One of the easiest shots in golf for pros and scratch golfers is a sand shot inside 30 yards.
One of the hardest shots in golf for anyone is a long sand shot more than 30 yards.
Why? Because with the sand wedge, you can only hit it so far from the beach. Since you are opening the clubface near 30 degrees open, after about 30 yards, you are doing to have a hard time just getting the golf ball to the green.
So, how to hit this long sand shot?
There’s two ways, you can either open your sand wedge less and try hitting the shot but that’s not always the best way because the less you open your sand wedge, the less bounce you effectively use on your wedge.
Without bounce, the sand shot becomes more risky.
A better way to hit the longer sand shots is with a longer club such as your pitching wedge or even 9-iron.
For a 50-yard sand wedge shot perhaps from a fairway bunker (that’s relatively close to the green), you can hit a pitching wedge, almost exactly like your sand shots with the sand wedge.
Here’s the cool part though, because you are effectively hitting the golf ball harder with the longer club, you can put a LOT of spin on the golf ball.
Not that many people know or even attempt to hit this long bunker shot but when you pull it off and your ball one hop and stops next to the hole, you will see everyone’s jaws drop as you take their money.
You still have to hit the long sand shot correctly, perhaps a bit less margin of error than shorter sand shots. This inevitable because the pitching wedge has less bounce.
When hitting these longer sand shots, you need to aim a bit more left than you think because the pitching wedge causes more left-to-right spin than on short sand shots.
Also, make sure you make a “shallow” and “thin” scoop of sand. The sand should look 5-6 inches long but very thin. This is same concept as a regular short sand shot but in a short sand shot, you can still get the golf ball on the green with a slighter fatter action whereas the longer sand shots, you don’t have that margin or error.
Now, if you are at a longer distance, let’s say 80 yards in the fairway bunker, you can try a 9-iron.
If you are at longer than that, my advice is to actually try to hit the ball clean while keeping your head up throughout the shot. Once it gets to that distance, it’s better to hit a half-swing/full-swing shot and in my opinion, those are much easier than something between 30-100 yards.