Take a Stab at Short Shots
The next time you have one of those nightmare lies in sand, where the ball is semi-buried and you have only a meter to go to the flag, take a "stab" at it.
This is a wonderful little shot because it floats out softly rather than scooting across the green as most shots do from this type of lie.
Traditional instruction tells you to use a square clubface when the ball is not lying cleanly, to help you dig down and unearth it. I disagree. If you have the guts to play this shot with an aggressive swing, you're better off with an open face because it will give you a softer flight.
But the real key to this shot is the stab itself. Playing from an open stance, with the ball about midway between your feet, make a wristy backswing with your hands going to shoulder height. Then on the downswing, slug the club down into the sand about 2 centimeters behind the ball and try to leave it there, just as if you were stabbing with a knife. With the open clubface, you'll penetrate the sand with the heel of the wedge, and if you stab down with sufficient force the displaced sand will raise the ball lazily upward.