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Corey Lundberg's Golf Instruction Blog

Approach from Rough

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Before you decide how you want to play an approach to a green from the rough, you first have to decide how severe the lie is. Here are a few tips on playing from the rough based on how deep the rough is:

Light Rough: This is actually the preference of some amateurs. The tight lies in fairways require more precision and a descending angle of attack to hit an approach close. The light rough will usually only take a little spin off the ball. So take a little less club and play for the shot to hit and release onto the green.

Intermediate Rough: This is where you will usually encounter the ‘flyer lies’. The grass is thick and makes it difficult to put clubface on ball. Because the grass gets in the way, the ball comes out lower and without any spin. In this situation, you want to make your swing steeper to limit the amount of grass that comes between you clubface and the ball. Keep your weight on the lead side and hinge your wrists on the way back to promote a steeper swing. Take into account that the ball won’t have much spin and might fly farther than usual.

Heavy Rough: When the ball comes to rest in the heavy rough, its usually time to take your medicine. Find the most accessible part of the fairway and plan to play a short shot back into play. The thick grass tends to grab the face and shut it down, so you will want to grab your most lofted club. Play the ball back in your stance and start with your weight on the lead side. Engage your wrists quickly and feel as if you come straight up and down onto the ball. The steep angle of attack and lofted club should get the ball out of the rough and back onto the fairway.