How to Hit With Your Irons From the Short Rough

By Steve Silverman

Article Image
Learning to play from the rough is a bit of a mental adjustment. Golfers want to hit from the fairway, and when their shot goes in the rough they may be a bit disappointed. However, golfers who trust their equipment learn that hitting out of the short rough is not a difficult assignment. A smooth, steady swing will help you get the ball out of trouble and back on the fairway.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
  1. Square yourself to the target when hitting from the short rough. Your left shoulder should be facing the green, and your left foot should be directly underneath your shoulder.
  2. Play the ball slightly forward in your stance. The ball should be about one ball length closer to your front leg than it is to your back leg. You want to catch the ball slightly on the upswing when you make impact with the ball.
  3. Use your hips to drive the ball. You don't have to swing the club any harder when you are in the short rough. You need to rotate your hips to the right to get your swing started, and when you have gone as far as you can, you rotate them back to the left. Let your shoulders and hands follow.
  4. Keep your eye on the back of the ball. Picking your head up may be your natural action because you want to see the result of your shot. However, you are in the rough, and in order to make square contact you need to see where you are hitting. Keep your eye on the ball until your club has reached waist level on the follow through.
  5. Finish your swing. The follow through is especially important on shots from the rough because the grass can hold up the blade of your club. This can happen even in the short rough. Making sure you finish your swing will ensure that you get the ball out of the rough and send it toward the green.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.