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PGA Championship Tip-Bunker Play

Brian Tolnar from Blue Heron Hills helps you escape the sand
The players at the PGA Championship will very likely prefer hitting into bunkers than the jungle-like rough at Oak Hill Country Club.

For the average golfer, finding a sand trap can feel like the fly caught in a spider's web.

Blue Heron Hills Director of Golf Brian Tolnar says the stance is very important. "Stand with your feet pointing 3-5 yards to the left of the target," he says. Tolnar draws a "V' in the sand to illustrate the difference in alignment between the feet and target line.

Tolnar also says getting the correct depth on the stance is vital. "Dig your feet down to the same level as the bottom of the ball," Tolnar says. "If the ball is a half-inch into the sand, then your feet should be a half-inch down, too."

He agrees with the age-old tip of hitting about an inch behind the ball and let the sand help push the ball out of the bunker. However, it's the follow-through that is more essential.

Tolnar also says the take-away should be steeper. "It's like hitting a hammer or swinging an ax," Tolnar says.

Distance control is handled in the backswing and the best way to gauge distance is to visualize throwing the ball at the flag underhand. The distance your hand would go back on a throw is the same distance you should go back on your swing.

For more information on golf in Western New York visit westernnewyork.pga.com
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