One thing which frustrates many amateur golfers is the inability to achieve consistent strikes on bunker shots.
Many players are unsure of how much spin they are likely to generate, how far the ball will travel and how high the trajectory will be. To transform themselves into a better bunker player, golfers can use this drill.
Draw a line in the sand
This drill is best completed around the practice green but can be tried on the course if no one is behind waiting to play and it’s not a competition!
1. Draw a line in the sand which is 90 degrees to the intended target. Make the line about a meter long.
2. Address the line so it runs directly between the feet. The line should run through the middle of the stance.
3. When the golfer is set they should practice striking the sand in front of the line. Moving down the line, the divots should form divots in front of the line about the size of a dollar bill.
4. After practicing this drill 10 times moving down the line taking divots, rake the bunker and draw a fresh line.
5. Place 10 balls two inches in front of the line and try to repeat the process. Golfers want to be entering the sand just after the line and taking divots the size of dollar bills.
Using this drill will help the golfer achieve more consistent bunker strikes resulting in a greater amount of control. To ensure the line drill works, golfers should ensure they adopt the correct set up. Sloppiness during practice will spill over into medal play.
How to set up and hit a standard bunker shot:
1. Open the blade of your club before taking the grip, the higher you want the ball to go, the more you open the club face.
2. Place your hands high on the handle as you would for a normal grip, gripping down the club can cause you to quit on the shot.
3. Hold the club more firmly with the back two fingers of the top hand, this will help keep the club face open through impact.
4. Take a square stance with the ball slightly forward in the stance and the club face aimed right of the target.
5. Now move the left foot, hips and shoulders left until the club face aims at the target and put a little bit more weight on the front foot.
6. Make a long, smooth swing along the body line, hinging the wrists upwards, swinging through and entering the sand an inch behind the ball.
7. Keep the swing smooth and flowing under the ball. Extend the swing through the balls and finish in a full finish position facing the target.
8. The ball should fly towards the target on a carpet of sand loaded with backspin.