Preshot Routines for Each Swing

Each golf swing is a separate, self-paced movement. Because you have complete control over the preparation for each shot, this aspect can be almost identical for each shot and can therefore serve as a reliable, and repeatable, first step. Your preparation routine should be practiced so much that it becomes an automatic aspect of each shot, that you go through it even though distracted or under pressure of competition.

WHY IS A PRESHOT ROUTINE IMPORTANT?
When you watch a tennis player serve or a basketball player shoot a free throw, have you ever noticed that they bounce the ball the same number of times before each attempt? This is not a superstitious behavior; it is part of their preshot preparation and serves as a signal to the body that it is time for action. If you do the same thing before each shot, you can check that you are ready for the swing and also be sure that your body is in a position to act.

In golf, a preshot routine should include selecting a target and club, concentrating, and taking the setup. You may do some things that make you feel especially relaxed and comfortable, and they may be different from what someone else does. The key to success is that you do the same things before each shot.

HOW TO ESTABLISH A PRESHOT ROUTINE
Each golfer's preshot routine is unique to that individual. Though there are some aspects that are included in every good routine, the order of the aspects and some specific characteristics differ from golfer to golfer. For one golfer, though, the aspects of the routine should always take place in the same order and take about the same amount of time for every shot.

Most preshot routines in golf consist of three parts: selection of target and club, self-monitoring (relaxation, tension control, concentration, and imagery), and setup.

Because golf is a target game, one of the most important aspects of your preshot routine is to decide on the target and select the club. You can do this most easily by focusing on three things: selecting the target while you stand behind the ball, selecting a club to match the demands of the desired shot, and choosing an intermediate target for alignment.

The second aspect of a good routine involves being able to control your attention and relax before each shot. Self-monitoring means being able to relax your body to its prime level and focus on the swing itself. There are three aspects of self-control that are particularly important: tension control, concentration, and imagery.

The importance of understanding self-control in golf cannot be overstated. Because golf is a completely self-paced activity, it is easy for outside tensions or distractions to influence performance. You must therefore learn to let your body "run off" the swings, and without interference from distracting thoughts or influences. While playing golf it is easy to be distracted and to let your mind wander. Thoughts and feelings that are not related to the shot you are about to make can easily interfere with your performance. It is therefore important to learn to control your attention and to focus on the decisions you must make regarding the landing area, club selection, and smooth swing.

WHY IS CONCENTRATION IMPORTANT?
Distracting thoughts may be related to many different things, including loud noises, thoughts about previous shots missed, daydreams about future shots, being angry at yourself for a dumb mistake, or concern over what someone else might be thinking about you. None of those types of thoughts can help with the shot you are about to hit. Instead, you should think only about the shot at hand.

If you find that you are not concentrating on this shot or are thinking nonproductive thoughts, STOP. Use a technique called thought stoppage. Its first aspect is to recognize negative thoughts. Immediately stop them and simply replace them with self-enhancing thoughts.

SETUP
The setup was described in Step 2 in order that you might prepare your body to execute a good swing. The points that were critical in that setup should now be automatic and can be integrated into a standard routine. Each time you take your setup, it should be done in the same sequence. It can be thought of in terms of three parts: aim, posture, mental control. Once you have done this routine, just "let it happen." Remember, the ball is only getting in the way of your natural swing, so do not try to steer it or actively hit it.

Each routine should include the taking of a practice swing. If you use one, be sure to take it from the side of the ball in the same alignment you would use to actually hit the ball. Stand about 1 foot away from the ball and make a practice swing at the normal pace (not in slow motion). Then take one step forward, align the clubface to the intermediate target, get comfortable, reset your feet, and continue with your routine.

Golf Realistic Practice Drills

Once you have warmed up and practiced your perfect technique, practice this technique in a more gamelike situation. Early in practice, you should repeat the same shot over and over again, generally striving for at least 50% success. After you have warmed up though, you should practice a variety of shots. Remember, in golf you never hit a ball from the same place twice.

