First, there are times you may want to hit the ball first for a certain result or due to a certain lie, ... so hitting the sand first, is not written in stone.
Example: The wind can blow away sand in many of the bunkers in New Mexico. This leaves a crusty, hard pan surface under the ball. If you try to enter the sand with an open club face, the bounce** of the SW, will literally bounce the leading edge right into the ball and send it flying across the green. So one option is to square the face and create a "dig sole"* action, and catch the ball first and just allow for roll. This kind of "picks" the ball off. Sometimes we just "putt" the ball out. You can also achieve many different results when you change the ball position and club face. The best way to know what's best for you, is to experiment. Here are some ideas for different results. 1. The closer to the ball you enter the sand, will produce more spin (depending on angle of attack***). 2. The more sand you take the less energy imparts on the ball. 3. With an "open" club face, the more sand you take, usually creates more of a "drop ball" action. Where the ball just kind of sits down without much spin. 4. With a "close" club face, and entering a couple inches behind the ball, usually creates a "running" shot. 5. It the ball is buried, it is easier to get it out using the "dig sole" concept and allow for run. Nothing is in stone here because of all the different kinds of lies, sand and conditions. It really just takes experience and practice and experimenting to learn. * A "dig sole" is a way of closing slightly the club face of a SW so the leading edge will "dig" down into the sand or turf, as to "remove" or "reduce" the amount of bounce. ** "Bounce" is the difference of the Leading Edge and Trailing Edge (of the sole of the club), in degrees of a Sand Wedge. Typical 12° of bounce. *** "Angle of Attack" in general means ... Where on the swing arc, the club meets the ball ... before the bottom of the swing arc, at the bottom of the arc, or after the bottom on the way up.
Move Less ... Get Good! DUPLESSISGOLF