Adjust your technique when you land in a bunker

Alex Belt's golf tips

Alex Belt's golf tips

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East Yorkshire professional Alex Belt gives tips on how to improve your golf over the winter months.

When a bunker has been hardened by rain or irrigation, the golf ball will spin more coming off the club face. That makes it stop quickly on the green.

You want to take less sand than usual when it is wet.

Dig in too far or too steeply behind the golf ball and the sand’s extra weight will stop the club dead.

○ Taking your stance, dig your feet in just enough to provide stability. You don’t want to go too far below the level of the ball.

○ Aim for a spot about an inch behind the ball, rather than the standard two inch, then swing through to hit that spot and be sure to accelerate the club through impact.

○ Plan for the ball to fly further and stop more quickly than the same shot from dry sand.

MUDDY BALLS

Mud on your golf ball can be a real pain at this time of year. Even if preferred lies are in operation, this problem will still occur when not on the fairway.

Mud on the ball can affect trajectory, distance and curve on the ball. It’s a problem that is unpredictable.

According to Rock Ishii, Tiger Woods’ ball guru, a 200-yard shot can lose up to eight yards of distance, depending on how much mud is on the ball.

The rule of thumb guideline here is:

○ If mud is on the top of the ball, take an extra club as the ball can tend to balloon up higher.

○ If mud is on the side of the ball, it will fly in the opposite direction to the target.

Failing that, you could make sure you hit the fairway next time!

CORRECT CLOTHING

Many golfers will just add more layers to protect them from the wild winter weather. This seems logical but will affect the golfer’s swing and rhythm if you are not careful, in particular the restriction caused under the arms which therefore affects normal rotation during the swing.

Clothing companies now invest millions in research to solve this problem by providing breathable, waterproof and specialist material which will keep the bodies heat from escaping during those cold bitter days. I highly recommend Ivanhoe of Sweden and Proquip as leading brands in this area of expertise.

○Got a golf problem you want Alex to solve? Email sport@bridlingtonfreepress.co.uk

○For enquiries regarding coaching sessions to improve your golf game this winter email al.belt@hotmail.com - all coaching sessions are held at Bridlington Links.