You’ve hit it into the rough, and when you get up to your ball you’re psyched because you realize it’s sitting up. Not so fast. A ball perched in the rough isn’t always a good thing. When your ball is sitting up like that, you’re likely to hit a flyer. You’ve seen the shot: You club yourself correctly, but magically you fly it to the back of the green and it runs right off. This happens because at impact, the grass gets in between the clubface and the ball. This keeps the face from being able to grab the ball like it normally does, so the ball comes flying out without spin and runs when it hits.
To keep this from happening to you, Burch Harmon says, “First, play it farther back in your stance, about middle for a short iron. This will lean the shaft more toward the target. Then, hinge your wrists abruptly on the backswing, which sets up a steeper angle into impact. Finally, as you swing through, keep the back of your top hand going toward the target for as long as you can. This will guard against the face twisting if it catches the grass first.”
Practice this, and next time you’re perched in the rough with a short iron, you’ll be able to land and stop the ball on the green.