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Don't be afraid of bunkers
Amateur golfers are probably sick of being told that the classic greenside bunker shot - or splash shot - is one of the easiest in golf. And yet, with a few minutes practice you might start to banish your fears of being caught in sand.

Gary Player has been a superb golfer for several decades and there's no doubt that bunker play was his forte - being relatively slight and not being able to compete on distance he had to sharpen his short game.

He recognises that for many amateurs it is fear that prevents them escaping sandtraps - fear of thinning the ball clear through the green or fear of leaving it in the sand. The best way to hit the ball thin, however, is to lack the commitment needed to make a full swing and follow-through, making sure to sweep away the sand underneath the ball.

If this is your problem, go into a practice bunker and tee up some balls so that they sit just above the sand's surface. Now swing the club with the sole intention of knocking the tee out of the sand but not touching the ball.

It doesn't matter where the ball goes, simply that you feel what it's like to swing the club underneath it. When you feel confident, simply play the same shot while the ball is resting on top of the sand without being teed up.

©    2 - MAY 2003

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