Carmel Magazine

Holiday l 2013

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042-043 Golf Tips_Layout 10/23/13 7:56 PM Page 1 TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT B Y D A N PA S Q U A R I E L L O A N D L A I R D S M A L L Turning Sand Traps into a Day at the Beach F or most golfers, watching your approach shot land in front third of the green (closest to you), use your lob wedge with a square ture the hacking, the digging and the scrounging, fol- green, use your sand wedge with the same technique. And if the pin is on the sand is a terrifying experience. Immediately, we pic- lowed shortly by our sandy shoes and double bogey (or worse) on the scorecard. Negative thinking takes hold, ultimately leading to more errors, more frustrations and more nightmares in the sand. Instead of getting frustrated, try changing your thinking. Substitute the stressful experience in the place we negatively label "bunker," "hazard" or "trap" with something positive. Try envisioning the sand as the beach—a place where people go to relax and relieve stress. The beach boasts blue clubface. Take your normal golf swing. If the pin is in the middle third of the the back third of the green (farthest from you), the club of choice is the pitching wedge. You can use the same swing motion with three different clubs and hit the ball three different distances; short, medium and long. Simple, right? Don't overthink the process, practice these shots, and become familiar and confident with your distance control. skies, warm weather; palm trees and emerald seas. Instead of digging out Third Step: Get In and happy. Which sounds more fun? to knock it close—and maybe even in! We're comfortable with getting out of the sand and onto the green, but of a bunker, avoiding a hazard or escaping a trap, picture your beach—calm to find those pars and birdies—and to lower our scores overall—we need Once you have found that positive mentality, focus on your prepara- Use the same three clubs: lob, sand and pitching wedges to play a vari- tion and technique. The old golf adage of "get out, get on and get in" can help you practice your sand play and hit good shots when you need them most. First Step: Get Out First things first, make sure to comfortably get the ball out of the sand, so forget about any other ety of sand shots. Practice adjusting the angle of the clubface: open, square Use the same three clubs: lob, sand and pitching wedges to play a variety of sand shots. and closed. Understand how each affects the trajectory of the shot. See how uphill and downhill lies create different challenges in con- trolling the shot. Discover how the texture of dry, fluffy and wet sand influences the spin and distance bunker tips you've heard. Avoid the sand wedge, lob wedge or gap wedge control. Soon, you'll see sand shots as opportunities for success—not clubface square to the target and make your normal golf swing. For a bad on your scorecard. for this shot. If you have a good lie, take your pitching wedge, keep the lie (e.g. fried-egg, half buried), close the face of the pitching wedge and obstacles—and your fear will disappear as fast as those unwanted strokes Try these techniques in one of the practice bunkers at the Pebble Beach repeat the same steps. Golf Academy or at the 9-hole Peter Hay Golf Course at Pebble Beach such a large margin of error. You could hit anywhere from two to six inch- along with a little practice and preparation will have you feeling like being Hit a few inches behind the ball: how far isn't that important as there is es behind the golf ball and still be successful. With this basic procedure, the ball will come out lower and run a little more, but it will come out! Resorts. Changing your perception of the sand by using positive thoughts in the sand is just another day at the beach. Pebble Beach Golf Academy, located at the world-renowned Pebble Beach Second Step: Get On Resorts, features Director Laird Small and Master Instructor Dan on finding the target. Use your lob wedge, sand wedge or pitching wedge Pasquariello. Golf Digest has ranked the two among "America's 50 Best If you are in a front greenside bunker, for example, and the pin is in the edge technology and club fitting services. Call 831/622-8650 for more infor- You feel comfortable escaping the hazard, but now we need to work and divide the green into three sections. 42 C ARMEL M AG A Z I N E • H O L I D AY 2013 Teachers." Choose between individual or group instruction, including cuttingmation or to reserve a lesson.

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