Having to repeat a sand shot because of a failed attempt is the absolute enemy of good scores. To avoid that, you need a basic greenside bunker shot that will get you on the putting surface every time.
In the bunker, set up so the sand wedge can do what it was designed to do: Glide along the surface of the sand. Open your stance and the clubface and set the ball forward of center to get the club pre-set to skid this way.
The open stance will encourage a slightly steeper swing, which will allow you to get under the ball. Don't skimp on the length of your swing back and through. The sand will resist when you hit it, so it's important to keep your speed up all the way to a full finish to get the ball up and out. Control distance by opening the face and your stance more for shorter shots — not by slowing down your swing.
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Hank Haney is based at the Hank Haney Golf Ranch, Lewisville, Texas. To get fixed in Golf Digest, send Hank your swing on Twitter: @HankHaney.