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Short Game Primer
Denis Pugh

One of the principles that we work on is that the left wrist is always in control of what the clubface is doing. This is a feeling you should cultivate in all areas of the game, but particularly in the short game, where there are so many different shots to master.

Golf is a two-handed game, obviously, but the danger (speaking for a right-handed player) is that the right hand will want to dominate the shot. That's why it is always a good idea to train with the left hand only, as it develops the overall feelings you need to be looking for.

Keep this in mind as you work on the following short-game lessons, starting here in the sand.

Sand Play

The trick to good bunker play is to use the so-called 'bounce' of the club. To do this, you not only open the clubface a little at the set-up but you have to then make sure you keep it open throughout the swing.

That's all down to the way the wrists hinge in the swing, the key being to prime your wrist action with a rehearsal swing that sees the left wrist 'cup' and the clubface work open as it swings op. It's as easy as telling the time: when the left wrist hinges and 'cups' correctly you should be able to clearly read the time on your watch.

Prime your wrist action, then trust it

To use the bounce of the sand-wedge properly, you want the clubface open at the set-up and to remain open throughout your swing. What you don't want is to close the face down with a first move that looks anything like this (below). The left wrist is working under the right the clubface twisted down, looking at the sand. 'Cupping' your left wrist will correct this, and the open clubface will easily bounce through the sand.

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