Losing sleep over greenside bunker shots? Well Nick Dougherty has a cure.
The three-time European Tour winner ended those nightmares for Golf Live fans by prescribing them with a doughnut training drill at London Golf Club over the weekend.
Dougherty interacted with the crowd at the back of the 18th as he fired a series of short, long and buried sand shots next to the pin using his number one bunker tip; taught to him by short-game expert Mark Roe.
“The key is to imagine a doughnut-like shape around the ball,” said the Englishman. “In practice, draw a circle around the ball and hit the whole doughnut out of the bunker, maintaining good rhythm and good club head speed to make the doughnut disappear.”
Dougherty continued his masterclass by explaining the importance of a lower stance rather than one that is too upright.
“The common fault I see is when someone stands up tall and expects to be able to get the club under the ball,” added Dougherty.
“Widening the stance and flexing the knees will bring the sternum down and your right hand lower, allowing you to hit the sand before the ball.”
Having shown his fans how to scramble, Dougherty finished the session by explaining what to do when poached.
The 28-year-old made it clear a steep backswing is vital to make the club dig into the back of the plugged ball.
“It might not look appealing, but there is a way out,” said Dougherty. “Stay focused on a spot two to three inches behind the ball and swing steeply and abruptly with a full wrist hinge.
“Try to smack the sand hard but don’t follow through too much because the ball will have lots of top spin. Stopping the swing a few feet after impact will help you hold the face open to clear the lip and stop the ball on the green.”
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