Hitting Out Of Deep Rough

Steve Elkington with Michael O'Reilly, head pro from Whistling Straits, on how to hit out of the deep rough.


This is going to happen quite a bit around here, Michael, right?



This is the same turf that's on the fairways, except let go. Now here's the problem with this shot. If you're out there and you're trying to get distance, what happens is this. All this grass wraps around the shaft, like that, as it comes through under velocity. Makes that face just go woosh! Tip over like that. So what I do-- the only way I can combat that is open it more. Open it more, and try to try to get-- I try to twist the blade right, so I'm open. And I just try to slam it square right at impact, and forget all this stuff here.

What I see a lot of times, the amateur player will try to play this like a normal chip shot-- kind of get their weight forward, get their hands ahead, and just try to go like this, and they don't generate enough clubhead speed. You've got to get some clubhead speed. So what I like to do-- similar to what you said-- I open the clubface up to counteract it closing down in the grass. But I also try to get real steep. If I take my club straight up in the air, it's not going to get caught up in this grass over here. Whereas if I come in real shallow--

It's going to start twisting already.

I'm going to lose all my clubhead and speed and it'll close the clubface down.

I had a little help from Michael. The pros have a fair amount of experience and I tend to try to keep out of the fescue. But we learned today that that club turns over really quick. And so you need a lot of velocity to get in there and be on a sharp angle. No point in coming in low, because it's going to wrap around more. So it's a good shot to have in your tackle box. It's a good shot to have. If you get in the fescue, you've got to be able to get out.