Quitting on bunker shots is one of the most common problems experienced by amateur golfers when trapped in the sand.
This quitting or deceleration of the club head through impact is often caused by an anxious golfer afraid to strike down and through the sand. This anxiety is often brought about after the golfer hits a few bunker shots thinly, sending them flying over the green - possibly into another bunker. Afraid of hitting it thinly but unsure about sliding the club into the sand before impact, tension infects the mind and hands and the worst of both worlds can collide as the golfer manages to enter into the sand but quits and fats the shot a few feet forward.
Quitting on a bunker shot not only feeds negativity into sand shots but can also affect other parts of the game as golfers become fearful over approach and tee shots, petrified of finding a trap. Using this drill can help golfers stop quitting on a bunker shot and breathe new life into their sand play.
The key to commitment on bunker shots is the ability and belief that taking sand before the ball works and is the only way to achieve success. Every sand wedge should have some bounce angle. Bounce angle is the difference in degrees between the rear and front edge of a club’s sole. The lower the rear edge is when compared to the front edge, the greater the bounce angle. This bounce angle will help the club glide through the sand and not dig in. It’s important for golfers to understand this fact - the club will glide through the sand and not dig in.
1. In the practice bunker draw a rectangle about the size of a dollar bill.
2. This dollar bill represents the divot a golfer must take for a successful bunker shot.
3. To practice committing to the shot, golfers should attempt to move all the sand in the rectangle and an inch more of depth out of the bunker and on to the green.
4. Only when the golfer has successfully done this can they introduce a
5. When the player can successfully move all the sand, they should place a ball in the rectangle (dollar bill) and try again.
6. To ease anxiety, golfers should ignore the ball. The object of the drill is to move the sand. By moving the sand they will move the ball, not the other way around.
7. If successful, the ball will be moved out of the bunker on a carpet of sand.
Quitting on bunker shots can often be a demoralizing business but by practicing this drill and moving both the sand and ball from the bunker, these shots will not hold the fear they once did.