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Today's Golfer (UK) - - PLAY BETTER -

Watch any tour pro play a stan­dard bunker shot these days and you will see an ac­tion that works in-to-in, just like any nor­mal golf shot. This is quite a di­ver­sion from the old wis­dom in sand, which man­dated cut­ting across the ball with an open face. In-to-in is proven to of­fer bet­ter strike qual­ity and more ac­cu­racy, so if you want to im­prove your own sand play, build your ac­tion around the tech­nique de­tailed here. To un­der­stand the ba­sic ap­proach to the in-to-in bunker shot, ex­am­ine this im­age: it gives you the ba­sic stance, ball po­si­tion and swing shape that you’ll need to em­ploy.


Aim your feet slightly left of par­al­lel to the ball-tar­get line – if the tar­get is at 12, your foot line should point to around 11. We need your body to turn through with your swing­ing arms, and in sand this isn’t so easy; this open stance gives your lead hip a lit­tle ex­tra as­sis­tance in clear­ing.


Nat­u­rally this line re­mains par­al­lel to the ball-tar­get line at any point be­tween the ball and your feet.


This is per­haps a slightly curvier rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the jour­ney we want the club to take, but it’s im­por­tant you vi­su­alise the swing path in bunkers very much as in-to-in. This gets you out of the old out-to-in way of think­ing and en­cour­ages you to swing at the tar­get, not across it.


Play the ball for­ward of cen­tre, un­der your lead chest. This pro­motes im­pact with the club mov­ing in the level sec­tion at the base of its arc – ideal for the shal­low sand divot that gives you con­trol over con­tact and the ball.

From that ba­sic con­cept of how we are go­ing to stand and swing in bunkers, make two more changes to your ad­dress to im­prove your ac­tion...

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