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Golf Article - Tips To Get Out Of The Sand Everytime


Most players dread landing in a bunker. The idea of taking two or three shots to get out isn't pleasant. Thus, sand shots tend to intimidate golfers—even those with low golf handicaps. But sand shots are often easier than they look. The problem for some players is information overload. They've read or received so many golf tips on playing bunker shots they confuse themselves. But you can improve your bunker game by doing some simple things.

First, you need to eliminate three common faults we often see in individual golf lessons and group golf instruction sessions—incorrect set-up, improper weight shift, and club deceleration and release.

Incorrect Setup:
Poor bunker players often set up incorrectly. It's probably the top mistake seen in golf lessons. You can learn to set up correctly at home with help from an exercise developed by Dave Pelz, the short game guru:

Get two yardsticks. Lay one down and point it at the right side of a door opening. Lay the second one down next to the first, but point it at the left side of the door opening. Set your feet along the left swing-line stick (left edge of the door) and open your wedge face to aim just outside the yard stick that points to the right of the door opening. This is the basic set-up for most bunker shots. If you can remember it when you get to the course, you'll have won half the battle with bunker shots.


Poor Weight Shift
Another common bunker problem is poor weight shift. Regardless of any move you make, you must start with your weight left and rotate more weight left. When you swing like this your club automatically bottoms out in the center of your stance. Now you can adjust the ball based on the sand.

If you're in soft, heavy sand, move the ball forward in your stance four inches from the center to splash out a lot of sand with the ball. But if you're on wet hard sand, keep the ball in the center and hit it and the ground at the same time. Always hit the sand first with the bounce of the club, not the leading edge.

Swing Deceleration
A third bunker problem is swing deceleration. Decelerating your club through your downswing causes you to release the club improperly at impact. Here's a simple drill that cures you of the problem:

Drop a ball in a practice bunker and take your normal address position. But separate your hands on the handle so that your left thumb just touches the pad of your right hand. Now swing. Practicing this drill helps you master key bunker fundamentals. As you make your backswing, the split grip forces your wrists to hinge quickly and fully, with your left hand pushing out on the handle. Hinging your wrist like this allows you to hit down into the sand so that the club can pass under the ball.

Also, as you swing through impact, you'll notice how easy it is to release your right hand. That's because it sits lower on the handle where we can better control the clubhead. This right hand releases guards against deceleration and leaving your club in the sand.

Develop A Go To Sand Shot
Having iron out these common problems, you now need to develop a "go to" bunker shot. Doing so will transform your short game. A go-to sand shot helps you get up and down more often. It will also helps shave strokes off your golf handicap and builds confidence in your sand game. Your go-to sand shot doesn't have to be picture perfect, like you might see in video golf instruction sessions. But it must one that you feel confident in.


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