Watch a video demonstration of this tip. Next Tip: Fairway Bunker Shot 

Downhill Lie

Saving Strokes From the Sand – Tip #2

BY TOM MACKIN — Summer 2018

Tip by instructor James Sieckmann

Sieckmann, based at Shadow Ridge Golf Academy in Omaha, Neb., and a member at Anthem Golf & Country Club in Anthem, Ariz., has coached more than 80 PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour players. Current students include 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open champion I.K. Kim and Tom Pernice Jr., ranked No. 1 in sand save percentage last year on the Champions Tour.

his is one of the harder shots in golf. You need to create a stable base and use your most lofted wedge. Turn the toe of your front foot down the slope and slide your front knee downward, so your weight presses into your front foot. Lay the clubface as wide open as possible. Most Tour players get their back leg out of the way by dropping their back foot slightly backward. You can’t take the club back low and inside to hit this shot; the club has to move up and out with plenty of wrist hinge. Line up dead straight to the landing spot, and release the club past a stable lower body so the splash mark made by the clubhead as it enters and exits the sand points about 20 degrees left of the target line. Doing so creates the height and spin you see from the greats, like my longtime student Tom Pernice Jr. Don’t move the ball back in your stance — it’s impossible to hit it high and soft from there. Keep it just inside your front heel and lean into your front leg instead.”

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