PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


No More Chunks

By Butch Harmon Photos by Dom Furore
February 10, 2009

Hitting it fat out of the rough is a product of the backswing. If you make your normal swing, keeping the club low to the ground going back, you'll come down too shallow and catch the grass behind the ball.

To avoid this, make a steeper takeaway, hinging your wrists quicker from the start (below). This sets up a sharp descent back to the ball for clean contact.

It's also a good idea to play a fade from thick grass, because the normal release, with the clubface closing, might cause grass to grab the hosel and shut the face. So open the face slightly at address, aim left, and hold your wrists firm through impact. You'll catch it flush and hit a little fade.



Every tour player knows the rhythm that brings him the best results. Fred Couples (right) is the envy of every golfer for his smooth swing. Then you have players like Nick Price, who has a quick rhythm that works great for him. The point is, find the speed that gives you the best mix of power and control. To do that, tee up four balls in a row, and hit one after another with your driver without stopping. When you get into this flow, your ideal rhythm will start to come out. Get a feel for it, and try to use it all the time.

*Ranked No. 1 on Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers, Harmon runs the Butch Harmon School of Golf, at Rio Secco, Henderson, Nev. *