How to Hit from Tall Grass (Fescue)

Golf course architects can use a variety of design options in order to punish bad shots or to protect holes from golfers looking for shortcuts. Amongst those are hazards such as water and sand bunkers, rough, and even tall grass. Often referred to as fescue, tall grass is essentially used as an additional length of rough that can also grow in otherwise waste areas around holes. Whenever you hit a bad shot into fescue you instantly know you are in trouble. Follow the tips below for instructions on how to hit from tall grass and in order to limit the damage caused by hitting a golf shot into fescue.


Key Objective:

Actually making contact with the ball despite the fescue’s grippy grass and seeing the ball escape trouble back into play.


Don’t Go for the Flag – Aim for a Safe Exit Instead

Consider laying up when hitting from tall grassWhile it may be tempting to try to reach the green from the fescue following a bad drive that leaves you with only 150 yards to the hole you better leave those shots to the professional golfers. Indeed, only the pros and the uniquely skilled golfers can generate enough club speed that is required to power through tall grass without seeing much impact on their shots. For the average golfer, it is best to accept the situation, take the medicine, and aim for the safest way back into the fairway. Failure to do so can result in hitting the ball deeper into the fescue, which can be fatal to your scorecard or to your match.


Use a Lot of Loft

Use a lot of loft when hitting from tall grassNow that you are resigned to laying up (instead of trying to hit a normal shot) pick a club that will give you the best chance of escaping the fescue. Depending on how deep into the tall grass the ball is located, and how far away from the fairway you are you may elect to take the club with the highest loft in your bag. That means taking your lob or sand wedge, which should give you between 60 and 56 degrees of loft, and the best chance to see the ball fly out of the fescue and back into safety.

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Use a Vertical Swing

Use a steeper swing when playing from tall grassThe biggest issue with tall grass is that it will grip into your clubhead and shaft and slow down your clubhead speed as it travels towards the ball. If the grass is tall enough, it may even be difficult for the club to actually hit the ball at all. In order to increase your chances of making contact with the ball, try to tweak your swing so that it is more vertical in nature. That is in contrast to a flatter swing that would in this case see the club travel through a lot of grass on its way towards hitting the ball.


Hold the Club Tightly

Use a tight grip when hitting from tall grassEven if you tweak your swing so that it is more vertical than flat, your club is still going to travel through grass that will try to grip and twist your clubhead. In order to maintain the clubface in its correct angle grip the club more tightly than you normally would. This will allow you to power through the grass without too much impact into your club and ultimately into your shot.


Swing Hard

Swing hard when hitting from tall grassAgain, you’ll need for your clubhead to travel through a lot of thick and long grass on its way to the ball. And that grass will slow down your club significantly so you’ll need plenty of club speed to go through it all. Therefore, don’t try a little delicate swing but rather go for it and swing hard at the ball. Even with a faster swing, the tall grass may not even allow for a follow through, which is fine in these circumstance.


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