Under 100

Five lessons that will lower your handicap in '07

Long Bunker4. Long Bunker
Long bunker shots are considered extremely difficult for even the most experienced players. Reason being, to hit it farther you have to square up the clubface, which leads to a digging effect and, possibly, fat shots. On the flip side, the player must also hit much closer to the ball, which often leads to thin or skulled shots. 

The perfect solution for the 40- to 50-yard bunker shot is to simply use a club designed to go farther.

Experiment with a pitching wedge, 9- and 8-iron. As long as the face is open, the club will have bounce, allowing the head to glide through the sand without any “dig.”

Then simply aim for impact two to three inches behind the ball—just like a normal bunker shot.

5. Pitch/Lob Shot
Missing a green often requires a high, soft pitch that will land close to your target, especially when the pin is cut close to the fringe.

The most important thing is to get into the proper posture, so adopt an open clubface, center the ball and widen your stance. Then lower your knees and the club’s handle, and back the shaft away from the target.

Once you’ve gotten into the proper stance, think “big” and “soft,” as a big swing and a soft rhythm will get the job done. WARNING: be careful with your lie! A little cushion helps, and anything on hardpan should be avoided.

Jeff Ritter is the Director of Instruction at the ASU Karsten Golf Academy in Tempe, Ariz. To learn more about his teaching and to read some of his other tips, visit www.jeffrittergolf.com.



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