(Sitting Up, With the Grain)
In contrast to hitting a ball that is buried in rough, hitting a ball that is sitting up in fluffy rough brings a different set of challenges. In this scenario the risk – and what we try to avoid – is for the club to travel underneath the ball, without the clubface hitting the ball cleanly. Follow these steps to make sure you get the full distance out of hitting a ball that is sitting up in fluffy rough.
Good contact with the ball while avoiding seeing the clubhead travel underneath the ball.
Take One Less Club and Aim for the Front of the Green
As is the case whenever hitting from the rough (of any type) it is hard to exert a lot of backspin onto the ball, especially when it is sitting up. In contrast to a ball that lies on the fairway, the clubface here can’t trap the ball against the ground because the ball is held up from the ground by the fluffy rough. That means the ball will fly out without much backspin and will roll a good distance upon landing. For that reason, aim for the front of the green and take one less club that you normally would.
Position the Ball in the Center of your Stance
In order to promote a crisp contact, position the ball in the center of your stance. This is in contrast to placing it too far forward, or too far back. A ball placed too far forward could result in your club striking the ball high on the clubface, above the sweet spot. Conversely, a ball placed too far back might result in your club striking the ball low on the clubface, below the sweet spot. Aim to hit the ball on the sweet spot in order to get the full distance out of your shot.
Grip Down on your Club a Little
A further way you can protect yourself from seeing the bottom of the swing arc below the ball is to grip down on your club a little. Doing so will raise the bottom of the swing arc, helping counter the fact that the ball is located a little higher than your feet, thanks to its cushion of fluffy grass. So position your hands slightly down from where they would normally be on your grip and aim to catch the ball cleanly, without going below.
Favor a Flatter Swing Rather than a Steep Swing
Finally, if at all possible you may try to modify your swing plane. Some circumstances call for a swing to be steeper than normal, such as hitting from tall grass. However, in this fluffy lie situation a flatter swing is recommended instead. Doing so will help shield you from coming in too steeply which could see your club travel down towards the ground and away from the ball that is sitting up. A flatter swing will help catch the ball cleanly, even from its elevated position.