Because golf is a target game, it is important to practice aiming toward a variety of targets. As part of your practice routine, you should consider varying two elements: the target and the club selection.

1. Routine Practice
It is very important that every shot in golf start from the same basic setup sequence. For this reason, it is critical to practice your setup routine with each shot. In this drill, focus on the use of your routine, and the feel of the swing. Keep track of the number of times you are able to repeat exactly the same routine.
Success Goal: hitting 20 balls, using same setup routine each time.

2. Varying the Target Drill
Start this drill by working with one club at a time (irons first, then woods). Select an iron of your choice. For example, take a 5-iron and use it to practice the full swing motion at one target, then vary the target location. Aim at a target that is to the left or right of your practice location, as well as one that is straight ahead.
Success Goal: 20 total swings toward targets with a full swing motion.

3. Varying the Club Drill
Using various clubs, practice aiming at close targets, targets far away, and intermediate targets. Feel the difference in swing sensations due to the lengths of the clubs selected for a particular distance. (Review the distance drills in each step).
Success Goal: hitting toward three different targets, using a good full swing each time.

4. Vary the Lie of the Ball Drill
Practice areas do not always have the variety of ball lies found on a course, such as uneven lies or high grass as in roughs. These need to be practiced whenever possible, even if only with practice swings.

Most practice areas have good lies when the ball sits on top of the grass and bad lies when the ball rests on bare ground or in divot holes. When you hit a shot from these lies, notice the differences in how it feels when you strike the ball and how the ball flies after it is struck.
Success Goal: 25 total swings from good and bad lies.

5. Opposites Drill
It is important to be able to match the way extreme shots feel with what causes them to happen. In order to do that, identify pairs of opposite types of ball flight results: slices and hooks, topping the ball and hitting it "fat," and pushes and pulls.

Alternate hitting shots within each pair of opposites. For example, hit one slice and then one hook, or push one and then pull one shot. After hitting 3 sets of one pair of opposites, hit 6 good shots. Then go on to the next pair. Make each shot as different from its opposite as possible, for example, a big hook and a big slice.
Success Goal: 36 total shots, hitting each pair 3 times (6 swings), with at least 4 of 6 attempts correct on each pair.

6. Pitch and Chip Drill
Feeling comfortable with the short game in golf is critical to success. Practice acquiring a comfortable feel with both pitching and chipping by executing each shot 10 times, then alternating them to sense the different feelings.
Success Goal: 30 total shots using pitching or chipping.

7. Round of Golf Drill
Imagine each shot of a golf hole, picking out a target in your practice field for each one. Using your complete setup routine with each shot, hit the same sequence of real shots you would hit on the actual course. Never use the same two clubs in a row (unless you whiff one). Shift the target each time. This is the most realistic form of practice and should be done during each practice session.

Imagine that you are playing a round of golf from the practice tee. Look out into the practice field and imagine an entire hole. The round starts on the first hole, perhaps a par 4. Start with a wood, or perhaps an iron if you are more comfortable with it. Actually hit the ball with that club. Follow this by perhaps a 5-iron on your second shot or, if you hit the first shot a long way, a 7- or 8-iron. Continue playing real shots until you have reached the green of the imaginary hole. Then take out a putter and stroke the ball toward the target you had chosen while on the practice tee. In your mind, see the ball go into the hole. Go on to the next tee.

Record the clubs used for each shot and the resultant ball flight. Also place an "R" near the club number if you used your routine.

Success Goal: playing 9 holes, selecting (and recording) a different shot and club each time, drawing shot diagrams for each "hole," and completing your entire routine with each swing

Golf Effective Practice

Effective practice in golf requires that you systematically work to make the fundamental skills automatic and then learn to apply them in many different situations. An integrated approach to golf means that you must take what you have learned in the preceding steps of this article, practice those skills individually, and then create sequences that are similar to those you experience on the golf course.

