Castletown Golf Links
Always remember when choosing your club that less is more. Too many people take a longer club or more club thinking it will compensate for the distance they lose when playing from the rough. This only shallows out the swing causing more grass to get trapped between club and ball reducing distance you achieve. Also the lack of loft drives the ball into the long grass in front of it rather than lifting it out. Always take a lofted club or less club than needed as the length of shaft helps create a steeper angle of attack into the ball helping get a higher launch angle out of the grass. You will laways get some grass between club and ball but the more we can reduce it the better.
Set your club face a little bit open, pointing to the right of target, as you address the ball. Long grass will tend to wrap itself around the hosel causing the club face to shut and point left (right handed golfers) encouraging a very low and weak flight probably further into the rough.
This is one shot in golf where I would encourage a tighter grip on the club with the left hand. This will help keep the extra loft on the club and stop the rough from controlling your club by twisting it in your hands.
Set your weight more on your left side at address and maintain that feeling throughout the swing. We are trying to encourage a steeper, downward movement into the ball and this position will help that.
Your swing should feel that you use your hands and arms to pick the club a lot quicker than normal so your club doesn’t get tangled in the backswing. This again will allow for a steeper downward movement into impact and will also allow us to maintain the necessary speed and power required for this shot.
If anyone is looking for a few pointers on this then I will be running some group lessons in the coming weeks and also on the right way to manage your way around the course to get the most from your game regardless of course condition or time of year.
Over the past week we have been selectively cutting back pockets of rough in the following areas to help make the course more playable, particularly for the higher handicap golfers:
3rd hole = Right hand semi-rough widened by 5 meters. The fairway here is 42 yards wide with a total target width of 62 yards between heavy rough on the left and right sides of the hole.
9th hole = Left hand rough cut back where fairway narrows.
11th hole = Left hand semi-rough cut a further 4 meters wide. This fairway is now ranging from 48 to 36 yards wide as you progress along it. There is also a minimum 50 yards wide hitting area before reaching the heavy rough on either side where tee shots are finishing.
12th hole = Left and right hand rough has been widened presenting a 40 yard wide fairway and 60 yard wide hitting area before getting into thick rough.
17th hole = The approach to the green is being widened on the right center side to allow a better opportunity for balls to run up on to the green and the rough on the mounds to the right of the green is being cut down to semi-rough height.
14th hole = The beginning of the fairway has been extended back closer to the tee as it is easily possible here. Our goal is to ensure that from both yellow and red tee boxes there is never more than a 95-yard carry to reach a fairway.
For the past four winters we’ve been consistently cutting back all of the rough on the golf course come autumn and have followed this with deep verti-cutting in an effort to allow the finer grasses to thrive come summer and reduce the dense meadow grasses at ground level. We’ve seen progress with this process but weather plays a massive role in determining the end results come mid-summer. The weather of course being an unknown. Last year the exceptionally dry and warm spring meant a major lack of growth, inconsistency of rough appearance, and burnt up fairways. This year we’ve been fortunate to experience a consistent blend of warm sunshine and rainfall through the month of June and continuing thus far into July. Whilst creating beautiful definition it does mean the rough has shot up and has become thicker in places than we would like. As you’ll read later on in the newsletter about our greens, nature takes time to nurture and we’ve been advised by agronomist Neil Baldwin that the correct steps are being taken.