THE OLD WAY
Open your stance, open the clubface and swing along your body lines.
THE NEW WAY
Set up with a slightly open stance and spread your feet farther apart. Point the clubface at the target and take the club back on a normal swing plane — rather than one that is steep and across the ball — so that the trailing edge of the clubhead touches down before the leading edge.
Modern sand wedges have more “bounce” (the angle formed by the leading and trailing edges on the sole) so you don’t have to open the face at address. If you come into the ball too steeply the leading edge will dig into the sand, nullifying the effect of the bounce.
1. With the flagstick representing 12 o’clock, open up your stance just slightly, so your feet, hips and shoulders are pointing toward 11:30, rather than the traditional 10 or 10:30. Aim the leading edge of the club at your target, relatively square to your path. If you do dial the face wide open, you risk hitting the shot thin.
2. Spread your feet about an inch or two wider than you would for a normal wedge shot. A wider stance helps quiet your legs, which allows you to swing more with your arms and in balance. Plus a wider stance makes it easier to repeat your swing and control the point at which the clubhead enters the sand.
GET IT CLOSE
3. These setup adjustments will encourage you to swing more on-plane, on the arc established by the shaft’s angle at address. Instead of approaching the ball from outside the target line with a wide-open face (the old way), you’ll attack the ball from the inside with the face square to the target. This will allow the club to bounce through the sand, as it was designed to do.