GOLF TIPS | Start off the season by learning how to read a lie

  • Tue Jun 12th, 2012 7:20pm

By Tyrone Hardy For The Weekly Herald

Greetings fellow golfers.

We greet the new season with enthusiasm, resolve and anticipation that this will be the year we break 100 or we get a par or we shoot in the 80s.

This time of the year is special because we take lessons and practice and work as much as we can on our game in the winter because, let’s face it, winter weather isn’t exactly conducive for a relaxing round of golf. Then we get to put all that practice to good use this time of year.

The grass is growing like crazy due to the good weather this spring, so I thought that I would discuss playing from the rough. The first thing to consider is the lie. This is especially important when playing summer rules (playing the ball as it lies as opposed to winter rules where you can replace the ball); the lie will dictate everything.

Learning how to read a lie requires experience. The more you do it the better you will get at reading what the ball will do. Generally speaking, expect the ball hit out of the rough to have very little spin and that it will release when it lands.

The two most common effects when hitting out of the rough is that the ball goes nowhere or you get the jumper or flier. For most golfers the former is true. You try to hit the ball out of the rough and it does not go very far.

The flier is when the ball actually travels farther than normal and again has very little backspin. When hitting out of the rough, a couple of simple adjustments can help.

The main focus for adjustment is to create more of a ā€œVā€ swing than a more normal ā€œUā€ shaped swing. If you try to use your normal swing in the rough you will feel the grass grab the club head.

To accomplish this V shaped swing, start by taking a slightly narrower stance and lean a little on your front foot. This will help you get the club moving up when you begin your takeaway.

During the backswing, try to not make as much of a weight shift to your rear foot. On the downswing, feel the club taking a steep angle towards the ball. The result of this action will create the V shape.

Hold on to the club a little tighter and chop the ball out. Don’t overestimate how far your ball will go. Most of the time from deep rough, just back to the fairway is a good shot. As mentioned before, the ball will likely not go very far.

Once you have practiced these adjustments, you may notice you will get a more of the fliers. Unfortunately, one consequence of playing in the Northwest, especially in the early season, is that the rough can be rough.

Try this and it will help. This is the first installment in our summer series.

Send your questions or feedback to Tyrone Hardy is co-owner of Hardy Golf LLC. and Director of Golf at Ballinger Lake GC. For more information, see Also check out Ballinger on Twitter and Facebook.