InstructionSeptember 22, 2012

A bunker tip worth its salt

__By Jeff Patterson

__

Have you been told to monitor your salt intake? Even if you haven't (yet), you'd probably be glad to hear that Jim McLean says the more salt, the better . . . on the clubface of your sand wedge, that is.

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In the October issue of Golf Digest, McLean, explains that any golfer struggling with his bunker play could really improve his consistency around the green by pouring a clump of table salt on the grooves of his wedge. Too many people, he says, fail to maintain the open face they had at the start of the shot and rely on fortunate timing to get the ball close to the pin. The most common fault weekend golfers make is subconsciously closing the face going back, and flipping the hands over coming through.

Putting salt on the clubface allows you to track your progress and know for sure if you've come into impact with the same open face you set at address. If there's no salt left on your wedge when you're done, it means you've shut the face down at some point during the swing.

The location of the displaced salt, whether it's behind or in front of your starting position, will give you a clue as to which part of your swing spilled the grains.

It's possible to get away with a technique that spills the salt chipping out of the rough, but from greenside bunkers everything gets magnified and a closing clubface is a recipe for disaster. Take McLean's advice about having more salt, and your blood pressure might actually begin to decrease.

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