Video Series

Video Transcript

You’ll often find that in a bunker there are many different possibilities and different variations of shots that you need to play. But it’s always important that you’ve got good fundamentals for a basic bunker shot nailed down. Here we’ve got a novel bunker shot, 15 yards or so hits the flag from a good lie in the bunker. I’m going to explain how you should execute the shot just from a basic bunker shot perspective. I’ve got to take a relatively wide stance with the balls slightly ahead of the center and then I have to turn my feet, so my feet are actually aiming left of my target line. My feet don’t really point exactly where I want the ball to go. My feet are pointing down the left-handside, and conversely I’m going to point the club slightly right at my target line as well. So effectively I have a very open club face, the club points right, my feet will point left and we hope that the ball will come out somewhere down the center of that line.

With more than wide stance I just shift my feet a little bit maybe an inch or two into the sand. That gives me two things; it helps me lower myself into the sand so I can be at the right level of the ball, I can also get a good feel for the sand and work on how deep or how soft the sand is and then how the club will react as it comes in to the sun. If I’ve got a 15-yard shot I would encourage you to play with a 25-yard long swing. This type of swing that would normally pitch or chip the ball 25 yards with the hope that 2 inches of sand will just take off about 10 yards of distance. So much of the aiming to hit 2 inches behind the golf ball, and again, just a little mark in the sand that gives me an idea of where I’d like to be able to strike into the bunker. Striking into the bunker with an open face should just pop the ball out the required distance.

As I set up to this, my feet aims left, my club aims right, I’ll make a nice little 25-yard swing with a good deal of acceleration. I really want to accelerate through this ball. The worst thing in a bunker is deceleration, that slows the club down too much when it hits the sand and it would stay in the trap. So in a decent exact position I’m just going to pop this ball up hopefully, over this lit and roll it down to the flag. That lands just on the lit and runs down.

Actually, it caught the ball just slightly heavier than I would have like and I didn’t come out with the same set of level of bounce that I would have hoped but it’s going down now through about 10-foot and it gives me decent opportunity to make the putt. That one provides, I would just give you that technique it’s obviously the lines I’ve drawn in there, you’re not allowed to do that on the golf course, do that in practice. When you play in the golf course just make sure the club is above the sand, any one grain of sand on your backswing or set up would actually cost you a stroke so you’d have to be up to your playing partners. So the lines I’ve drawn a hit for alignment, club alignment and where I want to impact this time. You can’t do that on the golf course but you can certainly do that in practice to make sure you got the right technique for normal bunker play.