How to Chip Golf Balls from the Rough

By Teresa Justine Kelly

Chipping from the rough can be a daunting task for most golfers. It is exasperating to find you have successfully driven your ball nicely down the fairway, landing near the green, only to find your ball has buried itself in heavy grass surrounding the green. Many golfers seize up with this chip shot, scooping or topping the ball in an effort to release it from the rough, with the ball progressing only a few inches from its original landing spot. But learning how to successfully face this situation will save you precious strokes on your score.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Position the ball back in your stance, off your right toe.
Step 2
Narrow your stance. Your feet, hips and shoulders should be slightly open to your target.
Step 3
Place most of your weight on your left foot (for right-handed golfers).
Step 4
Grip the club close to the bottom of the handle and place your hands forward of the ball.
Step 5
Cock your wrists early on the backswing, creating a steeper takeaway and a sharper descending arc.
Step 6
Hit down into the grass allowing the loft of the club to pop the ball upwards and forward.
Step 7
Limit your follow-through. If you correctly hit sharply downwards into the grass, any kind of follow-through will be inhibited.

Tips & Warnings

Tall grass tends to close the face of the club, so a more lofted club will help you get the ball airborne from deep rough.
A chip shot from green-side rough will run twice as far on landing compared to a shot hit from shorter grass. This is because the ball will not generate much backspin when hit from the rough. Take this into consideration when trying to determine the landing area of your ball.

About The Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.

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