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Short-Sided Bunker Shot

Saving Strokes From the Sand – Tip #4

BY TOM MACKIN — Summer 2018

Tip by LPGA Tour professional Marina Alex

Alex, who joined the LPGA Tour in 2013, posted a career-best six top 10 finishes in 2017. She ranked ninth in sand save percentage last year.

utting yourself in the correct setup will help you elevate the ball quickly out of a greenside bunker. A majority of pros position the ball pretty far forward in their stance, almost off their left heel. Make sure the shaft is leaning slightly backward away from the ball by maybe an inch or two. I take a really wide stance and get my weight a little bit ahead of center. Then I take the club — always my 58-degree wedge — up and out as much as I can without much shoulder rotation. The key is to feel your right hand releasing under the ball to generate the most spin possible. My overall stance is a fraction open to the target. If I’m really struggling with this shot, I’ll practice using a 50- or 54-degree wedge. Doing that forces my body to react to the shot in front of me without overthinking. When I go back to my higher lofted wedge, the shot seems so much easier.”

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