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EASY SAND PLAY:
An old tip from Max Faulkner...

As a swing image, you want to have the clubface looking back at you as release it through the sand.

One of the best bunker tips I ever had came from Max Faulkner, Open champion in 1951 and one of the most colourful characters in British golf.

Max explained to me that as the clubface essentially has to be kept open throughout the swing (and we’re talking here about a regular greenside shot from a good lie), as you release the club and finish your swing you want to see the clubface looking up at you.

A good checkpoint, he told me, was that the clubface pointed to yours.

This is where you are trying to get to; in this position you can be certain that clubface has remained open. Think about this when you next practise these shots.

Shuffle your feet into the sand (we do this not just for balance but to lower the arc of your swing in relation to the ball, which helps you skim the clubhead beneath it).

Understanding ‘bounce’: for a normal shot, with a good lie, opening the clubface lowers the back edge (which increases the degree of bounce); facing a poor lie, you would square the clubface, pushing the hands forward to take loft off the club, introducing the leading edge to cut through the sand.

Open the clubface to determine the degree of ‘bounce’ that suits the lie and the situation and settle your body into an open position, which encourages a nice outside-to-in swing shape, further helping you slice out a shallow divot of sand.

Once you are set, the regular sand shot is much like the pitch, the difference being that the ball is played forward in your stance.

Playing the ball back for a pitch encourages you to hit it before the swing bottoms out;here, you want to be totally bottomed out so you hit the sand first.

Good lie

Poor lie

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