‘Throw’ sand over your shoulder for better sand contact
Fault: The club digging in to the sand Fix: Retain clubface loft
In greenside bunkers, we want the sand wedge to skim the sand rather than dig down into it. The club is designed to assist you through its sole bounce. But you can increase this effect by rotating the face open at address, which also adds loft to the face, helping you clear the lip. But setting the face open is only part of the story; you also need to make a swing that stops the face squaring into impact. This drill will help you – though you might need a hairwash afterwards...
Over-throw Make a complete backswing and try to throw the sand on the face over your shoulder, to the target. If you manage it, your loft is intact; the toe of the clubhead will point straight down, or even a little behind you. Head in the sand A squarer face makes contact a digging impact more likely. If your clubface shows any sign of squaring up during the backswing, you’ll instantly know about it because the sand will slide off, usually on to your head! Sand pile Open up your sand wedge, until its grooves face the sky. This creates that extra bounce and face loft. The hitting surface is now flat enough for you to collect a pile of sand on it. Hover the club with the sand on top and take your regular grip. Avoid a grain drain Make a couple of slow-motion takeaways, simply moving the club back so its shaft is just short of parallel. Your goal is to keep the sand on the face. Achieve that and you’ll have retained the extra sole bounce and loft you set at address. TG TOP 50 SIMON PAYNE COWGLEN GC, GLASGOW Scottish Golf Development Centre coach and Fellow of the PGA