Hitting fairways is easy, but getting the ball up and down from the sand is a whole different ball game. You struggle with both fat and thin misses, often leaving the ball in the bunker or, even worse, skulling it over the green. Fortunately, the cause of both misses is the same: The clubhead has entered the sand too far behind the ball. Luckily, the Umbrella Drill can help fix this frustrating problem quickly and easily.
Draw a line in the sand that arcs around your body and looks like the top of an umbrella. Then draw a second line down from the center of this umbrella line to form the handle of an umbrella. Place a ball on the handle line and take your setup so that the line is just forward of center in your stance. Now trace the arc of the outer umbrella line as you swing your arms and club back and through. This will pull your sternum forward, and the clubhead will enter the sand closer to the ball and exit in front of it. Hit several shots using this umbrella trick and you’ll carve the perfect-sized divot and float the ball gently onto the green.
To create the “umbrella,” draw a curving line in the sand that arcs around the front of your body, then draw a straight line down from the first one to form the umbrella handle. Place a ball on the handle line, just below the top, and straddle that line so the ball is slightly ahead of center in your stance.
As you take the club back and through, trace the arc formed by the top of the umbrella. The clubhead will enter the sand just behind the ball and exit it just after it, allowing you to take the perfect amount of sand.