Saturday, November 1, 2003
Sand Play Made Simple
Build confidence by learning the basics
...the ball is above your feet
Set up with the ball back in your stance, and choke down on the club to make up for the fact that the ball is closer to your torso than normal. Be sure to aim well right of the target because a shot from this type of lie will tend to go more left than you expect. The higher the ball is above your feet, the further right you should aim.
...the ball is below your feet
Set up with the ball forward in your stance and utilize the full length of the club (don’t choke down). Aim well left of the target because this type of lie tends to force the ball to the right. The lower the ball is below your feet, the more left you should aim.
...you have a downhill lie?
The key to playing a downhill sand shot is to set up with the ball in the middle of your stance, with your shoulders angled evenly with the slope of the bunker. Choke down a bit on the club to accommodate the location of the ball and the steepness of the slope. Expect the ball to come out lower than normal with plenty of spin, and aim accordingly.
...the ball is in a buried lie?
Set up with the ball in the middle of your stance with the clubface square or even a bit closed (the worse the lie, the more closed the clubface should be). You need to swing hard at this shot to make sure it gets out of the sand. Keep in mind that this type of shot will come out with very little spin, and the ball will roll quite a bit when it hits the green.
PGA teaching professional Brady Riggs instructs at Woodley Lakes GC in Van Nuys, Calif.
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