SOS Sand Saves
Fear of a shot is often reflected in a jerky and hesitant swing, exactly what you want to avoid waist deep in a bunker.
To loosen up take a couple of swings before you get into the bunker. Aim a couple of inches behind the ball to allow the sand wedge to drive through the sand and force the ball out of the bunker.
The clubface should point upwards towards the sky - try and imagine a glass balancing on the clubface.
Hold slightly further down the grip for more control of the club as the clubhead travels through the sand. For better control, accuracy and spin, advanced players should set up with a slightly open stance where the feet line up a little left of target. The ball should be positioned towards the left heel and your weight should be pushed towards the left side. Wriggle down into the sand to help with balance and lower your centre of gravity. This is key to allow the club to travel under the sand and force the ball upwards.
It is important that you accelerate through the shot and follow through rather than decelerate and stop at impact.
One of the most common faults made while playing a bunker shot is falling back onto the right foot and trying to scoop the ball out of the bunker. Ensure you start with your weight slightly more on your let side. This will encourage you to accelerate through the shot and splash the ball out of the bunker.
For a longer bunker shot, your feet should be placed more on top of the sand rather than low down. The clubface should face the target rather than skywards as you want more distance than height. The ball should be positioned more in the centre and contact in the sand should be just behind the ball rather than the two inches behind the ball. Your weight should be 50-50 between each side. It is important to hold the club an inch down the grip for control, but don't be tempted to hold too far down as you will lose distance.