Video Series

Video Transcript

Hey, we are going to look at how to play your best shots at varying sand conditions in bunkers. You can find very fluffy sand, very light sands, where you are really sinking into the sand and similarly you can go to the very next bunker on the same course and there is hardly any sand and the sand is much more compacted and it’s a much harder surface. And it is important to know how to approach these two different conditions to know, how the club needs to move through these two different conditions, to get the best result from your golf shots. So, initially when you set up, the set up will quite standard. We are going to wriggle your feet in, and actually take a stance up, so as you are wriggling your feet into the sand.

We are going to do that for three reasons, one is to help you lower yourself down into the surface, because we want to strike the sand, with both conditions. It doesn’t matter whether it’s soft or whether it’s hard sand, we want to strike the sand and not the ball. So lower yourself down and that will encourage you to get the club into the sand and under the ball. And the second reason we want to wriggle your feet in is to help you get some stability and to help you balance. You will be very stable with the lower part of your body during your backswing and the instance of impact, so we want to have a good firm base to swing from. But the most important reason that we are going to wriggle the feet in, is so you can actually find out what the surface is like, find out what the conditions are like. If you find you are wriggling your feet in and there is no resistance, you are really sinking down, the sand is coming up above your shoes, you know you are playing in soft sand.

There is plenty of sand under that ball, it’s going to give you very little resistance as the club goes into the sand. If though, you are wriggling your feet in, and you find that the, the grip, the sand conditions are really gripping on the bottom of your shoes and on your spikes, you know you are playing in much harder conditions, or where there isn’t as much sand. So this shot needs a totally different approach from if there is little resistance. So we are going to look first at how to play the soft sand shots. What we need to do is, when you take your stance so you are going to play the ball from the center, but we need to open the clubface to play this shot. When we open the clubface, that means we are just going to rotate the handle to the right, so that the name on the handle just rotates to the right or your grip guide rotates to the right, and now the clubface is going to be pointing to the right in relation to how you stand. So, as you address the ball now, you need to rotate your feet and your body alignment around to the left, in order to allow the clubface to point back at the target. Play the ball from the center of the stance here, and get your feet shoulder width apart.

We are going to keep the weight quite even during this shot, so we are not going to move about nice and stable with the lower body. And we are really going to work on creating a 90 degree angle, really hinging the wrists quite instantly. When we look at how to set up for a hard sand shot, we are going to change that slightly, because we don’t want to have a sweeping action. A sweeping action is really going to sort of suit a soft sand shot, if you can think of your swing as a U shape and the soft sand is on the bottom of that U and club going down into the sand and under the sand. But the hard sand shot, a little sand in the bunker, we want more of a V shape, we want a real steep attack down. So here, we are not going to open the clubface, we are going to keep the clubface square to the target. We are going to hold normally, we are going to set the feet and we just are going to play the ball slightly left of center here. And we are going to lean a little bit more on our left, we are still going to work on creating the 90 degree, okay, but what's going to change here is the swing plane. So if you just go through that, so you can see how that’s going to help you get that V shape or that U shape, this is the line we are trying to hit the ball down. And I set up ready to hit the shot with my soft sand, I am going to open my feet and I am going to work on swinging the club along the target line, but allowing the club head to come behind me and on the inside of that target line.

That’s going to give me a really soft shallow angle to hit back down, I want a soft and thin slither of sand taken as I hit this shot. But with the hard sand shot, we are going to make the 90 degree angle, I am going to hinge the wrist and we are really going to keep the club head more in front of us. This is going to give us a very steep angle to attack down, it’s going to really help that leading edge cut into the sand and drive under the ball. And make sure you follow through in all of these shots, but that’s how you want to approach playing from different sand conditions.