Monday, April 28, 2008

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How To Play Bunkers And Sand Traps

By Lee MacRae

Following are some tips to help improve your golf game.

Keep in mind that the average sand wedge is designed to hit a ball 40 feet at most. If you have a sand shot that is farther than that, then you will be better off using a pitching wedge to get on the green. A pitching wedge is designed differently, it doesn't have the curve [the bounce] on the bottom of the head. This allows the ball to travel the 10 or 20 extra feet you need on the shot. Just remember to use the right tool for the particular job at hand.

The longer bunker shot is one of the easiest shots to play and one of the most satisfying in the is entire game. Here are the six fundamentals of the bunker shot:

1. Choke down on the grip of the club to compensate for having to dig your feet into the sand to anchor your body.

2. Do not move the legs during a swing.

3. Take two or sometimes three extra clubs to make up for distance loss by the arms-and-hands-only swing. If you're within reach of the green, take as much club as you'll need for the ball to land near the hole. Because you're hitting down in to the back of the ball, the ball should have enough spin on it to stop quickly.

4. Play the ball in the middle of your stance so you can make contact before the bottom of your swing arc.

5. Always hit the ball first.

6. Don't ground your club. That's a two-stroke penalty.

When sand is wet or really firm, your sand wedge, with it's wide flange may very easily bounce off the surface and blade the ball. In such circumstances, it's better to use a pitching wedge or, when the flag is a long way off and you want your ball to run more, then use a seven, eight, or nine iron. Play your ball back in an open stance [much as you would do when playing a chip from the fairway] and position your hands just ahead of the ball. Unlike most sand shots, this one requires that you concentrate on hitting the ball first and not the sand. Work out your "landing area" before hitting the shot, and try to hit that area. If you miss it, don't worry. With all sand shots, it's far more important to get out the sand and to leave your ball close to the hole.

And no matter what the circumstances are, don't allow tension to ruin your techinque. Tension will ruin even the best of golf swings. Keep your body and your mind loose and positive. Always imagine yourself handling the shot with success. What the mind sees, the body will do. You golf game will improve immensly when you add these tips.

Improve your golf game with a great golf training aid today!

Some Golf Ideas

Properly Fitted Shoes
The importance of a solid pair of golf shoes that fit can't be overlooked.
...Golf Tips magazine

Thanks to the popularity of golf, there are many golf gadgets available today. As more people want to play the game, more ways are sought to improve their game. The once steady golf industry has now expanded to a much larger industry. Some companies are built around only one piece of golf equipment. Golf gadgets available range from some incredibly useful golf aids to some slightly more ridiculous items. Here are some of the options.
...PGA of America

Discount Golf Bags

A Hybrid Or Two, Or Three. If you�re the last holdout in your foursome to resist the hybrid trend, stop it. They�re not a trend at all.
Improve your distance and save money at the same time with some used golf balls.

Speed Controls Distance
The seemingly obvious fact that the sand (not the club) moves the ball out of the bunker is often misunderstood. To control the distance your bunker shots travel, you have to be able to manage the speed of the sand, which isn't as difficult as you might imagine. The length of the swing is irrelevant�it's the speed of the clubhead that really matters. Practice pitching sand out of a bunker until you can consistently control how far it goes, and only then add a golf ball to the equation.
...Golf Tips magazine

Tee the Ball Higher. The old adage has always been that the top of the driver should be about halfway up the ball when it is teed up. However, with a 460cc driver, I like to see you set the ball high enough on a peg such that the top of the driver is no more than one-third of the way up the ball. Of course, this means that the standard 2 1/8-inch tee will not be long enough to accommodate. You will need a tee at least 3 inches in length, but likely a little longer than this.
...Golf Help

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