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From the lie you can see here – dry Bermuda grass with very little substance – the ball could easily go an extra 20 yards, so you have to allow for that. Look, too, how I’m opening the clubface slightly. Moving the ball back in the stance means that you lose loft, so I’m adding a little more by opening up the blade.

When you miss a fairway, this is how to make the best of a poor lie in longer grass. WORDS BY PETER MASTERS PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOWARD BOYLAN

Amateurs find themselves in the rough more often than pros, but how many of you understand how to get the best from those tricky lies in the long grass? We all know that shots from the rough are less predictable; but to take just one example, how many of you know when you are likely to get a flier? This occurs when grass gets between the club and the ball, taking away the spin. If a ball doesn’t have backspin then it flies much further. This usually happens from dry, wispy grass and not the lush, damp stuff. Let me explain some more techniques for sharpening up your recoveries when you’ve missed the cut stuff.

Ball back When the ball is in the rough, I’ll always move it back slightly in my stance. I need to create a steeper attack to minimise the effect of the longer grass behind the ball; moving the ball back helps club meet ball while it’s still on its downward arc.

Aim left A cut shot, created by an in-to-out swing shape, suits a steeper angle of attack as it asks you to hold the face square or even slightly open, which retains loft on the face. So I aim a touch left to promote a slight fade.


Don’t draw it Never try to move the ball right to left. When you’re in the rough, trying to draw the ball in the air is very difficult indeed. Without a perfect strike it’s just not going to happen.

Low & hot You won’t get a lot of spin so the ball will come out straight, hot and quite low.



Open the face By opening the face at address you have more chance of controlling the ball and getting a higher and softer flight. Keep the face square from a fluffy lie like this and the ball could come out very hot indeed and bounce on for ever. // NOVEMBER 2010



GETTING IT AWAY WITH A WOOD If it’s dry and the lie is reasonable, I’ll be going with a wood and not a hybrid. It’s a personal choice, but I’ve found that the utility clubs tend to go left on me. They are easy to turn over. I’ve also experimented a lot with the lofts on my woods so that they fly the same distance as my long irons.

Get steeper If I have a tuft of grass behind the ball, I’ll tend to move it back and just get a bit steeper. Follow the same principles as before. You can open the face a little, but the ball won’t cut, it’ll just have a better flight.

I’ve got a 5-wood here, though I might also carry a 7-wood and then drop my 3-iron out of the bag. A decision like that depends a lot on the wind. If you need to keep the ball under the breeze then the iron is better because I launch it lower than the woods.

Start on line The most important thing is to start the shot on line. Remember, the ball isn’t going to move that much out of the rough, so if you’re off-line at the start then there’s little hope it will come back.


DISTANCE AND CONTROL My longer irons are not from the same set as my regular clubs. I prefer to have slightly bigger heads on the 2 and 3-irons because they are more forgiving. I don’t treat these as accuracy clubs; they are really for distance and controlling the ball in the wind, so the more help I can get with the strike the better. I’ve always played a blade from the 5-iron down because I need distance control with those. A large-headed 2-iron like this may vary by several yards depending on where you strike the ball in the face. Sometimes it’s hot and sometimes it comes out a little softer. But the RAC irons give you more consistent performance when it matters.

MY DRIVER Peter Hanson uses the TaylorMade Burner Superfast driver off the tee which is a full 14 grams lighter than the same model from a year ago. This weight difference helps to maximise clubhead speed for longer drives, while the new aerodynamic design helps to reduce drag through the air. The large, deep clubface also makes this driver more forgiving and easier to hit. Hanson has averaged over 282 yards off the tee this season.

GROOVE RULE DIFFERENCES The groove change has made a couple of differences. One you might say is good and the other not so good. The new grooves are much more predictable out of heavier, more lush grass, and you tend to get a bit more distance. Out of the dry stuff, however, you just can’t control the flight at all, so you’re looking to bounce the ball into the green from the front if there’s room. The old grooves made it impossible to get distance from the damp stuff, but they did give control from the wispy grass.

SIG UP TO N INFORM RECEIVE A TAYLOR TION FROM tmagpla MADE AT yersclu b registe .com/ r

IN THE BAG Driver: TaylorMade Burner Superfast

9.5°, RIP X70 shaft. Fairway woods: TaylorMade R9 3 & 5-woods (13° and 17°), Mitsubishi Diamana Kaili 80 shafts. Irons: 2-3 irons TaylorMade R9; 4-9 RAC Forged, Project X steel shafts. Wedges: PW RAC Forged; SW & LW Titleist BV-Spin Milled. Putter: Rossa Daytona Ghost. Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP. // NOVEMBER 2010


Tips Special - How to master rough with Peter Hansen  
Tips Special - How to master rough with Peter Hansen  

Tips Special - How to master rough with Peter Hansen