Lesson Tee

Play the chunk-and-run

It's a good way to beat thick greenside rough

December 2009

With courses being set up more and more like U.S. Opens, especially the nasty rough around the greens, it pays to have a diverse short game. That's why I've developed a technique -- I hope enhanced by good touch -- for the chunk-and-run.

As the name implies, I will intentionally hit the shot fat and allow it to run out. I play it kind of like a bunker shot in that I hit behind the ball an inch or two, depending on the severity of the lie and how far I want to carry the ball. I grip the club -- most often my 60-degree wedge -- a little tighter than usual to ensure the clubface stays open through impact (right). I position the ball slightly behind center in an open stance and set up with most of my weight on my left side, like I would on a basic chip shot.

As far as the swing goes, the key for me is to make a more vertical backswing than usual. I want to be sure my wedge clears the grass going back and sets up a firm strike on the ground. I let the thick grass abbreviate my follow-through. My goal is to roll it to a makable distance, unless I'm lucky enough to hole it.

Mark Soltau is a contributing editor to Golf Digest and the editor of TigerWoods.com.

Stephen Szurlej
Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe today