Nepali Times Asian Paints
Tee Break
Getting rough


When driving, even the world's best golfers don't hit every fairway. PGA tours statistics show that top driving accuracy rarely exceeds 80 percent. Amateurs are often just happy to hit fairways on par 4's and 5's, as they know that most of the time they'll end up in the rough. It is that very rough which makes the game so much more difficult.

So even though all those tips on straight and long driving that I give you seem great, what all golfers need in their armoury is how to manage the rough and save quite a few wasted strokes on every round. We have often seen big pros hitting the green and even getting it close from the rough. Believe me, that is no fluke. They know what they are doing and here, I will share this trick with you.

Yes, a powerful swing (high swing speed) makes a big difference in getting the ball out easier from the thick stuff. An example would be Tiger Woods, who is known to be a monster when it comes to hitting full shots a long way from situations where most pros just think of getting back on the fairway. This is simply due to his phenomenal strength. Not everybody can have Tiger Wood's skill and strength. However, with a little bit of knowledge you can improve your shot making out of the thick and tall grass.

First let's analyse why is it difficult to play out of these lies. With the normal swing speed, the club head just can't cut through the thickness of the grass. It grabs the club and twists it or just slows it down so much that it either remains in or barely comes out. Here are some quick remedies. Follow them and you will be assured of saving strokes:

Right from the address position, you need to make adjustments. Hold the club upright and choke down on the grip by atleast an inch. Instead of taking a normal big arc, hinge your wrists early right at the start of the backswing. This promotes a steep angle of attack on the downswing and helps with better contact on the ball. Always stay balanced on your feet and try to swing faster if you have more than 50 yards to carry.

Don't forget-if you have a very bad lie just think of taking a lofted club and getting the ball back on the fairway. Use the same 'steeper' swing on these shots also.

The odds of 'going all out for it' and pulling off a superb recovery are heavily against you. Chances are that you will end up in much worse trouble than you started with, along with a couple of lost strokes. Play smart from bad rough and wait for another chance to go at it.

Deepak Acharya is a golf instructor and Head Golf Professional at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort & Spa, Kathmandu. [email protected]

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)