How to escape bunkers and avoid 'Worst Shot in America'

How to escape bunkers and avoid ‘Worst Shot in America’

Last month launched a contest in search of “the Worst Shot in America.” After combing through the entries, the editors selected Jim “Smoke” Foteff as the winner. Below is Jim’s video, along with a lesson from Golf Magazine Top 100 teacher T.J. Tomasi on how any golfer — including Jim — can practice to avoid a similar fate.

Concept: Learn to use the bounce on the bottom of your sand wedge to skim through a thin layer of sand behind and under the ball. The ball comes out on cushion of sand thin enough to transmit spin to the ball. Execution: * Move the ball forward — opposite left heel — then open your stance, pointing the clubface directly at the target.
* Swing the club with a cut-across action along your body line.
* Turn your chest away from the ball, while the weight stays on the front foot throughout.
* Allow your arms and hands to finish high.
* Convince yourself to swing to the left of the target, not at the target, as with your regular shots. Drill: To feel the correct motion of the splash shot, bury a board in the sand and hit from that spot. It gives your brain the understanding that bounce is good and digging is very bad. Once you get that feeling, place a ball on the sand next to the board and reproduce the “splash” feeling while hitting a sand shot from a normal lie. If you have trouble, go back to the board until you can hit the splash shot correctly every time.

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