It's Not Your Fault!
Never make the same mistake twice and start shooting lower scores by fixing your swing faults
The game of golf is full of excuses. Whether its an excuse for a bad
shot, a bad pair of slacks or the dreaded excuse for a late or missed
tee time, golf is littered with blame. Rarely, however, does a golfer
blame himself or herself for a poorly hit shot. It could have been a
distraction, a bad lie, a miscalculated yardage or my favorite—an
unexpected 40 mph gust of wind. In any case, and despite the plethora
of excuses for what seems like everything in golf, if you want to get
better at actually playing golf, you must check your ego at the door.
Flubbed Bunker Shots
What you see on the PGA Tour doesnt work for everyone. Often, golfers exaggerate what they see on TV and open the clubface too much at address. Also, the camera plays tricks on the eye. It may look like players are aiming wide left, but in actuality, theyre aiming just slightly left. The truth is, the more you open the clubface, the smaller your window becomes for a successful result.
Use a stronger grip and move with your hands slightly ahead of the ball. Set up so the ball is in the center of your stance and aim your body slightly to the left. Do the same with the clubface in the opposite direction. The key is instead of exaggerating an open clubface, open it slightly to the right—just about as much as the body is to the left. (The left rod is my body line, and the middle rod is the direction of the clubface; my intended target is between the two.) As you swing, do so along your body line (left rod) and concentrate on hitting two inches behind the ball. The bounce of the sand wedge will determine how much sand youll catch between the ball and clubface, so remember to hold the face slightly open through impact and accelerate through the ball. Dont scoop—let the club do the work.
Golfers often err by flipping the hands over through the sand, usually resulting in a poorly hit bunker shot. Instead, trust your ability and the design of your sand wedge. The bounce is designed to allow for just the right amount of sand to lift the ball, but to take advantage of it, you have to hit down on the sand! I know, it seems counterintuitive to have to hit down and hard on the sand to lift the ball high and softly. But in the bunker, thats how to get it done.
Equipfix: Bounce Angles
By Ryan Noll
When was the last time you considered the bounce angle of your wedges? Truth is, theres a lot more to low, mid and high bounce angles than meets the eye. Bounce angle refers to the slope from the rear of the sole to the front, with respect to a flat surface and a vertical shaft angle. Typically, if youre a player who tends to hit fat wedge shots or if you have trouble getting the ball out from the bunker, a high-bounce wedge model will work far better for you than a low- or mid-bounce wedge. Reason being, more bounce means just that! The club will resist digging into the turf or sand and effectively bounce off the surface for a crisper shot due to the lower rear end of the sole and the higher leading edge.
Conversely, if youre a player who plays golf on very firm conditions or if you struggle more with thin shots and/or if youre an advanced player, a low-bounce sand wedge will likely produce better results. Low-bounce wedges have less angle between the rear and front of the sole, thus theyre beneficial for players seeking a more descending angle of attack.
For the undetermined, theres always the mid-level bounce angles that prove to be versatile options for all skill levels and all playing conditions. To help decide which wedge may be best for you, dont miss the 2007 Golf Equipment Buyers Guide, with a full round-up of todays hottest wedges and the technology that drives golfs most intricate scoring club.