July 17, 2008

Playing out of the rough

VIDEO: Watch Annika demonstrate her three keys to playing out of the rough.

VIDEO: Watch Annika demonstrate her three keys to playing out of the rough.

1. The trick to hitting from the rough is predicting how much grass you'll trap between the clubface and the ball at impact. If you catch only a little grass, you'll hit a flyer -- which comes out hot and runs. If you catch a lot of grass, you'll lose swing speed and distance. Adjust your club selection accordingly.

2. From an average rough lie, take one extra club, and choke up an inch for stability at impact. Play the ball in the middle of your stance for irons; an inch forward for hybrids, which are great choices from grassy lies.

3. Make a three-quarter backswing, keeping more weight on your front foot. Your goal is to catch the ball as cleanly as you can. Try a steeper, more V-shape swing for deeper lies. But don't get greedy when your ball is really buried: Pitch back to the fairway, and play for the green on your next shot.

Sorenstam writes instruction articles only for Golf Digest Publications and runs the Annika Academy at Ginn Reunion Resort near Orlando. Click here for more tips from Annika.