It‘s good for your game
Why rough is tough
By T.J. Tomasi
Guess who leads the tour in combined driving so far in 2012? Surprise, surprise, it's Tiger Woods, who before his recent epiphany, had spent more time in the jungle than Dr. Livingstone.
In those wild driving days, it was lucky that Tiger had built his body up by lifting weights, because blasting out of the heavy rough requires tower-of-power-type strength as well as technique. Granted, most of us aren't built like Tiger, so this story is about technique rather than bodybuilding: how to hit out of the rough.
Tiger knows from experience that he needs a steep, descending blow so his back shoulder moves out toward the ball on the way down. This steepens the approach arc, allowing him to miss most of the grass behind the golf ball, so he can pinch the ball as cleanly as possible.
To set the angle, Tiger cocks his wrists abruptly on the way back and uncocks them at impact, but he doesn't re-cock them on the way through. His goal is to keep his hands and clubhead below his left shoulder after the hit because the higher you finish, the more the danger that you will allow your forearms to cross, the worst thing you can do in the rough because you want the clubface open.
Things to note about rough play:
1. The grass has wrapped around the neck of Tiger’s club in the accompanying photo, yet the clubface hasn’t shut down. If you're not as strong as Tiger, aim to the right of your target to allow for a pull or hook caused by a shut face.
2. Squeeze, please: To lessen the twisting effect of the grass, grip the club much more firmly in both hands than you normally do.
3. Coming down, pull hard with your left hand to steepen the angle of attack so you can “pinch” the ball.
4. “Chicken winging” the left arm, as Tiger does here, with a bent left elbow, keeps the clubface open.
Tomasi writes for Universal UClick.