Tip From the Archives

Sand over Hardpan

Problem

You try using your sand wedge and end up skulling the ball when attempting to hit off of a thin layer of sand over hardpan, especially if the sand is wet, or scruff. This is because the ball bounces off of the flange of the sand wedge and you end up blading or chunking the shot.

Cure

Try using a pitching wedge instead because it is not likely to bounce off of the hardpan but you will lose some loft.

Therapy

Stand closer to the ball, play the ball back in your stance, and keep your hands ahead of the ball. Open the face of the pitching wedge. If it is a short shot, open the face but if you need a longer shot, square the clubface more. Take a three quarter swing with your left shoulder leading into your backswing. This will aid in a V-shaped swing to help ensure that you hit down, behind the ball, and through it.

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