WHY IS EFFECTIVE PRACTICE IMPORTANT?
Golf is different from many other sports due to the individual shots that you execute at your own pace. You are not required to respond to the pace of a moving object or to react to another player's motions. However, you must be able to respond to the various environmental situations that occur in golf, such as various ball lies, distances to targets, and irregular terrains. Therefore, during practice you should practice isolated techniques as well as the variations that can occur on the golf course. It is possible to practice almost every conceivable shot in practice, so why not take advantage of this opportunity?

HOW TO PRACTICE EFFECTIVELY
The first few minutes of practice should always be spent preparing your body for success. Before each practice, be sure to use the two phase warm-up routine discussed in the first section of this book. Work all of your body parts, focusing on flexibility. This helps you feel the stretch of your muscles and be ready to "tune in" to your body during practice.

Start every practice session under the best conditions possible. Find a nice grassy area and practice with your best shots. This allows you to develop a smooth and repeatable swing, which can then be adapted to special course circumstances. Start your practice with the mid-irons first, then short irons, and finally long irons and woods. Be sure to have clear target lines so that your alignment is the same for all shots. With each practice stroke, determine your target, focus on your posture and smooth swing, and watch the ball flight.

Start by placing a club on the ground pointing toward a target. Remember, golf is a target game, and you must have a target each time in order to learn from the flight of your golf ball. Put your ball on a tee about 1/2 inch above the ground when practicing the full swing. This assures a consistent ball lie as you develop your swing techniques. When you have achieved 50% consistency in ball flight during practice with your ball on a tee, alternate 3 swings with the tee and 2 swings with the ball on the ground. As you hit the ball, watch the ball flight. Was it straight? Did it curve? Did it travel as far as you thought it should? Use the feedback from each ball flight to check your basic skills
.
If you notice that various shots travel straight but off-target, you may have an alignment problem or may be swinging the club in an unusual path. If the ball curves in flight, it may be due to the position of the clubface at impact, which varies because of the actions of the arms and hands. If the ball seems to fly too high or never gets off the ground, it may be due to the angle of approach (the downward swing of the club) or the point on the ball that the clubhead hits (below or above the center of the ball).

There are also many specific drills that are great for practice. These are excellent practice exercises that allow you to feel comfortable with your swing and make it an "automatic" skill. Remember, the keys to developing a good golf swing are to be able to do the same thing each time and to sense what you did differently if the ball did not travel the way you intended.

When you decide to practice on your own, choose one or two aspects of your shot to work on. For example, if you are having difficulty getting enough distance from your shots, you may want to check to be sure that you have good body rotation and weight shift to allow a free swing. Exercises from previous steps such as the Wide-Whoosher Drill and the Body Rotation Drill would be very helpful. On the other hand, if you seem to lose your balance, try the One-Leg Toe Drill to learn to keep your swing centered, which aids your balance.

When you use a drill, it is important to combine it with actual strokes. For example, practice the Cocking Drill Without a Ball 5 times. Then take 5 actual strokes. Then repeat the drill again, followed by 5 more actual strokes. Then repeat the drill twice, and hit 5 times, and finally just hit 10 balls in a row to finish the practice.

It is important that you finish each practice session wanting to come back for another one. Some teachers suggest that for the last few shots of the day, you should focus on executing the most perfect swing possible. Once you have executed one of your best shots, stop. This allows you to walk away feeling good, remembering that great shot. Don't worry about hitting every single ball in your pile —it is better to have a great memory to store away, to savor the good feel of a good shot. Remember, replace the bad shots (by hitting or imagining good ones), and remember the good shots for future reference.

Golf Uneven Lie Shot Drills

1. Setup Sidehill Lie Drill
To become familiar with the setup position for sidehill lies, find a sidehill lie from which to practice. Place two clubs on the grass, one lying straight up the slope, the other at right angles to this. These clubs provide a reference for ball position and stance. Choose a target to the right or left of the horizontal club.

