This story is for you if…
• You can count the number of sand saves you had last year on one hand.
You struggle in bunkers because you usually enter the sand too far behind the ball. This means that your club exits the sand at the ball and fails to take the sand directly underneath it, which the ball needs to ride on as it exits the bunker. You know this is happening to you if you often leave your first attempt in the bunker. Sometimes you may even hit so far behind the ball that the club exits before it. That’s when you end up skulling the ball over the green.
Try the “Umbrella Drill.” It’s the easiest way to learn how to make contact with the sand in the right spot and float the ball close to the pin.
Draw a line in the sand that arcs around your body. Think of this line as an umbrella. Draw a second line from the center of the umbrellaâ€”this is the umbrella’s handle. Position the ball on the handle line and take your stance (with the ball positioned just forward of center).
Once you’re set, swing your arms along the umbrella line. You’ll notice that as your arms swing in the direction of the arc on the way back to the ball, they pull your sternum over the handle of the umbrella. This forward body move allows you to enter the sand closer to the ball and exit the sand in front of the ball, taking the perfect-size divot to float the ball onto the green.