The Short Explosion

Published 29/11/2010 06:35:00

There is one shot from sand that can spook even the best of players: The short explosion. The situation is paradoxical: The ball lies a few yards from the hole, yet it's hard to put it close.


Because the ball has to move a short distance, even good golfers shy away from swinging as firmly as they should. Instead, they decelerate on the downswing and leave the ball in the bunker. Or they get anxious and catch the ball clean, launching it well past the target.


The key to playing the shot is to make a brisk swing without sending the ball too far. To do this, vary the club's point of entry into the sand: The farther behind the ball it hits, the more sand has to be moved and the shorter the shot. For example, you might want to take twice as much sand, so make contact three inches behind the ball instead of an inch and a half. Don't decelerate. Power the club into and through the sand to be sure of hitting the ball out of the trap. (The more sand you're planning to take, the more important it is to accelerate throughout the shot.)


Another key to the short sand shot is a steep swing: The more abruptly you pick the club up, the higher and shorter the ball will fly and the more quickly it will stop on the green.


Other Options

Under certain conditions, you may not have to chance the explosion at all. If there is little lip and the lie is clean and flat, you can chip the ball out. You also might try putting out, but only if there is no lip and the fringe is well trimmed.


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