Using a 5-iron, modify your setup for the slope of the hill. Practice swings, noting the way your swing feels and the sensations of the swing. Do you feel balanced?

Success Goal: 20 total swings while noting balance on the follow-through.
10 swings from sidehill lies, balls below feet
10 swings from sidehill lies, balls above feet

2. Uphill/Downhill Lie Drill
To become familiar with uphill and downhill lies, find such lies from which to practice. Place two clubs on the grass, one lying straight up the slope, the other at right angles to this. These clubs provide a reference for ball position and stance. Choose targets to the high side of the club lying up the slope for the uphill lie and to the low side of this club for the downhill lie.

Using a 5-iron, modify your setup for the slope of the hill. Note your sensations on the swing. Do you feel balanced in the follow-through?

Success Goal: 20 total swings, while noting balance on the follow-through:
10 swings, downhill lie
10 swings, uphill lie

3. Single Bucket Drill
In order to gain an awareness of the desired ascending and descending angles of approach, on flat ground place one foot on a bucket or the edge of your golf bag. Note how each swing feels as the bucket or golf bag limits your lower body action and exaggerates the sense of ascent or descent of the swing.

a. To feel the descending angle of approach with the irons, take your regular setup position for the full swing with a ball in the center of your stance and on a tee. Place your rear foot on the bucket. Hit balls using a 7-iron, noting how it feels.

b. To feel the ascending angle, take your regular setup position with the ball on a tee toward your target side. Place your targetside foot on the bucket. Hit balls with a 5- or 7-wood.

Success Goal: 10 total swings
5 swings with a 7-iron, your rear foot on bucket
5 swings with a 5- or 7-iron, ball on tee, target-side foot on bucket

4. Cluster Drill
Distance and accuracy control in short shots can be affected by uneven lies. The back areas of practice greens and tees can provide good practice areas for these shots.

a. Using a pitching wedge or 9-iron, practice the pitch shot from each type of uneven lie. Try to emphasize consistency in distance and direction, trying to group the balls within 5 yards of each other from about 25 yards away. Be sure to use your full setup routine before each shot.

b. Using a 9- or 7-iron, practice the chip shot from each of the uneven lies. Hit balls for consistency in distance and direction. Be sure to use your full setup routine before each shot.

Success Goal: 40 total shots from uneven lies
a. 20 total pitch shots, grouping balls into 5-yard cluster
5 pitches from uphill lie
5 pitches from downhill lie
5 pitches from sidehill lie, balls below feet
5 pitches from sidehill lie, balls above feet

b. 20 total chip shots, grouping balls into 5-yard cluster
5 chips from uphill lie
5 chips from downhill lie
5 chips from sidehill lie, balls below feet
5 chips from sidehill lie, balls above feet

Golf Uneven Lies Shot

One of the distinguishing features of a golf course is the type of terrain on which it is built. This varies from one geographical area to another as well as within the design of the course itself. For example, the courses in Florida tend to be very flat, whereas those in Vermont are very hilly. Playing on different types of terrain creates a challenge to golfers.

In the previous steps, you have been practicing on relatively flat terrain, similar to Florida's, in which the ball and your feet have been on the same level. When you practice or play courses in mountainous areas or where there are hills or slopes, there are times when the ball and your feet are on different levels. These situations are called uneven lies and require modifications in your setup position.

Two types of uneven lies are presented in this step: sidehill lies and uphill/downhill lies. When the golf ball comes to rest in a nice, flat, grassy area, it is referred to as a good lie. Balls that land on up- or downhill lies and sidehill lies are therefore sometimes referred to as trouble shots. In fact, though, they are "trouble" only if you do not practice them and understand the effects of these lies on your setup and on the action of the ball.

WHY ARE UNEVEN LIES IMPORTANT?
Not all golf courses are flat. Knowledge of how to adjust the setup position for the various lies helps to reduce the anxiety of playing on hills. Unfortunately, not all practice areas have hills or slopes on which to practice these types of shots. However, with just a basic understanding of how to play the shots, you will find that you can quickly adapt to uneven terrains.

