8 • July 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC. Golf Coach 101 How To Escape The Cat Box by James Fish of Sonoma County, CA• M

ost amateur golf- ers love to hate the sand. Get- ting stuck in a

bunker never feels like a day at the beach, more often than not it feels like another tour of duty through a desert storm. What is missing for many golfers is a better understanding of the wedge and its function. When used properly, a sand wedge, gap or lob wedge can be an easy out. If one understands the sole of a golf club and its proper application, one does not need to be tormented by a routine trip to the cat box. In fact a lot of pros would rather be in the sand than in the rough. Of course the sand they play out of is quite fluffy and different than the sand on a mu- nicipal course. Then again if a golfer can wield a sand wedge properly a sand wedge shot

should not be that difficult. If a player hits behind the ball by an inch or so with an open face of 45 degrees, the club can actu- ally splash the ball out without ever even hit- ting the ball. It is the force of the splash into the

sand and

the momentum of that proper splash that ac- tually


the ball out from the sand. If you hear a thudding sound when splashing out from a bunker, that is good. A golfer wants to hear that sound. That sound means they are executing the sand wedge shot properly. One of the most

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8 • July 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC.

Available on iTunes and Amazon Joanne L. Mumola Williams, PhD

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The secret of success is constancy to purpose. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

important aspects of this shot is acceleration and commit- ment to a full follow-through. Too many times golfers don’t

ate through the

acceler- impact

zone with the right amount of turn. Many times this lack of a turn can be traced to a lack of a low- er body turn. The sand shot when done correctly


volves a lower body turn. If

it is all arms you won’t be too successful. Getting one’s feet to dig into

the sand a bit is crucial for es- tablishing a grounded feeling. Once that connection is there a golfer should feel a more athletic stance of readiness for

the shot at hand. When I took my student Paul into the sand bunker the other day during a range lesson, he was eager to proceed. After absorbing like a sponge the proper concept and technique, he was able to hit three out of four sands shots within ten feet of the hole. So as most golfers know, con- fidence is sexy. When you be- come confident with a particu- lar shot, you no longer need to feel afraid of facing that shot. Escaping from a bunker may not be easy for everyone, but truly anyone can learn to hit that shot with a proper applica- tion of correct technique.

James Fish works as a golf teaching pro at the Foxtail Golf Club and can be reached via e-mail at: or 707-548-2664

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when

they stick together. Vesta M. Kelly

Weird Facts & Trivia - 2

The lawn mower was invented by Edwin Budding in England in 1830, then imported to the US in 1855!

Gypsy moths, imported for silk production, escaped from their cages in the 1869 storm.

Asian long-horned beetles, stowaways in Chinese packing crates, hit trees in Brooklyn in 1996.

125,000 Golf balls are hit into the water at the 17th hole of the Stadium Course at Sawgrass each year.

The French word “Cadet” (cad-DAY) means “youngest child” and is where the word “Caddy” comes from.

The eye of an ostrich is bigger than its brain.

There are four fingers in each hand of Mickey Mouse.

(707) 526-1130 • Open Mon-Sat 1585 Terrace Way ~ Santa Rosa ~ Off Pacifi c Ave.

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