If you quake at the thought of sand play, here's a system to help you master the proper technique for various sand shots. Follow these guidelines and you'll soon realize that playing from the sand is easier than it appears.
Start with the Right Club
You can't be a good sand player without a good sand wedge. It must have a large flange on the sole, called bounce, that allows the club to slide through the sand, instead of digging the way a normal iron would. Even if your pitching wedge looks well-lofted, without bounce it won't do the job in the sand.
The basic formula for an explosion shot is: Open stance + open clubface + out-to-in swing = success.
On a shot from 10-15 yards, take your stance with your feet, shoulders, and
hips pointing about 30 degrees left of the target. The ball should be even with
your left foot, far enough forward to guarantee that you'll hit the sand, not
the ball, first. Grip the club so that when you address the ball, the clubface
points slightly to the right of the target. Being careful not to touch the club
to the sand at address (grounding the club in a hazard is a penalty), swing back
and through along your body line. The club should enter the sand one to two
inches behind the ball. In fact, you shouldn't hit the ball at all. It's the
sand you hit, not the club, that pushes the ball into the air and onto the
green. You'll miss the usual "click" when the club meets the sand, but
swing through naturally, striving for a full finish.
Private Lessons 1999 Times Mirror Magazines, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.