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Question on Bunkers:

Can you talk some about foot positioning, especially regarding sand and wedge shots. I am never quite sure how far back in my stance to play the ball, especially wedges.
Bob Ward
--Robert W. from Glen Ellyn, IL

Hi Robert. Thanks for writing

I'd love to help with ball position on your wedges. Let's start with sand shots first. One of the biggest mistakes the average golfer makes in the sand is listening to his buddies tell him to play the ball back in his stance so that he will catch the ball first. What happens is that you do catch the ball first, but you catch it so far back in your arc and on such a down arc that you push the ball down into the sand. The ball then doesn't come out. Therefore you should play the ball forward of the center of your stance so that you catch the ball on the up swing or up arc with a more shallow splash. This way you are sure to hit a bit behind it which we want to do, but you are able to lift it out with a nice shallow splash and throw sand up onto the green.

The same is true for fairway bunkers. You want to play those forward as well to make sure you catch them on the upswing. On both of these I actually play them pretty far forward, almost where I play my driver.

As far as the vast majority of chips and pitches go the safest and most reliable place to play those is in the middle. This gives you a nice average trajectory and there is rarely an occasion where you have no hit the ball extremely high or low. In those cases though, remember this; left for loft, right for roll. If you need to hit one with loft play it off your left or front foot. If you want to hit one that releases with a good amount of roll then play it back.

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions please let me know.



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