First time visitors golfing in Thailand often mention to me about how difficult it is hitting good shots from greenside bunkers at many of the Thailand golf courses. What I see when we play together is that their sand wedges dig into the often fluffy sand found on many golf courses in Thailand and these same Thai golfers leave their first shot in the bunker and take two or worse three shots to get on the green.
The cause of this is that many of these same Thailand golfers don't open the clubface enough on bunker shots. When I ask why? They mention that they are afraid that opening the clubface will cause the shot to go right. This is a very common mistake when golfing in Thailand, especially after a long layoff during the cold winters at home, it is totally wrong!
The good news is that this error can be easily overcome, even during your first round of golf in Thailand.
Here is what I suggest.
1. Open the clubface: With bunker shots from soft sand, Thailand golfers need to use more bounce. Otherwise, the club digs into the sand and ball go nowhere. The more open the clubface, the more bounce and the less chance of digging in. Opening the clubface also gives more of a margin for error.
Poor bunker players like to grip the club first, and then turn their hands to open the clubface. When this is done, the clubface tends to close during the swing. Instead, open the clubface, and then grip the club. To get the clubface open enough, visualize the flange of the club right under the face.
2. Dig In, grip down, and take an open stance: Dig in the feet slightly for a solid foundation. Grip down on the club a little to improve club control and make up for digging in. Take an open stance by pointing feet, hips, and shoulders left of the target line.
3. Aim Right and swing down: Aim the clubface right, placing it in line with the target. Swing down and through along the foot line.
Bunker shots from soft Thai sand are tricky. Just remember that the softer the sand the more you need to open the clubface. Give this tip a try at any Thailand golf course and you will be out in one every time!
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