ONE of the biggest faults with poor bunker players is that they fail to use the sand wedge in the way that it was designed – by making use of the bounce.
Bounce is the shape given to the sole of the club and Andrew Butterfield, a leading teaching pro from Kent, England and a former European Tour player, says use it correctly and you will find it a lot easier to slide the club neatly under the ball and let it float out on a cushion of sand.
Opening the face at address and reserving that loft during the takeaway, promotes good use of bounce.
Here is a drill to help:
1 Pile sand on the face: A great drill for feeling the right technique is to open the face (aim right of target for righthanders) and pile sand on top of it. Your mission is to keep the sand on the face through the first part of the swing. When you first attempt this, you’ll probably struggle, but persevere and keep it smooth and you will get there.
2 Keep the loft, keep the sand When you retain the face loft correctly, the sand stays on the clubface through the takeaway.
3 Lose the loft, lose the sand Get it wrong by allowing the club to stay closed in the takeaway and the sand will fall off.
4 Sand over your shoulder Keep that sand on the club all the way through the backswing so that you end up throwing it over your shoulder and into the face of the bunker. Remember, the more you create loft on the clubface in the backswing, the harder you can hit it with confidence, knowing that you are not going to knife it over the green and into the jungle.
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