December 2, 2022
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Understanding the most popular escape shot from the US Open Rough

By on June 16, 2022 0

In the rough on the 15th hole of the Country Club.

Connor Federico

The US Open is known for its rough so thick that it often forces players to hit a corner just to get back into play. For those watching at home, the most popular recovery shot you’re likely to see among the heavy stuff this week at the Country Club is a low hook with a wedge ⁠ – here’s why.

Let’s start with the obvious. Thick rough creates unpredictable lies, which can cause large fluctuations in strike points around the face. Ahead of the US Open, we covered why fairway woods are an effective tool from the rough, but there’s always a reason the pros will take a corner to get out of jail.

Wedges have the tallest and largest face surface of any non-460cc driver club. This larger sweetspot means that if a player misses a bit of high or low, which are the most common misfires in heavy hits, there is enough face area and mass behind the ball to get it back in. Game.

Vokey SM9 Wedge Face

Jonathan Wall

To present this wider facial area, the shot should be played with the hands further forward at address, which also accentuates the swing into impact in an effort to create less resistance. When all of these factors come together, this is the easiest way to escape, except for one small problem; the tree and the pipe.

By design, wedges have long hosels

Jonathan Wall

The place where the shaft enters the clubhead is called the hosel, and wedges have some of the tallest hosels of any club in the bag. Long grass is the sworn enemy of the hosel and wedge shaft, catching it as the club nears the ball at impact, causing the clubface to close quickly and force the ball to swing down and to the left (for a right-handed golfer). The pros know that better than anyone and plan accordingly, so the next time you see a low punch at the USOpen this week at the USOpen, you’ll know it was on purpose.

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