SI Vault
 
An unusual swing helps solve an unusual difficulty
Jack Nicklaus
September 28, 1964
When you are faced with a buried lie in a sand trap and a pin placed close to the near edge of the green you have a complex problem. A shot from such a lie usually will not have much back-spin, so how can you stop the ball close to the hole? The solution is to "pop" the ball out. Normally, for a shot from a buried lie you would close the club face, but in this case you must open the club face wide. Then start the back-swing with a very early wrist break. This brings the club head back on a steep, upright plane. A steep backswing naturally sets up a steep downswing. As the club head comes down into the impact area the right hand must completely dominate the swing. Because an open-faced club ordinarily tends to bounce off sand instead of digging into it. the right hand must drive the club head down into the sand with a sort of slicing action. Aim to have the club head enter the sand as close behind the ball as possible while still getting under it. The ball should pop right out, and have more backspin than the conventional sweeping type of explosion shot.
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September 28, 1964

An Unusual Swing Helps Solve An Unusual Difficulty

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When you are faced with a buried lie in a sand trap and a pin placed close to the near edge of the green you have a complex problem. A shot from such a lie usually will not have much back-spin, so how can you stop the ball close to the hole? The solution is to "pop" the ball out. Normally, for a shot from a buried lie you would close the club face, but in this case you must open the club face wide. Then start the back-swing with a very early wrist break. This brings the club head back on a steep, upright plane. A steep backswing naturally sets up a steep downswing. As the club head comes down into the impact area the right hand must completely dominate the swing. Because an open-faced club ordinarily tends to bounce off sand instead of digging into it. the right hand must drive the club head down into the sand with a sort of slicing action. Aim to have the club head enter the sand as close behind the ball as possible while still getting under it. The ball should pop right out, and have more backspin than the conventional sweeping type of explosion shot.

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