HOW TO EXECUTE UNEVEN LIES
Again, there are two types of uneven lies: sidehill and uphill/downliill lies. The location of the ball relative to your feet distinguishes the two types of lies. In sidehill lies, the ball is either above or below your feet; in the uphill and downhill lies, the ball is even with your feet.

The full swing motion you learned in previous step, using the swing lengths of 5-to-5 or 4-to-4, is appropriate for most uneven lies. The swing length is determined by the degree of slope and the distance to the desired target area. The more severe the slope, the greater the demand for balance and control, which limits your swing length and potential distance achieved.

The major difference in the uneven and the regular fairway shots is in the setup position modifications due to the terrain. The sidehill lies and the uphill and downhill lies are now discussed separately, with specific note given their differences in setup.

Sidehill Lies
Sidehill lies have the ball either above or below your feet when you take your stance. These lies differ slightly in the setup position from your regular full swing with an iron. Both sidehill lies require adjustment to an intermediate target rather than directly on the primary target, because the natural ball flight from sidehill lies tends to curve in the downward direction of the slope. If the ball is above your feet, it tends to hook; if below your feet, it tends to slice. As you take your setup position, select an intermediate target about 10 yards to the right or left of the desired target, depending on the lie.

If the ball position is above (higher than) your feet, it requires one additional setup modification. Because the hill is closer to your hands as you set up, grip the club about 3 inches from the top; then execute your regular swing. This "choke-up" grip should be adjusted based on the degree of slope.

When the ball is positioned below your feet, it tends to impair your balance during the swing. To enhance your balance, place more weight toward your heels, rather than on the midstep to the balls of your feet as in your regular swing.

Uphill and Downhill Lies
In uphill and downhill lies, the ball is even with your feet in your stance—the only thing is, your feet are at different levels on a slope. In an uphill lie, your forwardswing must go up the slope (i.e., to the top of the slope); in a downhill lie, your forwardswing must go down the slope (i.e., to the bottom of the slope).

These lies require four modifications of your full swing setup positions. The alignment requires an intermediate target, as with the sidehill lie (previously discussed), because the slope affects the ball flight. Uphill lie shots tend to hook; downhill lie shots tend to slice. Grip the club in a choked-up position about 3 inches from the top. This choked-up position is necessary because your hands are closer to the slope on both lies. The ball position is closer to the level of the high foot on the slope. Move away from the ball and take several practice swings. Note where the club contacts the ground. This is your ball position. The practice swings also help you determine the amount of choking up required. Position your shoulders parallel to the slope. This makes it easier to swing the club with the slope.

Golf Sand Shot Drills

1. Sandy Line Drill: Explosion Shot
The key to sand shots is to contact the sand in the same point in your swing each time. This helps you develop confidence in swinging through the sand, making the ball fly out with the sand. Practice the Sandy Line Drill to aid in developing this feel and consistency.

a. Draw a line in the sand and take your setup position for the explosion shot. Place the line in the center of your stance. Make practice swings without balls, moving up the line after each swing. Note where you contact the sand in relation to the line. Be sure to practice your entire setup procedure prior to each swing.

b. Draw a new line where you were consistently hitting the sand in part (a). Place 5 balls 1 inch in front (target side) of the new line. Be sure each ball is resting on top of the sand. Practice hitting through the line and watching the balls fly out of the sand. Do not worry about the direction or distance of your shots. Remember, your first objective is to get out of the sand.

Success Goal: 15 total swings with correct form.
a. 10 swings without balls, hitting the sand at a consistent location relative to the line.
b. 5 swings at line, continuing through balls placed 1 inch to target side of line.

