With a litany of distance-producing swing thoughts running through your head as you address the ball, it's easy for your body to lock up. Becoming "ball bound" this way will cost you distance. It's okay to concentrate on swing keys as you stand over the ball, but be sure to stay loose and ready to go by keeping your entire body in motion.
Waggle from Head to Toe
Keep your body loose by waggling before you hit the ball. Move your entire body if you like: Hinge the club back and forth with your wrists, shifting weight rhythmically between your feet as your head swivels to look at the target. Activate your shoulders by sliding the club back and forth along the ground or lifting it up and down. It doesn't matter which movement makes you feel most comfortable, but it should be done rhythmically, with a pace matching that of your swing. If your swing is long and slow, your waggle should be the same.
To make a smooth transition from waggle to swing, don't pause too long. Let the waggle become your swing-trigger, like a forward press. It's an easy way to make sure your body is loose, and ready and able to develop maximum power.
Fairway Woods for Rough
Straight hitters can produce any shot the longer player can except one. When the long hitter finds his bail in the rough, 200 yards from the hole, he can simply muscle it out with a long iron: not the straighter hitter, who doesn't have the strength to drive that thin blade through the long grass. This doesn't mean you should be content with laying up well short. A well-lofted fairway wood, such as a 5- or 6-wood, will give you the same good results, just with less effort.
All Ball, No Grass
The goal for any shot out of the rough is to make clean contact with the ball, minimizing the effect of the grass. To avoid the long stuff, swing on a steep, descending path. Two adjustments will help accomplish this. One, play the ball in the middle of your stance (about opposite your chin), and two, aim your feet a few yards left of target while opening the clubface slightly. Swing along a line parallel to your feet, out-to-in across the ball. You'll produce a steeper path and a cut-shot, which has a higher trajectory and a little more spin so the ball stops on the green.
Private Lessons 1999 Time4 Media, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.