How to slide the club un­der the ball

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play your best - Butch Har­mon is at Rio Secco Golf Club in Hen­der­son, Ne­vada.

Green­side bunkers are not happy places for most golfers. Chunks, skulls, shanks – a lot of bad shots can be traced to a faulty setup, usu­ally with the ball too far back and the hands too far for­ward.That leads to a steep crash into the sand and an ugly re­sult.

The big swing fault I see is cut­ting across the ball with an out-to-in club path (above, right). You can get out of the sand this way, but it’s dif­fi­cult to hit the ball on line.You’ll tend to pull it or put a lot of sidespin on it.

If you want more-pre­dictable re­sults, do the op­po­site. Play the ball up in your stance, in line with your front foot.And in­stead of push­ing your hands for­ward, drop them back so the shaft is ver­ti­cal or lean­ing slightly away from the tar­get.That’ll help the bounce on the bot­tom of the wedge slide through the sand.

As for the swing, I like to see the club come into im­pact from the in­side and go more down the tar­get line (above, left). A good test for that is where the sand goes: It should fly to­wards the tar­get, not way left. Look at your divot hole, too – you want long and shal­low, not a bomb crater.

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