When you're in a greenside bunker the club should never touch the ball. You want your wedge to toss the sand beneath and behind the ball onto the green. The ball will float out on the whoosh of sand.
You must convince yourself that the ball is an afterthought on these shots. To practice this, stand in the flat of a practice bunker and place two tees opposite your left instep.
You don't need a ball. Hinge your wrists quickly on the backswing to create an upright path, then swing down and let your sand wedge hit about two inches behind the tees. Make a full follow-through, finishing with your hands at shoulder height. You'll see that the tees have flown up and toward the hole along with the sand you sprayed.
The half-buried lie
Mike Malaska teaches at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club and is director of instruction for Nicklaus Academies.