What Golf Club To Hit Out of the Rough

Some experienced golfers can get through a round of golf without errant shots hitting the ball in the sand trap or a water hazard. This is a great accomplishment. However, most players are not able to get through a round of golf without having to hit an iron shot from the rough.

The rough sneaks up into play even when we are just a few yards from the fairway.

For the average golfer, it is essential to have a plan in place to be able to play from the rough. Hitting from the rough is different than hitting from the fairway. Stay tuned to find out what golf club to use in the rough.

What Golf Club To Hit Out of the Rough

The right golf club to use in the rough will depend on your distance to the green. However, the three most popular choices for hitting out of the rough are the hybrid golf club, a short iron, or a wedge.

When you hit a golf shot out of the rough, you need to ensure that you have enough loft to be able to launch the ball in the air. Thick rough will grab your golf club and shut the face down.

Let’s take a look at some of our best tips for hitting a golf ball out of the rough. These tips will help you decide which club is best for you to hit the next time you are out at the golf course.

Tips For Getting The Golf Ball Out Of The Rough

Even though swing mechanics and swing basics are essential, probably the most important tip for hitting out of the rough is to evaluate your lie and choose the club carefully. Sometimes it is not your swing speed, club face angle, or golf swing that causes the problem; it can simply be that you chose the wrong club.

Evaluate Your Lie

Timage of golf ball sitting in the rough - AEC Infohe first and more important part of this process is to evaluate your lie. Sometimes when a golf ball makes it into the rough, it sits up on top of the grass. Other times it is going to be completely buried. Remember this one fact to help ensure that you never have trouble choosing the right golf clubs.

The more buried the ball is, the more loft you will need to escape.

If you watch professional golfers play in the British Open, when they head into the fescue grass, they almost always have their wedge with them. The sand wedge is the only club that they know will pop out of this challenging lie.

Professionals have tremendous swing speed and hitting a fairway wood, or a mid or short iron may seem like a good idea, yet it is still not enough loft.

Choose The Right Club

If a golf ball is sitting up nicely on top of the rough, you can often hit a fairway wood. If it is more buried, then a pitching wedge is a better choice. You have to consider your swing speed into this equation because the faster you swing, the easier it is to get the ball out of the rough.

Long grass or tall grass really calls for some kind of a wedge and a golf swing at a slightly steeper angle of attack to get the ball out of the lie. Shorter grass is where fairway woods and Hybrids come into play.

Truly the hybrid is the best shot for the recreational golfer from the rough, although it is a personal preference based on your game of golf.

Even if the golf hybrid clubs do not give you a perfect shot, you will make solid contact and get the ball moving along towards the hole.

Open The Clubface

If you are hitting a hybrid out of the rough, let the clubface sit as it naturally does. However, for wedge shots out of the deep rough where the ball is buried, you may need to open the clubface. Opening the clubface will only increase the lofted club and give it a higher ball flight and launch coming out of the lie.

Opening the clubface may make it so that you get a little less distance from your shots, but you should still be able to get the ball up in the air and out of the rough.

In addition, when you are hitting approach shots out of the rough, you will not get as much spin as you do from the fairway. For shorter shots, this club head being slightly open may help you stop the ball on the green.

Contact Is Most Important

image of what club should you hit in the rough - picture of rough and fairway - AEC Info

The recreational golf has big plans for their ball, especially on longer tee shots. Part of your course strategy should be to understand that when a ball is in the rough, simply making contact with it on the way out of the rough is the most important part.

If you try to overdo these shots, you can often make an error and end up having to hit another shot from the rough.

Instead, focus on making solid contact, even if this means taking more of a 3/4 type golf swing.


Set The Expectations

A golf ball that travels out of the rough will not have the same launch angle, accuracy, spin, or distance as a ball in the fairway. The point of the rough is to make the game harder and have it become like a penalty that you have hit the ball here, to begin with.

When you have hit your golf shot into the rough, set the expectations. You are now in recovery mode, and the only thing you want to do is get the ball back into play and avoid a big number on the card.

Part of excellent golf course management is to set the expectations and play within your own game.

The amateur golfer tries to do too much with a difficult shot, and it can turn a bogey into a double-bogey quickly. Instead, work on getting the ball back into play and playing solidly from this point on.

Finish It

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to finish your golf swing when hitting out of the rough. Many players are relieved to get the ball back into the short grass, and they stop their swing just after impact.

However, this can result in a loss of power and accuracy. Force yourself to transfer your weight forward and finish your golf swing fully; the end result will be worth it.



Hopefully, you now feel as though you know what golf club to use in the rough to help you shoot your lowest scores. Luckily you have some choices from the long grass, but for the most part, the lob wedge, gap wedge, and the hybrid clubs are the most popular.

Pay close attention to the lie that you have been given so that you don’t make a poor shot because of club selection. Once you have this process down, you will find that hitting out of the rough is much easier than you once thought it to be.

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