Video Series

Video Transcript

You won't find many golfers that are happy to have a ball plugged under the front face of a bunker where they have to hit the ball up and high into the air, but you'll find even fewer golfers that want the ball in the back of the bunker. Playing a ball from the back or the down slope of a bunker has got to be the hardest shot in golf. I've set myself up in a situation here where my golf ball's on the mat here and I've got this basket right in behind me and that’s mimicking the slope of the back of the bunker, or the steep back of the bunker edge. It's difficult sometimes to find practice bunkers to go and work on. This is a good way of practicing the relevant technique just on the driving range. Now the difficulty here is the down slope at the back of a bunker tilting me this way into the bunker is actually taking the loft of the club that I'm going to use. So if this slope is 10 or 20 degrees, that’s going to come off the loft of the shot. So the risk is that I hit the ball, but it hits the leading edge of the bunker, stays in the bunker, I've wasted a shot.

So to start with, go ahead and take your most lofted club, sand wedge, don’t be afraid of using lob wedge if you've got one. Now you'll find that if you stand to the ball normally and try and play it, you're just going to hit straight into the back lift of the bunker. So we need to adapt our technique a little bit here. Now for anything that’s on the down slope, you would normally be encouraged to tilt your shoulders with the hill and tilt your spine angle with the hill. We go ahead and play the same technique here. So I'm going to lean into my left hand side, which should encourage the club to come up a little bit steeper. I'm also going to play the ball back in my stance, and much more towards my right foot for the right handed golfer.

So I'll play the ball opposite my right big toe, drop my left shoulder and lean very aggressively onto my left side. The normal sort of picking up of the club now will come up towards the top of the basket, and actually for years, my wrist's even more aggressively, I can get that club to come up away from the basket very, very steeply. It's going to follow the same angle on the way down and chop down underneath the golf ball which should still pop the ball up with a reasonable amount of height because I got plenty of loft on my club. But my normal approach won't work, so I change my ball position, my body position, my wrist hinge, and get really steep, and really choppy. And as long as I hit down hard, this ball will come out nicely.

Normal bunker shots sort of applies here that I would be trying to hit down just behind the golf ball, take an inch, two inches of sand and blast the ball out in the forwards. You're not going to try and hit the ball clean, don’t forget this is just to mimic the bunker shot position. So you'd be steep and heavy into it. Use loads of loft; practice a little bit on the driving range with the bucket behind you to mimic that position. And then hopefully, if you find yourself in that situation on the golf course, you will be able to get it out in one go. Don’t expect it to go close to the flag; it's a tough situation, anything on the green until you putt, you'd be happy to escape.