Hello golfers. Welcome to this week’s tips & tricks. Some progress has been made in restoring the practice bunker at Windmill. It is currently for coaching only but hopefully over the next few weeks/months it will be available for use as a member. We are planning on raising the depth of the bunker and raising the lip as well as creating a landing area shaped like a green. When it is completed it’s going to be a great addition to your practice.
I’m really glad I can get back in there to teach so I thought I would share some tips on getting out of bunkers easier. If you have a practice facility at your golf club you can practice what you have learned there or you can practice on the course when it’s quiet.
Let’s take a look at the following video to see how we are going to get out of the sand first time, every time.
Before you have even got into the bunker you need to choose a club that is going to give you the best chance. Lots of wedges now have different shaped soles, some of which are a lot better for bunker shots. A mid to high bounce club will help to cut and glide through the sand. If you are prone to digging in bunkers more bounce could help. Standard bounce is roughly 10* and a high bounce would be 12*-14*. A club with enough loft will also help. A sand wedge traditionally has 56* of loft. Anything from 54*-60* will usually do a good job.
If you are looking at some new wedges and would like some advice then you can BOOK A FITTING HERE.
In my opinion bunker shots are easy. I only say this because when you understand the theory they can be easy for you too. I would like to highlight some common errors that I see. If you think you are guilty of these then pay attention.
People are told then need to hit down in bunkers with a steep angle of attack. This is correct to an extent but if the club is just continually going down into the sand its eventually going to get stuck. As previously mentioned the bounce should help with this but only so far. If you feel like the club gets stuck in the sand then the likelihood is you’re trying to dig it out of the sand.
The opposite to digging is trying to lift the ball out of the sand. If the momentum of the club isn’t sliding under the ball towards the target and is rising up then you’re going to hit the sand too far behind the ball or miss it completely. This could lead to thinning the ball over the back of the green into the bushes. If you hit too much or too little sand regularly then you could be leaning back.
For most golf shots we want to try and make a ball first contact. Pure striking with irons relies on this. The only times we don’t is when we play certain chip shots and bunker shots. When we play a green side bunker shot we don’t really want to hit the ball at all. We want the club to slide under the ball and lift it in the air on a lovely cushion of sand. Again, if you hit the ball thin out of bunkers over the green you could be trying to play the ball not the sand under it.
We want to try and feel like the club is sliding under the ball. To make this easier try this set up…
When you have found a good set up you want to try and feel like the club is cutting through the sand with some momentum. Try to make a swing that has the same length back and through with a good tempo. Trying to hit green side bunker shots hard can lead to disaster.
If you have correctly set up all you need to do is look an inch before the ball and try to make a smooth swing. Try to allow the club head to overtake the hands through impact, not to scoop but to allow the club to present some loft and continue through the sand. If you try to hit with the hands ahead of the ball the club will dig too deep into the sand.
To get used to hitting through the sand at the correct location draw a line in the sand. Try to hit an inch before the sand leaving a “divot” at least an inch or two deep and a couple of inches in length. When you have done that a few times put a ball down and try to imagine the line. If you try to hit through the sand an inch before the ball it should pop up in the air and straight out of the bunker.
When you know how, bunkers are pretty straight forward. I like playing out of bunkers and I love teaching people how to get out of them. If you struggle out of bunkers I can now give you a great bunker lesson.
To book a lesson CLICK HERE!
See you soon.