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Golf Tip by LPGA Instructor Louise Ball
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Effective practice without the ball will make you more comfortable with the impact of your club to the sand, which is essential to getting the ball out.
Make two parallel lines in the sand about 6 inches apart with your club. Now connect the lines to make squares, like a Hershey Bar...hence the chocolate! Place a "dot" in the center of the square to represent the ball.
Start with the closest square to you and extend the front line towards you. This is where you want to place your front foot (left foot for right handed golfers). This represents ball position. Playing it off your front foot will help you get the ball up quicker.
Now dig in a little with your feet to develop a solid stance and to test the consistency of the sand. Make practice swings at your Hershey squares one at a time. Your hands should go shoulder to shoulder and your path should be steeper than your normal swing, in other words, more wrist cock and less body turn. Your goal is to get your chocolate onto the green, the sand should fly.
When you complete your swing, check to see if your chocolate is gone. Did your divot enter and exit to remove your square? Did you miss your square? Was your divot too shallow or too deep? Keep practicing with your Hershey squares without the ball and get a feel for the best divot to remove the sand and make it fly onto the green.
If the sand is on the green, your ball will be, too!
Louise Ball, a.k.a. "Weezie," is a Class A LPGA member with eleven years worth of teaching LPGA clinics and workshops covering everything from teaching with video, special populations, mental game, short game and so on. Louise had a top ten finish twice in the LPGA National Team Championship, and (perhaps more importantly) was nominated for LPGA Teacher of the Year in 2004. Her aim is to help students reach their own goals while feeling comfortable, informed, and encouraged to improve. She is based in Knoxville, Tennessee.