2. Sandy Line Drill: Buried Lie Shot
a. Draw a line in the sand (see previous drill) and take your setup position for a buried lie. Place the line in the center of your stance. Be sure to review the Keys to Success, noting the differences in the setup for the explosion shot versus the buried lie shot. Taking practice swings now, note where you contact the sand in relation to the line.

b. Draw a new line at the point where you consistently hit the sand in part (a). Now slightly bury 5 balls on the line drawn in the sand (note that this buried lie drill has the balls on the line, whereas the explosion shot drill had the balls 1 inch to the target side of the line). Be sure the balls are slightly buried in the sand. Practice hitting through the line and watching the balls fly out of the sand. Do not worry about the direction or the distance of your shots. Remember, your first objective is to get out of the sand.

Success Goal: 15 total swings with the correct form.
a. 10 swings without balls, at consistent location relative to line.
b. 5 swings, balls buried on the new line.

3. Fried Egg Visual Image Drill for Explosion Sand Shot
Some golfers like to imagine that a golf ball sitting in the sand is like a fried egg. You want to imagine putting the spatula under the yolk of the egg without breaking the yellow. Draw an oval in the sand. Imagine that a golf ball in its center is the yolk of an egg. Take your stance with the entire "egg" in the center of your stance. Hit the ball out, thinking about
the club as a spatula scraping the egg off the bottom of the frying pan, scraping under the yolk so as not to break it. Draw 5 of these ovals in the sand and place a ball in the center of  each.
Success Goal: hitting each "egg" out of the sand

4. Overlapping Grip Sand Drill: Explosion Shot
One common tendency in hitting sand shots is for the arms to decelerate because the target arm slows down. To feel the target arm throughout the swing, practice this drill.

a. Take your setup position for the explosion shot. Grip the club with your target hand, then place your rear hand on top of your target hand. Practice swinging the club 10 times, knocking sand out of the trap using
the line drill used in the Sandy Line Drill: Explosion Shot.

b. Draw a new line at the point where you consistently hit the sand in part (a). Place 5 balls 1 inch toward the target side of the new line. Hit the sand and balls out of the bunker.

Success Goal: 15 total swings with correct form.
10 swings hitting sand in same spot 7 of 10 times.
5 swings hitting sandy line and continuing through balls.

5. Overlapping Grip Sand Drill: Buried Lie Shot
Take your setup position for the buried lie shot. Place a line in the center of your stance. Grip the club with your target hand, then place your rear hand on top of your target hand as in the previous drill.

a. Take 10 swings without balls in the setup position for the buried lie shot. Note where the club strikes the sand on each swing.
b. Draw a new line in the sand at the point where you consistently hit the sand in part (a). Now slightly bury 5 balls on the line drawn in the sand. Be sure each ball is slightly buried. Practice hitting the line and the ball out of the sand while using the overlapping grip. Focus your attention on feeling your target arm continue to swing throughout the swing.

6. Bunker Distance Drill
Distance control in the sand can be practiced in the same ways as pitching, chipping, and putting. Establish four targets 5, 10, 20, and 30 yards away. Practice adjusting your swing length or speed to produce a sand shot that flies to each of those target distances.

a. Using an explosion shot, hit 3 balls to each target.
b. Using a buried lie shot, hit 3 balls to each target.

Success Goal: hitting 24 total shots, 3 for each distance and type of shot
a. Explosion Shot
3 balls hit at 5-yard target
3 balls hit at 10-yard target
3 balls hit at 20-yard target
3 balls hit at 30-yard target
b. Repeat goal (a) using the buried lie sand shot.

How to Execute Golf Sand Shots

The two shots presented in this step —the explosion shot and the buried lie shot— are used in hitting from sand traps or bunkers around the green. Sand shots create a different challenge to golfers than the shots you have been practicing. The soft texture of sand creates three conditions that you have not met in the previous steps: (a) the lie—the ball either resting on top of the sand or buried below the surface of the sand; (b) a stance stability concern not found when hitting from grass (the fairway or rough areas); and (c) the club not contacting the ball directly, but instead contacting the sand, which pushes the ball out of the trap. In this step you learn how to utilize your full swing motion effectively by modifying your setup. This lets you accommodate the three sand conditions in executing the two sand shots, the explosion shot and the buried lie shot.

