With wa­ter long the bunker skull is in­stant death

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best -

I sn’t it funny – not ha-ha funny – when there’s one shot you ab­so­lutely must not hit, and it’s the one you can count on hit­ting? Case in point: You’re in a green­side bunker with wa­ter on the other side of the green. The shot that ends

things in a hurry is the head­high skull into the drink. You’d be bet­ter off leav­ing the ball in the sand, although that gives you another chance to skull it – might not like those odds.

I learned a lot of bunker tech­nique from Claude Har­mon and Ken Ven­turi. They ad­vo­cated tak­ing more sand rather than less. When you know you’re go­ing to take a chunk of sand, you can give th­ese shots the big swing they need. Try th­ese tips:

1 Set the club­face square. There’s no need to open the face be­cause sand wedges to­day are built with plenty of bounce on the bot­tom of the club­head. And no need to cut across the ball, ei­ther. Play it like a nor­mal pitch from the grass.

2 En­ter the sand fur­ther be­hind the ball. Even tour pros take more sand than they re­alise on green­side bunker shots. Tra­di­tional in­struc­tion says to hit an inch be­hind the ball, but I like three or four.

3 Make a full turn back and be ag­gres­sive. If you get No 2 right, you’ll learn to trust you can take a swing at it. A big windup will give you room to ac­cel­er­ate and power through the sand, send­ing the ball out safely.

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