Today’s golf courses often feature vast “waste areas,” which are basically sand bunkers that are seldom if ever raked. Many waste areas are extremely firm, with a thin layer of sand on top. You may also encounter pine straw, patches of loose soil and other places where footing is less than sure.
When they find the ball in such a spot, many golfers focus on the lie -- whether the ball is sitting down, if there are clumps of sand or turf behind it, and so forth. But the key to playing from unstable ground is to remain steady over the shot.
- Take one or two more clubs than the yardage calls for. (If it’s normally an 8-iron, choose a 6- or 7-iron instead).
- Stand with your feet spaced shoulder-width apart – the insides of your feet directly below the outsides of your shoulders.
- If possible, dig your feet just into the surface for extra stability, kicking away pebbles or other loose impediments underfoot.
- Flex your knees for added balance.
- Grip down on the club and play the
ball about mid-stance.
- Make a smooth, slightly abbreviated swing, with a shorter finish than usual.
The widened stance, knee flex and short swing will help you keep your balance and prevent the feet from slipping, ensuring better contact.