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Golf tips: How to get out of thick semi-rough

Steve Johnston
Coming out of the semi-rough is a lot trickier than what you think it will be.

Here are three things you should and shouldn’t be doing when found in that situation.

DOs

You need to open the face slightly. If you’re using an 8-iron, just open it very slightly. You’re not trying to flop if out, the slightly open face just covers you from the face getting slammed shut at impact. There’s a high chance that will happen. With a rescue, you’ll be fine as normal.

Be prepared to sacrifice distance and take that into consideration. It might not be a case of going for the flag or reaching the green. You could club up, but bear in mind the ball might come out a little lower and could get snagged in the grass. Play from wherever you end up and accept your fate.

Swing steeper and hold on tighter. You want less drag between the rough and your club at impact, being steeper and holding it a bit tighter through impact will help you with that.

DON’Ts

Don’t try and help it up. You’re coming down steep so don’t try and help it out, and fall back. Just swing down and through. Don’t let your weight fall onto your right foot.

Don’t put the ball back in your stance. I know you want to hit ball before grass so you get less drag… but because you’re coming down a bit steeper, you definitely don’t want to put the ball back in your stance.

Do not expect full control. Don’t expect the ball to react like a fairway shot. One major reason for that is that there’s a lot of grass between your ball and the grooves on the club. Expect to play it slightly shorter. 

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Steve Johnston is the Head PGA Professional at Peebles Golf Club. Fore lessons, call 01721 720197. Follow Steve on Twitter @sjohnstonpga and subscribe to his YouTube channel ‘Steve Johnston PGA’.

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