How to Explode It On and Close
Practice with a split grip to master three bunker-swing keys
By Bill Davis
Top 100 Teacher
This story is for you if...
• You almost always leave your bunker shots short, and sometimes leave them in the sand.
• Your club tends to stick in the sand after impact.
Step into a practice bunker, plop a ball in the sand, and take your normal address position, but separate your hands on the handle so that your left thumb just touches the pad of your right hand . This split grip helps you learn three bunker fundamentals, which when applied correctly make escaping the sand and knocking the ball close easy.
2 of 3Angus Murray
FEEL THE HINGE As you take the club back, notice how the split grip causes your wrists to hinge quickly and fully, with your left hand pushing out on the handle. Hinging your wrists like this allows you to hit down into the sand so that the club can pass under the ball.
3 of 3Angus Murray
1. FEEL THE RELEASE As you swing through impact, you'll notice how easy it is to release your right hand. That's because it's sitting lower on the handle, where it can better control the clubhead. This right-hand release guards against deceleration and leaving your club in the sand.
2. FEEL THE CONTROL Because the split grip gives you so much more control of the shaft and the clubhead, it encourages an arm-dominated swing with minimal lower-body movement. Things get dicey when you add too much leg action. Turn smoothly toward the target and let your arms do the bulk of the work.
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