Your short game is one of the biggest reasons why you either shoot high scores or low scores. Being able to get up and down from any type of lie will help you cut strokes in a big way. If you have trouble chipping and pitching the ball from the rough, you know firsthand the damage a lousy short game can have on your scorecard.
Mike S. is one Surgite who just can't seem to gain any consistency around the green. He does okay when chipping and pitching from the short grass, but whenever he has to play a short shot from the rough, there's no telling where the ball will end up. So, today I'm going to give some pointers on how you can become a better player out of the rough, especially around the green.
Hello from a former student of your class in Florida! Since I took that class my ball striking has gotten much better and my score has dropped to a consistent low 90s, high 80s which is exciting. I'm still struggling with consistency in direction which gets me into trouble sometimes but that's not the focus of this email. What really gets me into trouble and is the cause of at least 2-3 strokes a round is my chipping from the rough (i.e. Bermuda grass).
If the ball is lying in the first cut or the fairway or when I'm practicing from my astro-turf matt, I don't have any problems getting the ball to go where I'm aiming. However, when I'm trying to chip from the rough, 90% of the time it's a 45 degree shank off to the right (I am right handed). I've tried opening my stance, closing my stance, swinging the club like a putter, slicing it across the ball, various ideas on wrist angle, various ball placements in stance, chopping at it, and swinging through it. I just can't seem to get any decent results. I have the Kenny Knox short game video and it has helped somewhat but I must be missing some fundamentals. It's very frustrating and I feel it's the biggest issue right now that's keeping me from shooting in the 80's consistently instead of just occasionally. What should I be doing differently when chipping from the rough rather than from a nice lie in the fairway or 1st cut?
My best suggestion to Mike would be to get back to the basics. From reading his submission, you can see that he's tried just about everything. But that might be the problem. Instead of working on one thing and trying to improve that way, he's trying to do too much.
One thing that all golfers have to remember is that the ball will sink down into the rough when it lands there, so you've got to do two important things. The first thing you have to do is increase your grip pressure. You will also have to come down more steeply on the ball. If your grip is too loose, the rough will grab the clubface and twist it and send the ball any which way. Firm up and do anything you can to not let the club twist.
Good luck and keep it vertical!
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