Video Series


Video Transcript

When you find your golf ball in the bunker you could say things are looking bad enough as they are so the last thing you want to do is compound this problem by getting yourself an extra penalty shot or a couple of penalty shots by not knowing the rules of how to play a bunk shot correctly. So one of the main rules when you come in to a bunker, one of the differences between being in a bunker and being on the sand is when you’re in the bunker you’re not allowed to touch the surface of the sand to test the surface of the sand before you actually go ahead and play your shot. Now that might sound quite complicated but basically the biggest thing to do is to not ground your golf club. So grounding your golf club could just be this; just doing this while you’re waiting for your playing partner to take their shot. Effectively that’s testing the surface of the sand. That’s grounding the club; that’s a penalty shot right there.

One of the other issues is as you address the golf ball – we’re very used to normally just putting the golf club down, lining ourselves up and then hitting it but of course that gets a penalty shot as well because I’ve tested the surface of the sand, I’ve grounded the club. Likewise setting up to the side, making a practice ring. There’s another couple of penalty shots there; testing the surface of the sand, grounding the golf club. So let’s be clear; as you walk into the bunker you have to be very careful that you don’t test the surface of the sand. You’re not allowed to prod it with your club; you’re not allowed to rake it before your shot. You’re not allowed to stub your toe in the ground to see how deep the sand is. As you set up the golf ball no practice swinging; we’ve got to keep the club in the air. When we set up actually behind – again just be very careful the club can get close but it’s not allowed to touch the sand. So we just line the club up just a couple of millimeters above the sand but no touching – then start to make your swing.

Now that can feel quite awkward because you were used to soling the golf club behind the ball when we were on the fairway then hitting down and hitting into the grass, so doing it here a lot of people feel that when the club is above the golf ball when they’re setting up they would then go ahead and top the ball because it would return to a position that’s a bit too high. Likewise if we’re not allowed to make a practice swing how do we know how far we’re going to hit it. So you have to do all of that. So the lining up practice swinging – working at how hard you’re going to hit it. Try and do that on the grass before you get into the bunker. So you’d stand back on the grass, pick out your flag, work out how far your swing might look for that particular shot; then walk in, make sure you don’t practice swing, make sure you don’t ground your golf club and then go ahead and pop the ball out onto the green. So you’re in a bunker, don’t make the situation worse by getting any penalty shots. Make sure you don’t ground your golf club before you play your bunker shots.