Gimme One Thing

Firm bunkers re­quire a spe­cial tech­nique

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - Contents 01/18 - BY JIM MCLEAN

Hit­ting out of the wet or firm sand.

Play­ing on a course af­ter a big soaker presents all kinds of chal­lenges—thick rough, mud balls, slower greens, etc.—and one that both­ers many is a bunker with firm, packed sand. Too of­ten, golfers mis­tak­enly use their stan­dard green­side tech­nique, only to watch the ball rocket over the green or plug into the lip. If the sur­face is more like ce­ment than sugar, make these ad­just­ments.

When you ad­dress the ball with your sand wedge or lob wedge, do not open the face. The club will in­ter­act with the sand some­what like hit­ting off a cart­path. It’s go­ing to bounce off the sur­face, not dig, so keep­ing the face square helps avoid skulling the ball three fair­ways over. Your down­swing needs to be steeper for the same rea­son, so ad­just your stance un­til al­most all your weight is on your front foot. You want to feel like you’re lean­ing to­ward the tar­get. When you swing, take the club back steeply while keep­ing your weight on your front foot. Then swing down so the club en­ters the sand no more than an inch be­hind the ball. Be­cause of the thick­ness of the sand, your fol­low-through will be short, with the shaft lean­ing to­ward the tar­get—no scoop­ing! My fi­nal piece of ad­vice is to swing easy. The ball is go­ing to come out faster than a nor­mal bunker shot.

Think, Steeper, shorter and easy.

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