Instructors

It’s a very rare thing to meet a golfer who doesn’t want to improve their game. In fact, most golfers are willing to do almost anything, with the exception of magic rituals, to lower their handicap or improve their swing. Fortunately for members of our Club, they can take advantage of The Promontory Golf Academy in Park City that features tens of thousands of dollars of golf instructional technology to elevate your game.

‘The Promontory Golf Academy’ also has a secret weapon in the form of Tom F. Stickney II, rated one of the Top 100 golf instructors in the United States. Besides being an exceptional golf teacher, Tom has also published more than 120 articles on the subject of playing better golf, and his ability to teach children how to play golf also shines through. Over 250 golf professionals from around the world have had instruction from Tom Stickney, so we are confident that he can help improve your game.

Ben Gallie - Director of Coaching at Gallie Golf

Ben is the "Best Selling Author" with his book, The Priority Golf System

The Priority Golf System lets you improve your golf no matter how much time you have available to practice. When you have less time, you must prioritize your practice. Ben gives you the tools to be able to do this!



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