Bunker Play, Golf Video
So one thing that I see with a huge number of club and amateur golfers, when they get towards bunkers is they actually fear the bunker. And that can actually provide more of a problem than the physical nature of being in a bunker. Just the fear of walking towards a bunker, almost thinking they’ve ruined their hole or even their entire round and card. “Why it’s a card-wrecker, this one. I’ve gone in that bunker; I’ll never be able to get the ball out of there.” And that psychological fear actually stops them performing what is, it’s a more difficult skill than a chip shot, but it’s not impossible skill. If you look at the good bunker players, watch Luke Donald for example, he walks into a bunker like it’s not even there, like it’s teed up. Blast onto the green, then holes the putt and saving a par. Luke Donald’s a fantastic bunker player.
So when you’re in a bunker, try and approach it with a sense of a challenge. This is a challenge. I’m in a bunker, if I can get the ball out and take two putts, most club golfers; most amateur golfers make a bogey on the card. You’ve been in a bunker, and that would be okay. So anything that comes out, lands on the green in two putts is good enough. When you’re in the bunker, just remember, you can’t ground your clubs. So if I’m putting my club on the floor, that would actually give me a penalty stroke.
So, I’m going to open the club face slightly so it points, for a right-handed golfer, right of target. I’m going to open my feet slightly and opening the feet now means they’re pointing left of target. I’ll play the ball slightly nearer to my front foot, and then actually make a nice big swing, hitting the ground 2 inches before the ball in the bunker. And now I’ve a big follow through and I think that’s one of the areas where if you are scared and you are fearful of being in a bunker, you’ll curtail your follow through a little bit, you’ll cut it short and that will leave the ball either heavy and in the bunker or maybe even thinning it right away through the back.
So when you’re in a bunker, nice good setup position and then a bit of confidence as you strike down and a nice big follow through and really confidently splash the ball out onto the green. If you’re in a bunker and you can chip it out and take two putts, that should mean that you get a bit more confidence in bunkers and you don’t fear them so much as card wreckers.