When a ball is struck high into the air and lands in a bunker with soft, deep sand, the dreaded buried lie can occur.
The buried lie can become a serious problem for seniors as digging the ball out and on to the green can be difficult. However, this difficult shot can be tackled by slight alterations at set up and during the swing. First of all, the senior golfer should recap on how to play a standard splash shot from the bunker.
How to set up and hit a standard bunker shot.
1. The blade should be first opened in the hands and then the club gripped. A wide open club face will produce the highest shot.
2. The ball position should be just forward of centre in the stance and the stance opened to the target. The senior golfer should open the body until the club face is aiming at the target.
3. The hands are best placed on the grip as you would for a normal shot to prevent deceleration through impact.
4. Hold the club face open throughout the swing; this can be helped by gripping the club firmly with the back two fingers of the top hand.
5. Make a swing up and down the body line hinging the wrists upwards.
6. This will help the golfer drive down and through the sand. The senior golfer should trust the club’s bounce to lift the ball up.
7. The club should enter the sand an inch behind the ball.
8. Extend through the ball and finish in a full position.
The buried lie
To tackle the buried lie, a number of alterations need to be made in the set up and swing to successfully move the ball on to the green. Seniors should also be aware that balls hit from buried lies will have almost no backspin imparted at impact. This means the ball will hit the green and roll out a greater distance than a standard bunker shot.
1. Instead of opening the club face keep it square or even slightly closed.
2. Place your hands high on the handle and employ a firm grip; you need the blade held firm through impact.
3. Take a square stance to the target line with the ball back in the stance. If the ball is fully buried the ball could be played off the back foot.
4. Make a steep swing up and away from the ball hinging the wrist upwards quickly.
5. Dig down in behind the ball and punch into sand.
6. The ball should fly up and out with a lot of sand. Depending on the depth of the buried lie the golfer may have to dig down into the sand by four inches.