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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Digging a Buried Ball Out of the Sand

There's more than one way to play a buried lie in a bunker. Michael Breed did an entire show on sand play Monday night on The Golf Fix... but he didn't show you this shot.

Some of you may have been lucky enough to see this shot played by a pro during a Tour event. I was lucky enough to find this demo by Canadian pro Shawn Clement. This video is nice because it also shows a regular greenside bunker shot and compares the differences between the two:



To summarize:
  • Use your 60-degree wedge.
  • Toe it in -- that is, turn the wedge in your hands so the toe of the club hits the sand first. You want the club to dig in.
  • Hit close behind the ball, but make sure there's some sand between the clubface and the ball. You want to hit the sand first, not the ball.
  • Don't swing as hard as a regular sand shot.
  • Land the shot closer to the sand trap than the hole. This is the opposite of a regular sand shot because the ball comes out low and will roll a lot more.
  • And make sure you realize that the ball will come out like a pulled shot -- to the left for a righthander, to the right for a lefthander. While Shawn didn't mention it, you can see it in the video. You may want to allow a little for this when you aim.
While the version Breed showed works most of the time -- he used a square clubface and hit just inside the little crater the ball made when it landed -- the ball can be buried so deeply that this is the best way to get it out. And if the sand is soft and fills that little crater in, this shot may be your only option.

Learn this shot and your golf buddies will think you're channeling Phil Mickelson... or at least that little gopher from Caddyshack. ;-)

2 comments:

  1. Playing a course tomorrow that is littered with bunkers which actually has soft sand in which I might encounter this problem. I hope I don't have to execute this shot, but if I do, I have a better idea of what to do. Of course now that I'm talking about it, I will definitely encounter it. I'll let you know how it goes

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