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When using your pitching wedge from tall grass, move the ball back in your stance and make sure your hands are ahead of the ball.
When using your pitching wedge from tall grass, move the ball back in your stance and make sure your hands are ahead of the ball. (Chris Odom/Eclipse Sportswire)

Master the trouble shots from high grass

Kelly KlecknerBy Kelly Kleckner,
Class A LPGA Teaching Professional

Usually when your approach shot falls short of the green, you do not have an ideal lie. Many times you must hit out of deep grass leaving you with the choice of a wedge shot or a flop shot.

I will give you some pointers on how you can successfully obtain the shot that ends up on the green.

First you must check your lie: If your ball is at rest "sitting" on top of the grass, you will want to execute a flop shot. To do this you must move the ball forward in your stance and attempt an explosion shot similar to that in the sand. You don't actually hit the ball, but you make contact with the grass behind the ball with your sand wedge.

Depending on how far you are from the green, you will use either a U shaped swing, or a V shaped swing which I have discussed when explaining the sand shot. Let the speed of the clubhead moving through the grass lift your ball. Make sure you follow through, or similar to the uncompleted sand shot, you will still be in the rough!

If the ball is sitting in a hole or buried in the tall grass, you will need to use your pitching wedge. To do this move the ball back in your stance and make sure your hands are ahead of the ball.

Pick the club up and try to hit the ball first when descending into your shot. This should create a high shot due to the ball shooting off the clubface.

You must follow through on this shot even though it's more of a "pop" shot.

As with any shot in golf, you must refrain from looking up to see your wonderful shot! I always tell my students that if they look up too soon they will most likely see a shot they would rather forget than keeping their eye on the spot where the ball was and looking after the shot is completed. Remember you want to end up on the green to putt, so practicing these shots will make them habit when you're playing!!

Golf Tip of the Month

Has anyone told you to keep your head down? I'm sure all of us have heard this innocent comment that is meant to help, but in actuality it restrains us from executing the proper swing!

This comment promotes lifting your hands and arms on the take away, and increases the chance of a reverse weight shift and poor balance. I tell my students to keep their eyes on the ball and the spot where the ball was and let their head move with the rest of their body through the swing. Count 1, 2 and then look up to see a perfect shot!!

LPGA Professional Kelly Kleckner teaches at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course in Colorado Springs, Colo. She played collegiate golf for Colorado State University, and is the founder and director of the LPGA Girls Golf Club for the area. She coaches and teaches private and semi-private lessons all year. For more information call 719-576-9176.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • flop shot

    Gastone Ciucci Neri wrote on: Mar 28, 2017

    I do not agree with Kelly when she says to perform a flop shot when the ball is sitting on fluffy grass. On doing so there is the risk to go under the ball and the ball does not move an inch. In this case instead I would suggest a pitch shot with the club face square and grounded at the same level of the ball.