Avoid the Rough

As we watch the US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, MA, I’m sure we are all thinking “Wow that rough looks intense!” Every time the ball is hit a little off line on TV, it seems to disappear into the depths of the thick and entangled rough! 
My thoughts immediately go to what kind of strength do you need in order to get out of that rough properly and still have a shot at par? The first thing that comes to mind is connected strength from the golf club through your hands into your torso down the legs into the ground! Unfortunately there is no quick fix to strengthening the whole body to prepare it for roughness other than hard work and dedication to a full body max strength program! But if you already have that strength what exercises could you do to improve your chances of getting out of the rough?  
Grip strength is the middle man between the club and the torso, so it would make sense to strengthen your grip strength in preparation for an event or a round that has thicker rough than you are used to playing! Exercises like bar hangs (holding onto a pull-up bar for as long as you can), adding a fat grip to movements like Pull-ups, bench press and deadlifts, and training heavy loaded carries like farmers walks and suitcase walks. After training grip strength I would look at the next middle man between the torso and the ground… the core! Exercises like planks and bridges are great to add to your routine and are measurable. If you add time to each, your strength improves! The last area of the body to look at is the feet as they are the only thing connected to the ground! Improving foot strength is very simple. During your next leg workout, take your shoes and socks off and train squats, lunges, deadlifts and sled pushes. Check in to see how your feet feel. I guarantee you, you will feel something you have never felt before… your foot muscles are actually working. The problem with shoes is the cushion is so thick these days that it shuts off all of your foot muscles and unfortunately makes them weak. By training barefoot, or with a flatter shoe, your feet actually get stronger during exercises. This will also increase connectivity through the body and in turn make you stronger over time! 
Try all these during your workouts over the next couple weeks and see how your body feels on the course. You may start to notice distance is improving and it is much easier to control the ball out of the rough! 
Enjoy watching the rest of the 2022 US Open!