Chipping out of Thick Rough

Author: 
Mike Fiato, PGA Apprentice - The Woodlands

The dreaded chip shot out of heavy rough is a golfer’s nightmare. 

It is naturally a pretty unpredictable shot because it is difficult to gauge the exact contact between the club face and the golf ball.  The goal should be to get the ball on the green and eliminate the big score.  Follow these three tips and you will master this shot.

#1 Open that club face:

Thick grass tends to shut the clubface down through impact, thus de-lofting the club.  If you open the face just a touch it should allow the club to counter this natural tendency and get the golf ball out with more height.

#2 Come across the ball with an outside to inside motion:

The club really wants to grab thick rough and has a hard time gliding through it.  If you bring the takeaway a little more to the outside and finish across the ball towards the inside, the club should have less resistance through the chip.  Set up almost like you are playing a mini slice with an open stance and open shoulders to promote this swing.

#3 Always accelerate through the chip:

This may be the most important aspect of executing a close chip shot in some brutal rough right next to the green.  Deceleration is the kiss of death in this scenario; it usually means you will either flub the shot or successfully pull off a double hit.  Make sure you commit.  If you have the proper set up and technique the ball will come out with low spin and on the green.