When faced with a long greenside bunker shot, the senior golfer can employ a number of methods and clubs to help achieve a successful shot. A successful long bunker shot relies on a combination of factors, the first being a solid technique.
How to set up and hit a standard bunker shot.
1. Hold open the face of the club before taking the grip. Don’t grip the club and then open the blade.
2. Depending on how high the senior golfer wants to play the shot, the more they should open the club face (this will take distance off the shot).
3. Seniors can either place their hands high on the handle to help with acceleration or grip slightly further down to aid control. If the senior grips further down they should bring their posture lower also.
4. By holding the club firmly with the back two fingers of the top hand, the senior golfer can keep the club face open through impact and not let it flip over.
5. Place the ball slightly forward in the stance and move the body left until the body is open but the club face aims at the target.
6. To help drive down and through the sand, the senior can put a little more weight on the front foot.
7. Hinge the wrists upwards and slide through the sand entering an inch behind the ball.
8. Keep up club head speed and explode upwards out of the sand sending the ball on to the green upon a carpet of sand.
Many seniors will automatically reach for the sand wedge when faced with a long bunker shot. Golfers would generally have more success if they varied the club selection.
The only real barrier of hitting a club with less loft around the green is the steepness of the bunker face. It is perfectly possible to use a standard bunker technique with a pitching wedge to increase the distance a sand shot will travel. Varying the loft of club hit on a long bunker shot is the easiest way to alter the distance the ball will travel.
There are other methods the senior could use to hit a long greenside bunker shot. Rather than altering the loft of club, the senior golfer could alter their set up to hit the ball further. Rather than opening the club face and stance to the intended target, the senior golfer could stand squarer to the target line and hit a little closer to the back of the ball. This will achieve a cleaner strike on the ball and increase distance.
However, making clean contact with the ball of a greenside bunker shot is difficult to achieve and the ball is hard to control.