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How To Hit Out Of Deep Rough [7 Simple Steps]

Struggling to hit your ball out of deep rough?

Follow these 7 simple steps to get your golf ball out of the rough and advancing towards the green.

The problem with hitting from deep rough

Deep rough will cause two main issues:

1. The grass can snag your golf club and cause it to close (draws, hooks, and pulls)
2. The snagging will also slow down your club, causing you to lose speed and power (weak hits, not “getting out”)

The steps below will help counter these two issues.

7 steps to get your ball out of deep rough

1. Grip the club a little tighter

Generally I’m an advocate of light grip pressure. But when you’re hitting out of thick rough, you’ll need to make sure you have a firm hold on the club as any snagging can cause the golf club to slip out your hands.

I’m not talking death grip. But if your usual grip pressure is a 5 (out of 10), then you’ll probably want to up that to a 7.

2. Put the ball back in your stance to ensure you hit down

One of the most important aspects of hitting from deep rough is making sure you hit the ball before the ground. If you don’t the thick grass is going to close your clubface (hello left side) and cause you to lose a ton of energy before impact (goodbye power).

So put the ball back in your stance to steepen your angle of attack and ensure you hit down. You might also want to set up with a little more weight on your left side than usual.

3. Weaken your grip

If there’s grass behind the ball, then your clubface is going to close a little before impact, even when you’re taking ball first. So I’d recommend weakening your grip slightly to counter that.

To clarify, a weak grip doesn’t refer to grip pressure, it refers to the position of your hands on the grip.

To weaken your grip, place your left hand a little counter clockwise to your standard position. You want to see less knuckles on your left hand at address (the more knuckles you see, the stronger your grip).

The weak grip will help to stop the clubface turning over too much through impact.

4. Aim right

Despite the measures we’re taking to stop the clubface from closing, thick rough is still going to close it a little. So I’d recommend aiming right of your intended target, allowing for a draw, hook, or worst case scenario a bit of a pull.

5. Swing hard

Hitting out of thick rough needs a committed, powerful swing. The grass is going to slow down your club. So this is the time to go all Happy Gilmore on the ball. Swing down on the golf ball with authority.

6. Club up

Again, even though you’re swinging harder, unless you’ve been hitting the gym like Bryson, the rough is going to slow down your swing. So you might want to take an extra club to allow for that.

Caveat: grass between the clubface and the ball can cause less spin, so trajectory may be a little lower, particularly with wedges and lofted irons. This may also lead to more roll out and less check. So if you’re close to the green you might want to skip this step.

7. Leave your ego in the clubhouse

The tips above should allow you to advance your ball down the fairway. But if your ball is mega buried, then just take your medicine and chip it out.

Just get it back in play and concentrate on your next shot.

And if it’s completely unplayable, then it’s unplayable. Pick it up, go back in a line towards the tee and find a good place to drop. The worst thing you can do to your scorecard is take 3 swipes to try and hack it out, then end up burying it deeper into the rough.

Egos and high scores go hand in hand!

What’s next?

The steps above should help you get your ball out of the rough.

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David McSweeney
About David McSweeney

David is one of the founders of Golfer Logic, and on a mission to improve his swing, while sharing advice, tips and "eureka!" moments with the GL community.

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