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Amen Corner: Chips from the rough are no picnic

  • Getting the golf ball out of deep rough requires a stronger grip of the club through the hands, wrists and arms. (Courtesy photograph)

Special to the Valley News
Published: 7/3/2019 9:00:13 PM
Modified: 7/3/2019 9:00:05 PM

Hitting a pitch shot out of the rough can be difficult. It’s a shot where the long grass slows you down and tries to twist and turn the club face in a wayward direction.

In order to combat the long grass, the club has to have enough momentum to travel through the thick and thin of the grass. You must deliver the club head with enough speed and momentum for the club to travel through the rough while, at the same time, not hitting the ball too far. It’s a tricky shot.

A pitch shot out of the rough is an area of golf where you should go practice so you can feel the density of grass and how it impacts the club head. Why just try this shot during a round of golf and think you will be good at it?

When you’re swinging the club through the grass, did the club head get deep enough, down into the rough and under the golf ball, or are you are grazing the top of the blades of grass? You will know you are deep enough when the grass will grab, tug and slow the club head down.

To get the golf club through the rough, you must deliver the club head with your hands, wrists and arms stable enough to withstand the momentum-killer of grass that will twist the whole club head, if given the chance. This will require more tension in your grip, wrists and arms.

A golf club that is stable will not change its orientation as it enters the rough, continues through the hitting zone and exits the rough well after the ball has been struck.

You will know when you have done this correctly when you finish this shot with your arms extended and out in front of you.

Is it as simple as that? Make sure there is enough tension in your hands, wrists and arms to deliver a stable club head? It sure is.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Peter Harris is the director of Golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon. His column appears weekly in the Recreation page during the golf season.

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