Did you ever think that being in the sand could be fun? And I am not talking about being at the beach. If you practice this simple routine, getting out of the sand can be awesome. Of course there are different sand or bunker shots. Are you in fairway sand or around the green? Is the sand soft or like hardpan? Is there a lip or a simple edge to advance you ball? Is there an uphill or downhill slope?
The fairway bunker is the easiest of all of the shots. I usually use a long iron, 7 wood or a hybrid as long as I know that I can lift the ball over even the slightest lip. These clubs are especially good if the sand is compacted. If not using a loftier club to advance your ball is more advisable.
The real trick in getting out of the bunker and on the green is when you are in and around the green. You have got to evaluate the green, and pin position as it relates to your position in the sand. Do you have enough green to work with? Are you 10yards or 50 yards away from the pin? Is the ball buried, near a steep lip of the bunker for a not so easy lift?
The clubs of choice around the green when you are in a bunker are the Gap, sand or lob wedge. I find the lob wedge invaluable when in close proximity to the pin (5-25 yards) from the pin. You can get good lift and the ball will not tend to run past the hole, especially if there is even a little downhill slope of the green. If you are further away from the green and the pin is 25 yards or more away, sand or a gap wedge is ideal.
The sequence to follow in order to have your golfing buddies envy you is as follows:
– Determine your lie and position of your ball – regardless of where you are you must focus on a spot and you must keep your head down and follow through to have a successful shot shot blasting machine
– Club selection depends on the length of your shot
– Determine the type of sand – hard or soft
– Set up your stance with most of your weight on your forward leg
– Find a spot on the sand 1-2 inches behind the ball when in soft sand and close to the green – stare at it
– Dig your feet in – deeper with softer sand
– Use a normal grip
– Take a few practice swings
– Shift into the ball as you swing and accelerate through the ball for a complete follow through
– On an uphill lie be sure to have your shoulders level and not tilted into the slope
– On a downhill lie open your stance and take a steeper back swing
– When close to a high lip take a sleep back swing hitting the sand 2-3 inches behind the ball to blast it up and out