Simple set-up tips for lengthy sand escapes
By Joe Way
With water guarding the front of the 18th green here at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the approach is tricky enough. Throw sand into the equation and it becomes positively frightening to most club golfers. It needn’t be.
When faced with a fairway bunker shot it is vital to understand the required technique is different to that of a greenside bunker shot. As opposed to a greenside shot, the key focus is ball first, then sand. Anything less than a clean strike and you’ll invariably end up in the drink.
There are a few simple rules to follow in your set up to the golf ball to help achieve the desired result. Firstly ‘wiggle’ your feet into the sand to help achieve a nice firm, solid base to swing from. A must after this is to grip down (right) on your club closer to the bottom of the grip. This balances out the ‘wiggling’ of your feet into the sand and helps to encourage a ball first strike. The final important aspect to remember is to lean your weight onto your lead leg (roughly five percent extra) to help promote a steeper angle of attack into the ball.
From here keep your swing thoughts simple. Swing it easy, perhaps taking an extra club, and remember – hit the ball before the sand!
Practice these simple steps and soon you’ll be hitting those tricky fairway bunker shots onto the green to save par – and perhaps that lucky Titleist Pro V1.
Photo by Masam Ali