WHY ARE SAND SHOTS IMPORTANT?
Sand traps are strategically placed on courses in the landing areas where the majority of players hit their tee shots and around the greens. The frequency of your use of sand shots depends on the course or courses you play. The number of sand traps on a given course can range from none to 100 or more.

Your ability to hit consistently out of traps helps you develop confidence and save strokes during a round of golf. For many players, the sight of a sand trap causes a panic button to go off. This doesn't need to happen to you. The sand shots are two of the easiest shots in golf because you don't hit the ball—you hit the sand, and the ball flies out with the sand.

When your ball lands in a sand trap, the generally soft texture of the sand creates a hitting surface and ball lie that are different from those found on the fairway or with the grass conditions on which you have thus far practiced. The sand also adds the challenges of your maintaining your balance during the swing and adapting to the rules that prohibit you from letting your club touch the sand before your forwardswing.

Your understanding of the modifications needed in the setup position and the use of the sand wedge to allow for the different sand textures can help you become an overall better golfer.

HOW TO EXECUTE SAND SHOTS
The sand wedge is the club specifically designed for use in the sand trap. This club differs from other irons in that it is slightly heavier and that the sole, or bottom, of the club is wider and angles down lower than the front edge of the club. The differences in club design make it easier to swing through the sand. The texture of the sand, though soft, is heavier than grass and offers greater resistance when contacted during the swing.

There are two basic sand shots: The explosion shot and the buried lie shot; the lie of the ball in the sand determines which one is selected. When the ball rests on top of the sand, more similar to a ball in the fairway, the explosion shot is used. The buried lie shot is used, as the name implies, when the ball is partially buried or rests completely below the level of the sand. Each shot is now discussed separately, with special note of the specific modifications in the setup positions from that of the full swing.

Explosion Shot
The explosion shot is similar to an iron shot from the fairway. There are three setup modifications from the full swing affecting clubface alignment, body alignment, and stance. The clubface is slightly open for the explosion shot to avoid digging into the sand too deeply. Before gripping the club, open the clubface slightly; then take your neutral grip
position.

Your body alignment should be slightly open, rather than square as in the full swing. This adjustment counteracts the influence of the open clubface, producing a straight shot rather than a push.

The stance modification provides you greater stability during the swing. As you take your stance, dig your toes into the sand a few inches. This places more weight toward the balls of your feet. By placing your feet below the level of the sand, the club enters the sand several inches to the rear side of the ball position.

These setup modifications allow you to use your full swing motion in the sand. The trajectory of the explosion shot is fairly high, and the ball lands with little roll. The sand wedge (SW) by design is the most effective club for the explosion shot. However, a pitching wedge (PW) or 9-iron can also be used. Directional and distance control come with practice and experience.

Buried Lie Sand Shot
The buried lie shot differs in the setup position from the explosion shot and the full swing because the club must either swing down more steeply or dig into the sand to pop the ball out from the buried lie. The setup position is similar to the chip shot, but using a full swing motion. There are five setup modifications from the full swing, in stance, body alignment, weight distribution, clubface alignment, and ball position.

Your stance here is the same as in the explosion shot, with your toes dug several inches into the sand for stability. With this position, as indicated with the explosion shot, the club enters the sand to the rear side of center. Your body alignment is slightly open for your feet and hips, while your shoulders are square to the target line. Your weight distribution is to the target side, with the upper and lower body leaning toward the target. This is the same position as in the chip shot. The clubface position is square, but delofted because the ball position is to the rear side of center, just forward of the point where the club enters the sand.

The modifications in this setup position for the buried lie shot produce a shot with a low trajectory and a lot of roll. A sand wedge, pitching wedge, or 9-iron are effective. A higher trajectory is possible with the sand wedge, which should be used whenever possible for the buried lie shot.