How to Hit out of the Rough in Golf

Hitting a golf shot out of the rough can be a challenging task, especially if the rough is thick and long. However, with the right technique and approach, it is possible to hit a good shot and advance the ball towards the green. Here are some tips on how to hit out of the rough in golf:

  1. Assess the lie: Before you choose your club and approach the shot, take a look at the ball’s lie in the rough. If the ball is sitting down in the grass, it can be challenging to get a good strike. However, if the ball is sitting up on top of the grass, you have a better chance of hitting a clean shot.
  2. Choose the right club: Depending on the distance to the green and the thickness of the rough, you may need to choose a more lofted club than you would normally use. A higher lofted club can help you get the ball up and out of the rough more easily.
  3. Take a more shallow swing: To avoid getting tangled up in the rough, try taking a more shallow swing than you would with a normal shot. This can help you strike the ball cleanly and reduce the chances of the club getting stuck in the grass.
  4. Aim for the center of the green: When hitting out of the rough, your main goal should be to get the ball back into play and onto the fairway or green. Aim for the center of the green, rather than trying to hit a high-risk shot that could result in more trouble.
  5. Follow through: After you make contact with the ball, make sure to follow through with your swing. This will help you hit the ball with more power and accuracy, and reduce the chances of the club getting stuck in the grass.
  6. Practice: Hitting out of the rough can be a challenging skill to master, so make sure to practice it regularly. Head to the driving range and practice hitting shots out of the rough from different distances and lies. This will help you develop a better feel for the shot and improve your chances of success on the course.
  7. Adjust your stance and ball position: In the rough, the grass can grab the clubhead, which can cause the club to twist during the swing. To avoid this, you may need to adjust your stance and ball position. Set up with the ball slightly further back in your stance, and widen your stance slightly to create more stability. This can help you make a more stable swing and strike the ball cleanly.
  8. Use a firmer grip: In the rough, you may need to grip the club more firmly to prevent it from twisting or turning during the swing. However, don’t grip the club too tightly , as this can create tension and hinder your swing.
  9. Anticipate the rough’s impact on the ball flight: The rough can have a significant impact on the flight of the ball, making it difficult to control the distance and direction of your shots. Anticipate the rough’s effect on the ball flight and adjust your shot accordingly. For example, if the rough is thick, you may need to take a more lofted club and hit a higher shot to get the ball out.
  10. Stay focused and confident: Hitting shots out of the rough can be mentally challenging, especially if you’ve had a few bad shots in a row. Stay focused on your technique, visualize the shot you want to hit, and stay confident in your abilities. Trust your swing and commit to the shot, even if you’re feeling a bit nervous.


Hitting out of the rough – Equipment

IronsLong or short shafted clubs with angled headsApproach shotsGood for control and accuracyCan be difficult to get out of thick rough
WoodsClubs with large, rounded heads and long shaftsTee shots and approach shotsCan generate power to escape roughLack control and accuracy
Hybrid clubsCombines elements of both irons and woodsApproach shotsGood for both control and powerMay not be suitable for all golfers
WedgesClubs with high lofts and shorter shaftsPitching and chippingCan help get out of deep roughLess distance and control than other clubs
PutterShort-shafted club with flat faceShort putts on the greenCan be used to putt out of roughNot designed for use in the rough

Hitting out of the rough – Technique

Ball positionPlacing the ball further back in the stanceThick roughHelps to hit the ball first and avoid getting caught up in the roughReduces distance and accuracy
Club selectionChoosing the appropriate club for the shotVaries depending on the lie and distance to the holeAllows for optimal power and controlCan be difficult to make the right choice
Swing speedAdjusting the speed of the swingVaries depending on the lie and distance to the holeHelps to generate enough power to escape the roughCan be difficult to maintain consistency
Swing planeAdjusting the angle of the club face at impactThick roughHelps to avoid getting caught up in the roughRequires precise timing and skill
Follow throughCompleting the swing motionAll shotsAllows for proper clubhead release and follow-throughCan lead to mishits if not executed correctly

Types of Rough

TypeDescriptionCharacteristicsBest TechniqueWorst Technique
Fairway roughRough that lines the fairwayLonger and thicker than the fairway grassClub selection and ball positionHigh lofted shots
Greenside roughRough that surrounds the greenShorter and thicker than fairway roughWedge shots and puttingLong shots with woods or irons
Deep roughThick, high grass that is difficult to escapeOften found off the fairwayHigh lofted shots with a steep angle of attackLong shots with woods or irons
Fescue roughA type of deep rough made up of fescue grassCommon on links coursesHigh lofted shots with a steep angle of attackLong shots with woods or irons
Bermuda roughA type of rough made up of Bermuda grassCommon in warmer climatesHigh lofted shots with a steep angle of attackLong shots with woods or irons

Common mistakes when hitting out of the rough

Swinging too hardOverpowering the shotCan cause a mishit or get caught in the roughRelax and focus on making a smooth, controlled swing
Taking too much grassHitting too deep into the roughCan result in a short shot or mishitAdjust ball position or club selection

Remember that hitting out of the rough is all about controlling the ball’s flight and minimizing mistakes. By practicing regularly and following these tips, you can improve your chances of hitting better shots from the rough and lowering your scores on the course.


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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