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Question on Shot Making:

I always seem to top the ball when the second cut is over the ball. Any suggestions as to where to hit the ball when it is deep in the grass?
--Gary B. from Kansas City, MO

Hi Gary. Thanks for writing

Getting the ball out of deep rough is definitely challenging. The first things to do is take your medicine. What I mean by that is don't be a hero and try to use a long iron or fairway wood if it's pretty buried. You need to look at the situation, assess it and take a club with enough loft to get the ball up and out and back onto the fairway and in play. We call it damage control.

Once you figure out which club is best there are a few things you can do to help yourself hit down and pop the ball back up.

Playing the ball a little bit back in your stance can help so that you trap the ball or catch it first rather than hitting the long grass and getting caught up in it. Be careful not to overdo this an play it too far back as then you hit on such an extreme down arc and hood the face which will cause the ball to come out very low.

Next make sure to plant a little more weight on your left leg or front leg and be careful to stay there and not back up through the strike. If you fall back you will hit down to soon and either hit fat or catch the ball too much on the upswing and top it. Being more over your front foot helps you strike down a bit more steeply which will help the ball pop back up.

Because the long grass will grab the hosel of the club and force the face to snap shut it can be a good idea to set the face slightly open. Again, everything in moderation as you don't want to actually catch it clean and have the ball fly straight right. Everything is about experimenting and finding what works for you.

Give these suggestions a try and I hope they help.


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