3 Shots to Play from Greenside Rough

By Denis Pugh

Apart from being great talents, the players on the world professional tours have to be creative thinkers as well because they are being challenged all the time by the green staffs all the time around the world. With this rough growing up so close to the putting surface, over the years the players have used many different ideas in order to play delicate shots with success from this thick rough.

How Tiger Woods Chips From Greenside Rough

I am going to show you a few ideas that I have learned over the way from a few players, beginning with a shot I learned from watching Tiger Woods play. Tiger Woods introduced to the public domain the chip with the wood. It is ideal for when you are in this type of thick rough greenside.

  • The broad sole of the wood runs through the thick grass. You play this shot very delicately, as if you are just trying to putt the ball on to the green.
  • It is a combination of a putting and chipping action but you do not need to hit it very hard. The base of the club just slides through the grass.

We can thank Tiger for that one, but we can move on to a shot that I saw Freddy Couples play.

How Freddy Couples Putts From Greenside Rough

Similar shot, a little bit closer to the green. The ball is lying deep down in this rough, what he used was a putter.

  • It is the bullet shot with the putter because you use the toe end of the putter to make contact with the ball. A pretty inventive shot, you use your putting action, the big thing here is that there is not much wrist action.
  • It has to be a smooth flow through the grass, do not try to hit the ball, just swing the putter and you catch it with the toe. It is the bullet putt through the rough.

How Lee Trevino Uses the Belly Wedge

Then, of course, Lee Trevino was the first player I saw play the belly wedge. You take a sand wedge, come up to the side of the grass where the ball is lying and place the leading edge of the sand wedge to the middle of the ball.

  • Again, a putting stroke, hands slightly forward, you must not try to hit the ball, you just sweep through the ball. Any attempt of hitting at the ball you might scoop it in the air and double hit it.
  • So this shot is played with a gentle touch, putting stroke, no conscious hit.


All the time the players are thinking about better ways to play the shots around the greens. You might not be destined for the US Tour, but you might be destined to try to learn from the players who are talented and do think about different shots to play around the greens. Keep watching on TV, you might pick up something new.

Category: Short Game
Sub Categories: Bad Lies, Chipping

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