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Fundamentals In The Sand
by Better Golf

You have often heard on television broadcasts of PGA Tour events that the players prefer a misdirected approach to land in a small bunker beside the green. That's because they feel more certain of how the ball will come out of the sand than from the tall and often tangled grass around it. This is evidenced by a sand-save percentage among these players of some 80 percent.

But the confidence and success rate are also based on good technique for playing the explosion shot. While many average golfers are just happy to get the ball out of the sand in as few strokes as possible, the better players expect to get up and down in two.

What are the basics of good explosion play?

1. As you get a firm footing, feel the consistency of the sand with your feet. This will tell you how much you will have to take to penetrate the sand effectively.

2. Grip down on the handle of the club the same amount your feet sink into the sand. That way you won't be standing under the ball.

3. Always have the scoring lines of the club facing the spot where you want to land the ball.

4. Do not play the ball back in your stance. Play it slightly forward of center.

5. During the swing, the hands should be soft and inactive. Trust your arms to do the work.

6. Your main focus should not be on hitting the ball itself, but in the sand behind it, so you knock the sand out from under it. This holds for perfect and buried lies.

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