lesson teeJune 10, 2013

Chunk And Run It

On long bunker shots, take more sand

SAND BLAST: From a square stance, play the ball forward and hit hard several inches behind it.

Sometimes when your ball lands in a bunker, the sand is soft and the ball sits down a little. This can actually be an advantage if you're facing a longer shot, as I am here. It's very difficult to get much backspin from this lie, so your best option is to purposely take more sand than you normally do and play for the ball to roll out more. It's a safer shot to play.

Set up with a square stance—I don't usually advocate an open stance or swinging from out to in—and position the ball forward so the leading edge of your sand wedge is about four inches behind the ball (above, right). That's where you want the club to enter the sand. You can open the face slightly, but do it before taking your grip.

Then make your normal backswing, maintaining your weight on your front side. Keep it there as you swing through the sand, accelerating but finishing with the clubhead low and to the left. The ball will come out with less spin than normal, so allow for that. Try to land it just over the fringe, letting it roll to the hole.

JIM MCLEAN, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, runs Jim McLean Golf Schools, based at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa Miami.