The 30 to 40-yard bunker shot is often referred to as the hardest shot in golf and one which often strikes fear into the average player. Trying to swing harder with a sand wedge leaves no margin for error and you will often see amateurs thinning it over the green or hitting it fat and the ball only going a fraction of the required distance.
But instead of reaching for your sand wedge, take your 8-iron instead. Trust me, you’ll see major improvements.
Set up as you would for a normal bunker shot with the ball slightly forward, weight favouring the front foot with the face open.
Now, stand a little further away with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and lower your hands. This promotes a shallower U-shaped swing and adds loft to the club, giving you more margin for error.
Make your normal swing, keeping good rhythm, and release the club through impact. The ball will fly further and roll out more. These changes in set-up and the longer club will give you more success out of the sand.
AND ANOTHER THING…
Short putts are often missed by regular club golfers because the left wrist tends to have broken down at the point of impact.
A good drill to try and improve this fault is to try hitting some short putts with your left hand only.
Put an elastic band over your wrist and putter grip to firm up the left wrist and maintain the same angle at impact that you had at set-up. You can even try putting with the shaft running against the left wrist like PGA Tour player Matt Kuchar does to get the correct feel.
David Patrick is an award-winning PGA professional and teaches at Kingsfield Golf Centre. For lessons, you can call David on 07773 427233. Follow him on Twitter: @shortgamedoctor
Originally published on bunkered on April 29, 2012.