Have you heard people say you have to make a choppy V-shaped swing to hit a good sand shot? Don’t do it. Let me tell you it easier and more reliable way. Pros use the same swing in the sand as they do out of grass. Picture a shot sitting up in light rough. Take your 60-degree lob wedge and position the ball directly in the center of your stance. You want the club to hit the ball, then make a divot. The bottom of your swing arc, as you move your weight forward in the swing, is just ahead of the center of your stance.
I want to contact the ball first and fly it about 50 yards from this light-rough lie, so I take the club back to the Nine O’ Clock position (backswing stops parallel to the ground) and make a smooth swing to a full finish. Positioning the ball in the center of my stance has allowed me to catch the ball clean so it flies reliable distance.
Now, let’s move into the sand and take the same set up position. This time, you’ll flare your front toe and position the ball in your stance so it is even with the heel of your lead foot. This is a forward ball position. Now, rotate the club face open so the club doesn’t dig when you impact the sand. You’re now ready to make the same swing in the sand as you did from light rough. The exact same swing, but you’re hitting the sand first this time instead of the ball. Remember, from that lie in light rough, the ball flew 50 yards. This time, we’re getting about a 10 yard sand with the same Nine O’ Clock position and smooth acceleration to a full finish.
You don’t need a special, complicated swing in the sand. If you just practice putting the ball forward and opening the club face, you can use that same reliable lob-wedge swing you use from light rough. Try this shot. Practice it a little bit and you’ll see your sand shots flying right toward the hole.
By Dave Pelz