FRIDAY, JAN. 11: During winter the native Bermuda grass tends to weaken.
The reason for this is it is a warm season type grass that grows best when it is 80 degrees plus, so when it gets below 50 degrees, it tends to go dormant.

This means it does not stand up so well and its growth is slow and weak.

As a consequence of this weakening of the grass, the ball tends to sit very low making it very difficult to get good contact with the ball. The key is to understand that a different technique is required when playing from a tight lie in the rough.

Tight Lies

When the ball is sitting on a tight lie the club should approach the ball on a shallow angle.
Imagine the club coming down as if it were a plane landing softly on the runway. The key to creating a shallower angle of approach is to limit your wrist hinge on the way back, as well as keeping the club head low to the ground and more to the inside.

This then means the club will skid into the ball smoothly rather than bouncing off the firm ground. If the club bounces, it causes a bad shot and a resulting devastating loss of confidence.

Rough

When the ball is sitting down in the rough around the green, the club should approach the ball on a steep angle.

This is where we tell students to imagine the club is coming down as if it were a plane crashing. The key to creating a steep angle is to hinge the wrist more on the backswing keeping the face open and the club head outside of the hands. By learning how to control the angle of approach, a player will be able to hit solid shots around the green whether the ball is sitting on a tight lie or down in the rough.

Paul Adams if the PGA director of golf at Rosewood Tucker’s Point.