Fearless Golf!

Play with a better mind and shoot lower scores

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RICK'S TAKE
NO BALL, NO FEAR

Here are two keys to keep you smooth and confident on your pitch shots. First, hitting a solid pitch shot requires soft arms. Feel that the arms are relaxed and remain loose on both the backswing and followthrough. You'll want to match the length of motion on both sides to ensure a smooth motion. Second, have a metronome-like tempo. Keeping your tempo the same back and through will reinforce being smooth through the shot. I use a metronome app on my phone to swing back and forth on the same tempo. It works wonders.

FRIGHTFUL SAND SHOTS:
Hinge & go for it!



If there's one fearful shot where it's okay to use the hands more, the bunker shot is it! As for the 30-yard bunker shot? Well, it's even scarier. What I recommend is along the lines of what Glenn Deck says in his article in this same issue. Don't set up with a big open stance and an open blade. Instead, set up with the ball slightly forward and aim directly at your target. Now, here's the key. You must swing aggressively into the sand behind the ball. The goal is to hit it "fat," so to speak, and to do so, I recommend using one club longer than usual. And, by the way, let those hands hinge at the top of the backswing. You're going to need that extra clubhead speed as you approach the sand.


RICK'S TAKE
FIND SAND!

The mid-length bunker shot is a tough one, mainly since it's not a traditional greenside bunker explosion shot or a fairway bunker shot, which require different mechanics. This "in-between" shot causes havoc for golfers because they start to fear either leaving the ball in the bunker or skulling it over the green. To play this shot, always remember that, in most cases, a slightly fat shot is going to be better than a skulled one. Even if you don't reach the green, you'll likely still get out of the bunker, whereas a skulled shot either will stay in the sand or fly just about anywhere. So stay aggressive, hit the sand, and have no fear!



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