Golf Tips And Lessons

Sand Shots in Golf

There are three fundamentals to a successful shot out in the sand: consistent entry point, good technique and the right setup.

When playing short sand shots around the green, you should use a sand wedge, which may vary in loft from 55 to 58 degrees with 8-12 degrees of bounce.

To get the right setup, draw three imaginary lines in the sand; each line has its own specific use. The target line is the one that goes from the target to the ball and extends farther from the ball.

The line that opens about 10 degrees to the target line is the angle of the feet. Then the third line should be at right angles with the target line and originating at the ball. This denotes ball position, and for right handed golfers, it is slightly off the left heel.

Once you establish the correct golf driver setup, with your weight evenly spread out to your two feet, make sure that the face of the club is slightly open. This will prevent the leading edge of the club from digging into the sand as it will instead put the loft on the ball and enable the back part of the club’s bottom to bounce off the sand.

The backswing should start slightly outside the target line. As you begin this motion, you’ll realize an instant breaking of the hands, resulting in a more vertical swing that causes the club to enter the sand about 2-inches behind the ball (point of entry).

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The point here is to take as little sand as possible without touching the ball. Let the sand lift the ball from the bunker.

As you touch the sand, there should be ‘cupping of the wrist’ (left wrist in this case). This action is very crucial for producing quality sand shots. The backspin will cause the ball to rise up in the air since the club will be prevented from closing.

Tips for mastering a good sand shot

• Playing a sand shot remains a big mystery for many golfers. However, there are a few tips you can follow to develop good technique for a sand shot.

• Get your feet to dig in – Get good foundation for your stance by digging and squirming in the sand using your feet. Besides a firm foundation, you’ll also be able to tell the type and texture of the sand.

• Take it long and slow – Most inexperienced golfers tend to rush through the sand shot to get out of the sand as fast as they can. However, you’re better off playing the whole sand shot in ‘slow motion’. The backspin should be long and slow, and the follow through should equally be slow.

• Find the safest way out – Whenever you find your ball close to a sand trap, it’s often a disaster to try blasting it out. Find another way out; might be backwards, or you could direct your shot some feet away from the hole (30-40). This could save you a couple of shots.

• Downhill sand shot – Ensure that your body is parallel to the angle of the slope. Here you need a s much grip as possible with your feet, particularly the left foot, and play the ball closer to your right.

Keep these golfing tips in mind and then of course, practice as much as you can to perfect your sand shot.

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