May 20, 2008
FAIRWAY BUNKERS: SET YOUR SIGHTS ON THE CENTER
One big mistake 80-shooters make is thinking they're better than they are. They ignore the risks of a tucked pin or a lie in the sand. Often the result is trouble on the next shot. As a rule, aim for the middle of the green from fairway bunkers.First, take an extra club, and play your natural shot (draw or fade). Familiarity will boost your comfort level. Second, catch the ball with a descending blow. To do this, make sure your pivot point is your front leg, so the shaft leans forward at impact. Third, rotate your lower body through. High-handicappers are told to keep their legs quiet, but you're going for the green so you need lower-body action.
CUP YOUR WRIST FOR A HIGH SHOT
If you do make the mistake of going for a tucked pin and short-side yourself, you'll need this shot. To get extra loft, cup your left wrist (for right-handed players) during the swing.Using your 60-degree wedge, set up for a normal bunker shot -- open stance and clubface, ball just forward of center, hands behind the ball. From there, make a normal swing but cup your left wrist as you go, hitting the same distance behind the ball (see the six-inch box in Breaking 100). Control carry by varying how much you open the face and how hard you swing, but never where the club enters the sand. Maintaining a cupped wrist will produce a higher shot. Don't forget to swing aggressively.ADDING LOFTIn the top photo, a cupped left wrist leads to an open face and more loft. With the standard technique (bottom), the wrist stays flat and the ball flies lower.