Video Series

Video Transcript

So one of the challenges that we often face when we’re playing bunker shots is they are not always flat, they are not always smooth and the height we have to hit over changes greatly. And that’s kind of one of the nice things about playing golf is that we get these challenges from time to time and it’s all about how you face these challenges. If you’re scared by these challenges they’re going to upset you but if I look at this bunker shot I’ve got now the ball is rolled right up to the face. I approach this shot with a little bit of a challenge in mind. I’m going to play this one out. I’m going to get it on the green and I’m only going to take two puts maximum. I’m going to walk off to the next hole and I’ve had a decent-ish score.

So as I play this bunker shot I’ve got to assess the challenge – the steep sided nature of this is a bit of an issue. The fact I’m slightly off-balance is a bit of an issue. I’m actually used to make the challenge harder for myself. I’m going to play out over the steepest side of the bunker here. Play it this way rather than play out this way to the flag. So you can actually see a little bit better of what I’m doing from here so I’m just going to play slightly to the right.

So I’ve got to cover quite a steep section and the lie is a bit on the tilt as well. So the first thing I do here is I take my most lofted club. So I’d actually trade my sand wedge back in for a lob wedge here. My lob wedge has four degrees more loft on the club face. I’m then actually going to add a bit more loft as well by opening the face. So I tilt the face to the right. That almost gets that club face pointing straight vertical at the sky. Griping the golf club with a face like that really sets the angle. So this ball is going to come out almost vertically upwards. The next thing I need to achieve here is I need to achieve a level of balance like actually keep my body quite still as I play the shot. There’s no point taking my stance and then falling over doing my back swing. I simply won’t get a good enough contact. So as I set myself up here I’m going to establish a decent base for my feet. I might have my left foot up here, might be behind me; it all depends very much on the individual shot. There’s not a one size fits all solution for this. So face nice and open, stance pretty solid – I’m going to try and keep everything very still as I play my shot.

I do actually do need to hit the ball quite hard here because most of the momentum that I have in the club face is just going to propel the ball straight upwards. It’s not going to come out very far it’s just going to go up. So I need to be quite aggressive quite assertive to blast this ball straight upwards. So I have lots of angle on the club face, good solid stance and a nice firm hit into the back of the ball; keeping the face open, blasting this ball straight out.

One other area here is make sure you don’t get too tilted into your left side – anything the way you’re leaning into your left side; you’ll simply bury the club in the sand. It’s more important that I actually get my body tilted to the angle of the slope. So I left my left shoulder sit quite high, my right shoulder sit quite low. As a right handed golfer and then splash nicely underneath the back of the ball. Face is open, feet are solid, right shoulder down and try and keep everything as still as possible and hit quite hard. And you see I’ve taken a nice big divot, blasted the ball out, lands on the fringe of the green and rolls down quite nicely. And next time you’re under a bit lip like this you’ve got a difficult shot approach it with a degree of challenge in mind, play it in the way I’ve described there and hopefully you’ll be able to get the ball out just as nicely.