Always Select a Landing Spot For Greenside Bunker Shot

    Pete Styles â?? PGA Teaching Pro Bunker Landing Zone (Video)

    As you get ready to hit a greenside bunker shot, you can improve your chances of controlling the distance of the shot successfully by picking a landing spot. If you aren’t familiar with this type of shot planning, it’s really quite simple – you are going to figure out exactly where on the green you want the ball to land. That is not the same thing as deciding where you want the ball to wind up after it bounces and rolls up toward the cup. Your landing spot is where you want the ball to come down after you have splashed it nicely out of the bunker.

    You will have to think about a few different things before you settle on a landing spot. First, you want to think about the overall length of the shot. Most likely, a longer shot is going to feature more bounce and roll, so you’ll need to move your landing spot farther back from the eventual target (usually the hole itself). Of course, there is spin to consider here as well, so think about how much backspin you plan to put on the shot, and then move your landing spot forward or back, as necessary. A shot with a high rate of backspin can land rather close to the hole, while a shot with very little spin will need plenty of room to roll out before it stops.

    Another piece of the puzzle on this point is the conditions of the course you are playing. Are the greens firm and fast, or soft and slow? When playing a bunker shot up to a soft and slow green, you can usually afford to land the ball quite close to the hole. Obviously, that same plan is not going to work when the ground is hard and the putting surfaces on quick. In that case, you will probably need to land the ball farther back from the cup. As you warm up for your round, focus on gaining an understanding of the firmness of the greens so you can pick great landing spots when on the course.

    Once you get comfortable with the idea of using a landing spot for your bunker shots, try extending this method to other parts of your game as well. It is a great idea to use this same line of thinking on chip and pitch shots, and you may even do it with wedge shots from back in the fairway. Picking specific targets tends to lead to more accurate results, as your mind will be nicely focused on the goal for each swing. Just like anything else you do in golf, try this out during practice and put it into use on the course when you feel ready.