In any case the blow must be struck so as not to fold the grass over upon the ball, and this is bound to be done unless the grass for about four inches back of the ball is cut off at the roots by the sharp edge of the club when it is about to meet the ball. To get to the roots of the grass that far back of the ball and have much speed the club must be brought down vertically, with the face of the club pointing well away from the ball.
When that point is reached the club must be forced with great rapidity around so that the bottom edge of the club will cut the grass off at the roots and meet the ball square.
This turn will be greatly facilitated by the action of the grass which winds around the shank of the club, due to the fact that the club shaft is pointing at the ground at an angle of about fifty degrees.
This is one of the cases where drawing in the hands and getting a slice is a decided advantage, because, as you were coming down so straight, drawing in the hands prevents the club going too deep into the ground and thus wasting the effort, and as the ball is shot out of the grass it has the usual twist given by the club drawing across the ball.
This twist is emphasized by the drag of the grass upon the under side of the ball as it comes out and forward. The result is that you get a ball which comes out quickly, but which ducks quite sharply and shoots forward with a tremendous roll when it strikes the ground. In moderately heavy rough grass it is possible for the average player to get one hundred and fifty to one hundred and seventy-five yards if the stroke is played correctly.
To gain a simple mental picture of the stroke the player should imagine that he is playing a regular mid-iron shot on the fair green, downhill, on a very steep incline and is trying to drive the ball along the ground by aiming about four inches back of the ball in order to be “down” when he reaches it.
If the grass is very heavy it will be possible to get a very fair ball away by emphasizing the slice by turning the face of the club away to the right of the hole and aiming an equal distance to the left to allow for the slice which results.
The whole success of the stroke depends upon pounding the club down hard into the turf back of the ball. Don’t be afraid of your club shaft and hit hard.