Chipping from the rough video

European Tour player Brett Rumford talks through how you can improve your chipping from the rough.


European Tour player Brett Rumford talks through how you can improve your chipping from the rough.

Chipping from the rough video

When it comes to the short game, tension in the hands (grip) is the biggest killer. It will ruin your feel for the shot, but when you’re faced with a heavy lie, you need to keep good control over the club.

A great way to find the correct grip is to hold it as tight as possible, then get a friend to pull the head of the club – you’ll notice how your whole body moves.

Now do the same, but focus on holding the club tightly but not letting that grip pressure translate into upper-body tension.

Your arms will move back and forth without your upper body moving. This is the grip pressure you need when chipping from the rough.


Weight forward

In order to promote a descending strike, your weight distribution should be at least 80% on your left side.

This will encourage the club head to come down steeper and prevent the club snagging in the rough behind the ball.

You should also keep your weight on your left side when chipping off a good lie, so it’s easy to remember.


Early wrist break

In order to achieve the required descending strike on the ball, it is essential that the wrists break early in the backswing.

The will enable the clubhead to avoid the resistance of the thick grass and get the golf ball up into the air. This is a common technique used by good pitchers and chippers if the ball.


Hit down

By utilising a downward strike, the impact of the thick rough is negated. This is vital in making sure the ball is struck solidly.

A common mistake by many amateurs is to try and scoop or lift the ball. More often than not, this results in a fatted or duffed shot that doesn't travel very far at all.


Firm grip

What makes chipping out of thick rough so tricky is how easily the club head can get snagged up and twisted shut. This can cause shanks, as well as duffed shots that don’t go anywhere near the intended target.

A firmer grip will encourage a squarer club face to the target for longer through the rough, and hopefully produce straighter chip shots more often.


Allow for the roll

The rough also prevents the grooves generating much spin on the ball. The aforementioned technique causes the ball to just pop up and release with more top spin than a normal chip shot off a tight lie would.

As a result of this additional top spin, you must allow for extra roll out. Choose a spot where you intend to land the ball and allow for several extra yards than you normally would for a similar length chip from a clean lie.


Key tips

  • Grip the club tightly
  • Do not let tension creep into your forearms and upper body
  • Make sure you rotate your upper body through the shot
Thomas Patrick Clarke
Sports Digital Editor

Tom Clarke joined Golf Monthly as a sub editor in 2009 being promoted to content editor in 2012 and then senior content editor in 2014, before becoming Sports Digital Editor for the Sport Vertical within Future in 2022. Tom currently looks after all the digital products that Golf Monthly produce including Strategy and Content Planning for the website and social media - Tom also assists the Cycling, Football, Rugby and Marine titles at Future. Tom plays off 16 and lists Augusta National (name drop), Old Head and Le Touessrok as the favourite courses he has played. Tom is an avid viewer of all golf content with a particularly in depth knowledge of the pro tour.