You are on the golf course and you have to get up and down on the last hole to win the match, however you are faced with a shot most golfers dread. A golf shot over a bunker on to a green.
Without the bunker, it is an easy shot without much complication, however if you place a bunker in between you and the target, it suddenly becomes a different shot completely. Psychologically, it is a much more challenging shot even though the aim of the shot is exactly the same - to get the golf ball on to the green as close to the flag as possible.
Fault - Often when a player is faced with such a testing shot, the negative outcomes come to the forefront of the mind when thinking about the golf shot rather than thinking about the positives and the execution of the golf shot. The bunker suddenly becomes the centre of attention and the negative outcomes of going into the bunker become much stronger. The fear factor begins to kick in as the shot approaches and instead of concentrating on what needs to happen to get the golf ball near to the flag, the thoughts turn to 'how will I get over this bunker?' This thought most commonly results in a poor shot as the golfer will begin to aim to lift the golf ball over the bunker on to the green as opposed to playing a normal lofted golf shot.
Fix - The first thing we must do when faced with a shot over a bunker on to the green is to pick a point on the other side of the bunker to aim for where we want the golf ball to land. Picking a golf club with ample amounts of loft from your set, that will execute such a shot, is vital in the build up to the golf shot to build confidence that you have the correct golf club for the job in hand.
Key tip - To become a more consistent chipper of the golf ball, we need to practice the stroke making sure we limit the amount of wrist hinge during the backswing and through impact. Ideally, we need a small amount of wrist hinge during the backswing but very little hinge at the moment of impact, otherwise the temptation of flicking the wrists to increase the height of the golf shot appears at the moment of impact. The best way to become better at such shots would be to feel like the shaft of the golf club is leaning slightly forwards towards the target at the moment of impact to guarantee a cleaner strike on the golf ball.
Key point - When executing the golf shot, focus on the point you have picked beyond the bunker as opposed to the bunker itself. Focus on landing the golf ball on the spot you have judged to land the golf ball on the green.
This will make sure you keep your mind focused on the job in hand rather than the possible negatives that could happen from the golf shot.