How to Pitch From Deep Rough

By Steve Silverman

golfer puts ball on tee
The deep rough is an intimidating area on the golf course. It is to be avoided at all costs. However, there are times when every golfer finds his ball in thick grass and other vegetation that makes a shot difficult. While you may not be able to make the green when you are buried, you can put it back into play and save yourself strokes.


Difficulty: Challenging
  1. Assess your shot. Look at where you are and how far you are away from the green. Consider the wind conditions and the weather conditions. Ask yourself where you might be able to hit the ball under the best circumstance and then figure out what these circumstances mean to the shot you are facing. Don't count on a miracle. The important thing is to get your shot back in play.
  2. Be realistic in your club choice. If you take a three-wood when you are in thick rough, you are going to have a hard time making clean contact with the ball. Take a medium or short iron to get the ball out of the thick stuff.
  3. Increase the tension on your grip. Hold the club at about a seven on a scale of one to 10. You normally want to hold the club at a five, but when you are going through high grass that could change your angle of contact, you need to grip the club tighter.
  4. Use a shorter, punching method to get the ball out of the high grass. You may think you will have more force with a full backswing but that will give the club more opportunities to be stopped by the grass. Bring your club back no higher than waist level and come through to about the same level and try to make sure that contact is made as you begin to come up on the ball.
  5. Realize that you don't need a miracle to save your round. What you need to do is get out of trouble. Many pro golfers simply take their nine iron or pitching wedge just to get out of the rough and back into the fairway. This is almost always a great idea.

Tips & Warnings

  • Know that you can reach the green on your next shot. The important thing is to get your ball out of the deep rough.

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.