Scythe of Relief
Whenever I get the chance to play a practice
round with someone like Nick Faldo, I snap it
Faldo is a player I have admired as much
for his short game as for his ideas on the
swing. Nick has a terrific imagination
around the greens and is always
experimenting with different
types of shot - such as this one
he showed me at Augusta last
From fluffy rough he described
playing the shot with a 'scything'
action - and I think you'll like it.
Maximise width, minimise hand action...
Next time you find yourself in fluffy rough just off the green, do as Nick Faldo suggests and set up to play the shot with a scything motion. It's a bit like a bunker shot, only here you are using the grass as the buffer. Out of this sort of lie, the key is to stay aggressive through the shot.
You don't want to be decelerating through it, otherwise the clubhead will get caught up and you get the goofy one that doesn't quite get out. So get yourself set up like you would for a greenside sand shot. Open the clubface until it is almost lying flat about an inch or so behind the ball, and compensate
with a fairly open body alignment. A good tip here is to stand a little further from the ball than you would for a normal pitch, as that gets your hands nice and low at the set-up, which helps you to create the scything action through the ball. The key then is to make a wide, smooth swing (following the line of your toes) and to keep your hands quiet throughout.
Only with practice will you get a feel for the thickness of the grass and the way the ball reacts from it. All I think about is trusting my swing and swinging the club into the grass a good inch behind the ball. Even if I have a lot of green, I try to fly it most of the way.