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Dave Pelz: All My Secrets

Pelz On: Bunkers
Use your normal wedge swing for good lies in the sand

In terms of performance, research shows most golfers do not play well from sand. Even from good lies, they flub, skull and shank shots into large dispersion patterns. This problem often is not caused by poor swing techniques, but rather by faulty ball position and incorrect setup.

A ball positioned forward on the instep of the golfer's front foot is perfect for letting the club bottom out under it. If the clubface is also laid open so it won't dig too deeply, and the player sets up slightly left of target, then a normal wedge swing works well in hitting consistent blast shots from sand.

Sharpen Your Short Game
Improving your short game and putting will save you serious strokes. But where do you start? Begin by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses in your game. Golfers love to practice what they're good at, but improving your weaknesses will substantially lower your handicap.

To learn how—and test 17 areas of your scoring game—check out my Short Game Handicap tests Complete the tests to find your Short Game Handicap. It will help you identify your weaknesses and, ultimately, help you improve. That's when your scores will start to fall.

From the Pelz School: Divots in the Sand
To internalize the feel of a good sand swing, draw two lines in the sand about 5 inches apart. Set up with your front foot instep on the front line (proper ball position) and practice making normal wedge swings until you can consistently break into the sand on the back line (at the middle of your stance). This is one of my most effective bunker drills. Don't bother with hitting actual shots until you can create consistent divots in the sand (not too deep!) without a ball.

For more information on all things Pelz, please visit our web site or search the archives of my GOLF Magazine articles on GOLFONLINE:

Also, you can send me questions about your short game or putting via e-mail. I'll answer the most frequent scoring game questions on the Ask Pelz page in upcoming issues. If I don't know the answers, I'll tell you that, too.

If you're going to work on your game based on anything I have said, or will ever say, please remember that bad practice is worse than no practice. I'd rather see you lying on the couch than practicing poorly—at least being a couch potato won't screw up your game. Good luck!
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