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Select the best golf iron for escaping sand

Does your average round of golf involve more sand than a Sahara trek? If you just can't help hooking those drives into the sand traps, it might be an idea to find the perfect golf iron to get the ball out with the minimum of flailing and cursing.

The tips site at passion-for-golf.com rather airily suggests that bunkers are no big deal. They claim that a lofted club is always the solution, never less than a 7 iron, with final selection depending on the distance.

Brad Worthington on golfinstruction.com begs to differ, and offers some intriguing advice on getting out of a 50 yard bunker. His online video tells you not to reach for the pitching wedge or sand wedge, but to opt for a 6 iron. He smacks a nice first time escape to within 12 feet of the pin, impressive enough to make us forgive his garish salmon pink shirt.

Greg Norman's Shark Watch site (shark.com) offers another solution, one that might require a rather higher degree of expertise. His tip for a long bunker shot is to slice with an 8 iron. If that sounds like the type of shot you play too easily without wanting to, if you let Greg explain, it will make sense.

Use the full length of the club and take a very wide, very open stance, aiming around 45 degrees to the left. Hit at least an inch and a half behind the ball, taking a lot of sand. The length and loft of the club will help get the distance. The real pleasure though comes when the ball lands and cuts sharply back to the right, like a spin bowler's deadliest delivery. That's when you know you've picked just the right golf iron for the shot.

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