How Should I Improve my Bunker Play? Video
So, the question is, how can I improve my bunker play? Well, very, very simple. Get the basics right. If you’ve got the basics right, there’s not a lot can go wrong. So, all I’m going to do here, I’m going to set myself up and I’m going to talk you through how to set yourself up for a bunker shot. And all you have to do then is do some practice. But when you do this practice, don’t go in and spend an hour in the bunker. You’re better off doing it a little often to get yourself into this routine rather than just standing there for an hour. And the reason why? Because when you’re there for such a long time, your mental ability starts to drain, tiredness, a bit of fatigue comes in, and you start making little mistakes.
So, basics. here’s the basics of bunker shot. First of all, what club do you want to select? You can use a typical sand wedge, the normally 54, 56 degrees with a nice high degree of bounce on. So, some might be looking at the film. We’ve got a camera now thinking, “Bounce, what’s that?” When you look at your club, you’ll have two numbers on. You’ll have a number then a dot and another number. The first number is the loft of the club. The second number is the bounce.
Now, without getting technical, what we want to do in our sand wedge is have the highest bounce possible. So, we’re looking at 12, 14 bounce. If you’ve got a sand wedge with only four degrees bounce on, you’re using the wrong club for the bunker shots. Bounce basically allows the actual sole of the club to sit, actually like a camber. So, what happens is, as the club comes in, this roundness of the bat – this bounce hits into the sand, goes into the sand, and bounces back out with the cushion of sand bringing the ball out. So, I’m not going to play on that any longer. But remember, loft and bounce is very important.
So, what have I got here? I’ve got a 60-degree lob wedge here. I’ve got 12 degrees of bounce. I’m going to set myself up. Here’s the basics. Put the club face behind the ball, not touching the sand. If you touch the sand, you’re going to get penalized. Hold the club up in the air. Separate your feet and wriggle your feet into the sand. Why? Well, when you play bunker shot, you’re rather going to hit sand or hit the ball. How many times do you catch that ball?
So, if you lower yourself into the sand, the likelihood is that you’re going to hit sand just about every time. So, we got a consistency in place. Put the ball position slightly forward. So, you can see here, the ball position would be in the middle. I’ll go slightly forward. And I want you to keep that weight 60/40 on your left-hand side. Having got yourself in this position, I want your club around about two inches behind the ball, okay? One inch is too close in my opinion. Go two inches behind the ball. And from here, I want you to swing the club back. Let the wrist break the club up. And from here, I want you to come into ball and I want you to hit into the sand. Be committed to hit the sand. We do not want to hit the ball.
So, let me show you again from a different angle. I’m setting myself up with the club face about two inches behind the ball. And I’m setting myself up open so that my body is on the left-hand side. I’ve got my feet in about an inch, inch-and-a-half would be ideal. Keep the weight on the left-hand side. Keep the weight still. And from here, swing the club back with the hands taking the club up. So, we’ve got a nice letter L, a nice right angle. And from here, let’s commit ourselves hitting down into the sand. And make sure that when that club comes into the sand, because you’re hitting a cushion of sand, a volume, make sure you come in with a foot slightly on the gas pedal, so some good acceleration. Because if you’re coming at a slower sort of speed or decelerate, you’re going to hit a lot of sand but that ball is not going to come out.
So, there’s the basics. Let’s put it into practice to show you. So, club face behind the ball, weight on the left-hand side. Let’s keep it here, all forward. Keep the club here. Break, and that ball is going to really, really high. Remember, the key to bunker shot consistent, is get the basics right.