Video Series

Video Transcript

I think having experience of being in a bunker is quite a valid point, there is a lot of maybe beginners and less experienced golfers would miss out on. The fact that we’re in a bunker, not every shot is the same, it’s not like a chip shot from the side of the fairway where the lie, the stance might be similar. In a bunker we’ve got lots of different variables and therefore we need to adopt a strategy, reading this shot better to make sure we play this shot with the correct strategy. And a lot of things I see a lot of golfers miss out on when they’re in bunkers is they don’t read the green. And if I understand this, I chip this ball out from the bunker and land it on the green, particularly if it’s in downhill slope. That ball will roll quite a long way along the green and I’ve got to make sure that I have read that surface. So I need to read, is it left to right, right to left, is it uphill or downhill? Effectively you need to read it in the same way as you would read a putt. Now you might be able to do that from in the bunker or it might be better to get out of the bunker and go and have a look. But I get down at the green surface and see how it curves. Now let’s putt this chip shot here, bunker shot here is relatively flat to this flag I don’t need to allow a great deal. But on some more sloppy shots I might be aiming a good few feet away from the flag to play my shot out to get it to roll down towards the hole.

So the first tip for strategy in bunkers is read the surface of the green. The next tip would be to look at this, the lip, the leading edge of this lip. It’s so important in a bunker shot that I understand how high that lip is, how far away it is, and therefore the angle that I need to make sure my shot comes out on. Worst case scenario in a bunker is you get so close to the lip, you don’t have enough loft to clear it and you make a good contact with the ball, but the ball just smashes into the face and rolls back down and guaranteed it will roll back into the same divot, it always does, it’s the law. So we need to understand where that lip is how much loft we need to get over it and therefore we might choose a different club. We might have sand wedge, we might play a lobe wedge. Lobe wedge has more loft. We might play sand wedge with a more open face to make sure we get out. And if we were really, really close, sort of sitting right underneath the lip here, we might even consider playing away from the flag to play to a bigger part of the green. So I might even turn my sideways back to the target and play this way or that way just to make sure I get out. So have a look at the lip, make sure you have the correct strategy for playing away from this lip if you are too close. One other thing that sometimes affects us in a bunker is actually the position of the ball in the bunker relative to the edge and maybe we can’t even get in the bunker to stand. You don’t have enough room to swing.

For example, if my ball has rolled into the back of this bunker let’s say the camera is where the flag is, my ball is over shot the green, it’s in the back bunker and I’ve got to play back towards the flag, I don’t have enough room to actually swing the club back at all. So I can’t play the shot I’d like to play towards the camera, if it was here, fine not a problem I can make that shot. But from here I’ve got no room, so again it’s back to target, play out sideways, stand in an awkward stance, try and play out that way. And you often see that happen if it was on the edge of the bunker. So if I was playing in this direction, how would I stand to hit this shot? I’ll be standing on the edge of the bunker trying to lean into it and that’s going to be quite an awkward shot. Or even playing it left handed. So all of these different experiences they’re going to build up to make a repertoire in my brain of how I can play these different shots, as long as I adopt a decent strategy for the shots. So I need to look at the lie of the green and how the ball will roll, I need to look at the leading edge of the bunker, make sure I've got enough loft to clear the lip, I've also got to make sure that I can get in the bunker, get a decent stance and consider that sometimes playing away from the flag is going to be more beneficial than playing towards the flag.