Let's Play In The Sand!

Making Sandies Happen

None of us spend enough time hitting bunker shots and nearly every golfer never practices hitting fairway bunker shots. The latter is pretty easy to understand since few if any practice areas have a place to hit long irons or even woods from a bunker.

But that's no excuse.

Here are a couple of ideas.

Greenside bunker shots need to be practiced because the bunker shot is the least encountered shot during a round. Add to that the fact that balls in a bunker can have several different types of lies, each one of which will make the ball behave differently. On your next practice day, in fact every practice day, spend at least 10 minutes dropping balls in the sand. Make sure to practice each of the following:

the regular lie
the plugged lie
the "pin close" shot (open the face more)
the "pin further" shot (close the face more)
the uphill lie

Take the time to learn how the ball behaves with each way you lay the face on your sand wedge. Distance control is what you are after. Play games with yourself to make it fun.

For fairway bunker shots it's a little more difficult. The best way is to go out on the course an hour before sundown when it's not likely other players are on the course. Find bunkers that have high lips or no lips so that you can hit shots that you will understand how they behave. It's critical to also focus hitting the ball first with your feet and legs steady and calm. Go ahead and try that 5-wood too. Fairway bunker shots need not be brillant everytime. You goal is to hit decent shots that advance the ball as best as you can away from trouble.

Have fun !!

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