Video Series

Video Transcript

So should you be using any other club other than your sand wedge when you’re in a green side bunker? I think for most people, when they are in a bunker they just reach for the one that says ‘S’ on the bottom, sounds to reason that’s the one they’re going to use and they play the bunker shot out; and generally speaking they’ve probably got the right club. But there are going to be occasions when a lob wedge, or a gap wedge, or pitching wedge might be a slightly more suitable club. And these are going to be the kind of specialist shots, the tucked right under the lip kind of shot.

So let’s have a quick look at this one; if I’ve got a ball that sits here right underneath that leading edge, right underneath that lip I’m looking at it thinking that’s got to come out really quickly. So if I have my sand wedge I’m really giving up an extra four degrees as opposed to taking my lob wedge. So I take my 60 degree club, I could crank the leading edge back a little bit, open the face up a little more like I’ve got a glass of wine balanced on the club face, chop the ball up really steeply with this lob wedge, and the ball comes out really, really high. Look at it land on the green there, it lands very, very softly. So when you tucked right up against the leading edge something like a lob wedge might be the most suitable club to use.

Now unless you’ve got a very long green side bunker shot so green side bunker shot maybe where you’re playing it sort of back to the back of a very long tiered green; you know you’re at the front of the bunker, you got a 45, 50 yard shot that might be the time and the place when you could use a 52 degree wedge. But there’s one other time when a 52 degree wedge might be suitable and I’m not making life easier for myself here because what I’ve done is I’ve scraped all of the sand away from the bunker and I’m pretty much straight on to the soil at the bottom of the bunker.

But if I was to approach this shot with a normal 56 degree wedge, 56 degree sand has a lot of bounce on the bottom. The bounce on the club is going to make it very difficult for me to get underneath that golf ball with any level of accuracy and to chip the ball out cleanly so it might be better for me to actually take my 52. Not only does a 52 got less loft generally it will have a lot less bounce as well. So this has only got six degrees of bounce on this 52 so I can flip the ball out nicely and cleanly but I have to understand it’s going to come out lower, it’s going to come out with a little bit less spin a bit more roll. And it might be suitable if I was further away from the flag so maybe if I was playing back for that red flag that might work. I can’t stress enough this is not an easy golf shot, there’s absolutely no margin of error, this is thin into the face, clean through, over into the field into the back corner, and if I just catch a good one I might be up on the putting green. But this is not an easy shot at all, let’s give it a little whirl; try and catch it nice and clean almost play it like a chip shot not really playing it like a bunker shot.

Spin, spin, spin just rolled up onto the back edge of the green but played as well as I really felt I could, there’s no margin of error here, I did take a little bit of sand but I just caught the ball just a hair thin. It came out quite low, it just rolled a bit too far but I’m out of the bunker. Now with the sand wedge playing with a lot of bounce I might not have been out of the bunker. So I’m out of the bunker and I can put I’m going to do okay. So those are times and the places where maybe a lob wedge is more suitable from the front edge, we’re going to play the high one, a gap wedge or a pitching wedge might be more suitable if you need a very long green side bunker shot or if you’ve got no sand to play with on a hard baked off bunker. You got to try and play it nice and cleanly; sometimes the gap wedge might be suitable but take care on those shots. As I just proved, they’re not easy.