Hitting Out Of The First Cut

On many golf courses, the fairway is lined with a first cut where the grass about twice as long (or more) than the fairway. Generally the ball is about half cover and this creates the potential for grass getting between the club face and ball on contact. In many instances, this causes the ball to release farther when landing on the green because of the lack of spin caused by the grass. However, I have found a solution to this that I think might be helpful for your game.

Foot Wedge – Is it a solution?

I recommend that you use a foot wedge. Yup, just give your ball a little nudge or kick to have your ball sit up on the grass. This is the easiest method to ensure the slightly longer grass never interferes with the ball and club face. Not, the key to a good foot wedge is to ensure that your playing partners do not see your ball move. Some players place their bag or cart in the line of sight from their ball and the others in the group; you know so they can use their foot wedge with impunity.

Okay, I am kidding of course. I hope you did not spit your coffee over your computer or phone. If you did, sorry about that. Back to reality, I do have proven method (for my game anyway) to hit the ball cleanly out of the first cut that can help save strokes.

I actually do two things. First, I move the ball back in my stance about an inch. This new position helps the club make contact on the ball just above the height of the grass. In essence, I am trapping the ball a bit more than normal and this helps pop the ball out of the first cut without any really issues.

The second this is something that I do not do. I never try to work the ball out of the first cut. I found that when I try to draw or cut the ball; more often than not it turns into a hook or slice. The ball overreacts to my efforts and I rarely experience the results I hoped for.

Hitting out of the first cut can be tricky. It is better than the rough, but does pose some challenges. I have found a solution (not the foot wedge) that works for my game and it might work for yours. I am sure there are other ways to hit out the first cut and you probably have your own solutions. If you do, please share your thoughts.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


6 thoughts on “Hitting Out Of The First Cut

  1. So the next time your ball lands in the rough, keep calm and remember to consider your club selection, your grip and stance, and modify your swing. With these tips in mind, you’ll be building the skills needed to hit out of the rough while saving valuable strokes every round.


  2. I think maybe you might find it different down here. On most courses I play, the 1st cut isn’t something to worry about avoiding. In fact, when I find myself on it I think of it as the equivalent to teeing it up unless I have to hit through the edge of the rough too. The grass is different down here than up north. You’ll find most of our fairways a bit tight in the lie department compared to what you’re used to. It’s one reason I love playing up north when I get to travel. The fairways feel lush.


    • Kevin

      You make a strong point about the different grasses. I found that as well when I played down south many years ago. It is the nature of the course and something we need to adjust too over the course of the season. We have two distinct growing seasons and during that time, the first cut could almost be considered rough. I guess the trick is to hit the ball on the fairway all the time. 😉

      Cheers Jim


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