Learn How to Get Out of Rough Spots

It is inevitable that you are going to get into some rough spots during the course of a round of golf. Rare is the round where you are able to keep the ball on the short grass for all 18 hole, so you would be wise to practice some strategies for getting out of trouble as quickly as possible. Wasting shots trying to recover is a fast way to ruin your score, so make sure you have a game plan when you find your ball in a bad spot.

Recovering from a rough spot on the course is as much about your thinking and your strategy as it is your technique. Use the following tips to make good decisions and limit the damage on your scorecard.

  • Don’t be a hero. By far, the biggest mistake most amateur golfers make when they get into a bad spot is trying to hit too good of a shot to recover. If you take on a risky shot, and don’t pull it off, you will likely be in even worse trouble and quickly losing control of your score. Take the safe route out of trouble and make sure you are getting back into good position as fast as possible. This might not be the most exciting way to play, but it is the wise way to go.
  • Swing softer. The natural tendency is to swing harder when you get into a rough spot on the course – which is only going to make it harder to hit good shots. Make an effort to slow down your swing and focus on maintaining good timing and tempo regardless of what kind of shot you are trying for. It is easy to get frustrated and start to rush at this point in a round of golf, but ignore that urge and keep your focus.
  • Know the situation. If you are playing a match against another player, or are in a tournament, know the situation when you are trying to decide what kind of shot to hit from the rough spot you are in. If it is late in a match and you are behind, the time might be right to take a risk. However, if you have a lead or the match is close, the safe play is usually the right one so you don’t give your opponent an easy victory.