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Golf Question How Can I Escape From The Down Slope Of A Golf BunkerThere is always a level of misfortune and dismay when you end up in a bunker but that dismay intensifies when you discover the ball is sat on a down slope to really test your adaptability and golf swings effectiveness.

If the ball was on a down slope of a greenside bunker there is then the worry of the ball not getting enough height to get over the bunkers lip in front of you. Or if it does manage that, how it will stop fast enough on the green because a downhill lie produces a lower ball flight than normal, creating less spin due to the decrease in the club face angle at impact meaning it will not stop as fast as usual.

There are key fundamental set up changes that need to be made in order to regain some of this height and spin back on the shot:

  • Increase the loft on the club face and adjust your alignment accordingly
  • Add more weight on to your left for a downward blow taking the sand behind the ball out of the equation
  • Tilt your shoulders parallel to the slope of the bunker to effectively make it a flat shot
  • Ball position should be further forward than centre but not excessively
  • Swing along the line of your feet keeping the club face square to the target throughout the swing

These fundamentals are trying to counteract the slope and set the body up parallel to it so that when the club approaches the ball on the down swing, the sand from behind the ball will not interfere with the strike.

This gives the player the best opportunity to strike the shot how they deem fit, whilst imparting as much spin and height as possible on the ball.

Be aware that if the slope is severe then the same technique and set up applies but spin and height will be less possible, so use your course management skill to find the lowest part of the lip and the biggest part of the green and take your punishment!

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The set up is what makes executing this shot possible because it is eliminating the sand behind the ball and reducing the chances of fat shots and leaving the ball in the bunker.
Swinging normally will also encourage the club to land too early into the slope and catch too much sand. The worst case scenario is that you may miss the ball and be left with the same predicament.

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Wrist hinge is a key fundamental in hitting bunker shots because the extra speed they give the ball through the sand will allow for increased height and back spin. Especially for this shot where the ball is on a down slope, it will help steepen the angle of attack into the ball, taking away the chance of hitting the sand too early.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

On a downward slope, the weight of the player should be favouring the left side to help level out the slope, however, if the player then puts weight to the right side, it is increasing the angle of the slope and therefore potentially hitting the sand before the ball or making a thin contact on the ball depending on the severity on the slope