Thinking of hitting a 3-wood from the rough? Here’s how to execute it

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Using a 3-wood from the rough can be tricky. Here’s how to do it with success.

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Most players think that using a 3-wood from the rough is a sin. But if you ask many of those same golfers, there’s a good chance that they’ve never had success with the shot, so they opt for a wedge instead.

As someone who doesn’t have great length both off the tee or with his irons, I rely on the 3-wood a lot to try and make up extra yardage on those long par 5s. I’m guessing there are plenty of you reading this who can relate.


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Of course, when you’re scattering your tee shots in the rough down either the left or right side, things can get tricky. Not only are you a long way from the green (in most cases), but you’ve got thicker grass to navigate.

If you’re worried about mishitting your 3-wood, it’s time to overcome those fears — and the video below shows you how.

How to hit a 3-wood from the rough

Navigating the rough is always a tricky proposition. But as the video above shows, a 3-wood can still be a good option for players (like myself) hoping for more distance on an approach shot.

While using a 3-wood from the rough isn’t necessarily recommended — since it’s easy for the thicker grass to catch the clubface and turn it down towards the ground — the instructor in the video, GOLF Top 100 Hall of Fame Teacher Hank Haney, still offers a quick tip towards hitting it better when you’re feeling bold.

“When you’re playing out of the rough, you have to have a steeper angle of approach,” Haney says. “If you come in too shallow, you’ll catch grass behind the ball and you won’t have any speed.”


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As Haney demonstrates in the video, notice the difference in his club path, as he’s using a much more over-the-top motion to help get the club to the ground. It almost resembles a motion similar to chopping an ax.

“Take the club more up, and bring the club more down. That will help you to hit the shots out of the rough with your fairway woods,” he adds.

So if you find yourself in the rough on a long hole and need some added distance, don’t be afraid to grab the 3-wood. It’s always difficult to play from that area (so be sure to assess your lie before deciding on your club choice), but with Haney’s tip, you can have the success you’re hoping for.

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Nick Dimengo

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