Golf tips: Sand Shot

Dig your feet in for firm footing. Grip down on the club to compensate for feet being lower in sand. Open the clubface and body toward the target to encourage a full turn and follow-through.

You want to take a "divot" in the sand. Focus on where the club will enter the sand, not on the ball. Take a long shallow divot about 10" inches long.

Follow through and finish high. The more open the face, the higher the ball will pop up. With practice the normal bunker shot can become one of your most consistent stroke saving shots.

To get the ball out of the trap on the first try. You must be certain to get the ball out of the trap on the first try. Sometimes that means aiming at a safe part of the green rather than at the pin. Play the percentage shot.

To visualize the depth clubface must penetrate sand. Almost all sand shots (except buried lies) are played with an open clubface to cut through the sand easily. The lie, and consistency (type of sand, wetness, etc.) of the sand are major factors in your decision of how much sand to take during the swing. The other major factor is the distance you need to hit the ball. A greenside bunker shot can vary from 5 to 50 yards or more. Always follow through and finish high. For a buried lie, square or slightly close the face so you can dig down to get the ball.

To learn to control distance by varying swing length. Swing speed is always the same. The same rhythm and pace is maintained. The distance of the shot is controlled by the length of the swing. The longer the swing the greater the resulting distance.

Do and Don'ts
Always dig your feet in for stability, since it is also a legal way to test the texture and consistency of the sand.