Your approach shot lands well short of the green, coming to rest in moderate rough about 40 yards from the flag. The pin is cut about 10 paces onto the green.
The ball isn’t nestled deep, so you don’t have to chop it out. You have a chance to get it close with your sand wedge.
1. Take a narrow stance with the ball just back of center, and lean the shaft forward so your hands are ahead of the clubhead.
This position promotes a slightly steeper angle of attack so you don’t take too much grass. Keep the blade square because the more you dial it open, the longer you’ll have to make your swing.
2. Swing your arms back just far enough to let your wrists hinge slightly. The angle between your left forearm and shaft should not go past 90 degrees. Too much wrist hinge and you’ll hit the shot fat.
3. Pretend you’re hitting a greenside bunker shot, only instead of splashing the sand out, you’re floating the ball out on a cushion of grass. This encourages you to slide the club under the ball, so that the ball climbs up the face and jumps out with plenty of loft. Keep your arms and trunk rotating together through impact, and you’ll get the accelerating blow you need.
Donald Crawley is director of instruction for th Boulders Golf Academy in Carefree, Ariz.