A common problem for senior golfers is the ability to hit long greenside bunker shots.
One misconception about bunker shots which compounds the issue, is the belief a short bunker shot requires a short swing and a long bunker shot requires a long swing. This is not the case; a senior golfer can use the same swing for a 10 yard bunker shot as for a 30 yard bunker shot.v
First of all it is important our standard bunker set up and swing is solid.
How to set-up and hit a standard bunker shot:
1. Open the blade of your club before taking the grip. The higher you want the ball to go, the more you open the club face.
2. Place your hands high on the handle as you would for a normal grip, gripping down the club can cause a senior to quit on the shot.
3. Hold the club more firmly with the back two fingers of the top hand. This will help keep the club face open through impact.
4. Take a square stance with the ball slightly forward in the stance and the club face aimed right of the target.
5. Now move the left foot, hips and shoulders left until the club face aims at the target and put a little bit more weight on the front foot.
6. Make a long, smooth swing along the body line, hinging the wrists upwards, swinging through and entering the sand an inch behind the ball.
7. Keep the swing smooth and flowing under the ball. Extend through the balls and finish in a full position.
8. The ball should fly towards the target on a carpet of sand.
To hit the ball further, there is no need to change the swing rhythm, how far behind the ball you hit, or how hard you swing through the sand. The easiest way to vary the distance of sand shots is to use clubs of different lengths and lofts whilst using the same technique outlined above.
There is a misconception with some senior golfers that the only club to be used out of a bunker around the green are those with ‘sand’ in their name. It is perfectly possible to the use the above technique with any club from the lob wedge all the way down to the 7 iron.
By making the same swing with a sand wedge and pitching wedge, there could be between 6 to 10 yards difference in the distance the ball travels, and 12 to 18 yards with a 9 iron. However keep in mind, the lower the loft, the lower the ball will fly out of the sand.
By altering the club but maintaining the same swing, the ball will travel different distances enabling the senior to conquer that difficult long greenside bunker shot.