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Rough stuff

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. – While one player after another was scraping balls on the range Tuesday afternoon at Saucon Valley Country Club, Henri Reis had one of his players, Teresa Lu, off to the side hitting hybrids and irons out of the thick rough. Reis, who taught Annika Sorenstam and currently works with Lu and McDonald’s LPGA champ Anna Nordqvist, felt like Lu needed some extra work out of the tall stuff, which is normally very punishing at U.S. Women’s Opens and other USGA events.  

“You can’t avoid it all week long,” said Reis.

To hit the ball with any distance out of a thick lie, you have to make a descending blow and generate more clubhead speed, says Reis. Lu, like many golfers, was trying to sweep the ball out of the grass.

“You have to speed the club up more than you do from a normal lie,” said Reis. “To do that, you must maintain your wrist angles [hinge] longer on the downswing. Feel like your thumbs remain putting upward [toward the sky] longer, and hit down on the ball. Most people try and get speed by throwing their shoulders at the ball and that’s bad.”