From the standpoint of scoring better, I hope you all drive the ball in the fairway every time, but I know you don’t. So what I want to do is give you a better idea of how to handle shots out of the rough. Especially with today’s golf courses and watering systems you find that the rough just off the fairways is usually a lot thicker than it was years ago.
How to Read a Thick Lie
Part of what you have to do is look at the lie and see how much grass is going to interfere between the clubhead and the ball as you are swinging the clubhead through. Additionally you have to know your swing speed and what you can get out of a given situation.
Mostly I see people trying to do too much out of the rough. From a strategy standpoint, if your drive went 200 yards and you went in the rough on a 380 yard hole, rather than trying to hit a five-wood out and topping it or hitting it straight along the ground to the left, if you hit a wedge out of the rough you can hit another wedge to the green.
This will assure you of a bogie and a legitimate opportunity at par as opposed to if you topped it and still had 150 yards into the green. So be more conservative out of the rough.
In this situation I have a fair amount of grass between my club and the ball, so based on my swing speed I can comfortably hit a 7-iron out of this lie. You also probably have heard of fliers, some lies fly some don't, this lie is a little heavier so I can tell it will not fly.
So even with a 7-iron I will not be able to hit it a full 7-iron distance from this lie. So if I were trying to cross water or a hazard this would not be a good choice of club. Other than that, the only thing that I think is important is that most people tend to tighten up too much out of the rough.
Correct Golf Form to Hit out of a Thick Lie
You want to make a full swing and a full pivot and let the club work naturally through the rough. It would look like this. Take a normal position and set up and make your full regular swing. Even from the sound of that you can tell there was a kind of heavy sound to the grass and the ball just floated out of there. Keep this in mind, a more conservative approach out of the rough, getting the ball in the fairway where you have an easy wedge shot for your next shot, that's something that is definitely going to lower your scores.