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Little patches of rough around the green can be difficult to manage, but there’s no need to fear them. 

We’ve all encountered it. Whether it’s part of the design of the course, or some overgrown rough that shouldn’t be there, having your ball in thick grass when you only need to hit it a short distance is tough. You only need the ball to fly a short distance, but need speed to move it from the grass.

• The key to lower scores? Not more birdies

• Remove tension from your putting

Tiger Woods used this method from the side of green to try and get the ball out of a little patch of semi rough. When he was chipping from thick rough, he always got the ball out nice and soft and had it running on the green gently.  

You only need a few simple techniques to avoid the ball skidding off the clubface.

Make sure the butt end of the wedge points to your belt buckle. Too many people are inclined to push the hands forward, and that tends to lead to the ball coming out too quick and too hot. 

Amateurs should always keep the ball further forward in their stance. Putting it too far back takes loft off the club. You want the natural loft to do the work for you.

Then, as you take it back, think about keeping the lower body as quiet and stable as possible. This allows your wrists to softly set. Think about hinging ‘softly’ all while keeping a quiet lower half.

• Harrington explains his pitching process

• How to master the long bunker shot

As you turn back, feel that you’re dropping the club onto the back of the ball. The back of the club – the bounce – should drop onto the ground, using the natural loft. Again, soft hands at this point.

Now, simply allow your body to be pulled up by the club naturally. Don’t allow the club to roll over. With these shots, loft is your friend.

Justin Smith is a golf coach at the IMG Academy in Florida. You can learn more about his golf coaching here. 

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