Take a slightly wider stance which will help you get lower to the ground. This will also give you an excellent base.

Pretend like you have a basketball between the knees. This will help keep knee flex constant. When your knees flex more or straighten your body will be going down or up. Changing the flex in the knees will not give you a consistent depth in your divot.

Open the face so you give the club more bounce. How much will depend on how far you are from the hole and/or if the lie is on a slope.

Open your stance to your intended target line. The more you open the face to hit the ball higher, the more your stance should be open.

Remember my saying “Turn the shoulders, turn the core.” Takeaway will be mostly in the shoulders and in your wrist cock. This will be where you get a lot of your power. The more you turn your shoulders the more energy you will have stored up. Wrist cock will be greater the shorter the distance needed. If you don’t want to hit it far, than cock your wrists and don’t turn your shoulders much.

Now the important transition, try to initiate the forward swing by turning the core through. The core is the middle of the body. When a lot of the pros say keep the lower body quiet they are turning this part of the body through. They just aren’t getting on the back toe on the follow through as much as the full swing. They are staying much more grounded, which prevents them from pulling up out of the shot and hitting the ball thin.

The wrist action through the ball is up to the individual. The one way that is not very good is to try to release the club where you get the toe of the club to turn over the heel. This makes the club dig and doesn’t give the ball any bite on the green. The most popular way is to leave the face open through contact. You try to make the clubface point at the sky through impact. The way I like to do it is a traditional La Jolla way because it was/is done by Paul Runyan, Phil Rodgers, Chuck Courtney and Harry Rudolph. It has a hand and wrist action where you actually feel the right hand come under the left when you are making contact with the sand. This method actually increases the loft and makes the ball fly higher onto the green. When done right it feels like the only part of the club that comes in contact with the sand is the bounce on the bottom of the club. The more you use the hands the higher it goes. If the face had a mirror on it, you would see your reflection on the follow through.

On the longer shots I make a larger swing with less of this wrist action. Length of follow through will have an effect on the length of the shot.

You can vary the speed you turn your body to also help control the distances you want to hit the ball. The farther the shot the faster the swing.
This is an excellent example of the face staying open after contact. Notice the middle of the body turned.


More examples of face open.

This is the look of the clubface with the La Jolla hand action.


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