Playing greenside bunker shots

How to set up and play bunker shots with ease.' �Russell Pritchard/Presseye
How to set up and play bunker shots with ease.' �Russell Pritchard/Presseye
0
Have your say

A bunker shot is one of the most feared shots in golf for most amateur players, but in truth, is one of the easiest shots that you can play.

Success boils down to making some swing and set up adjustments.

Your bunker play will then improve gradually as confidence builds in your new understanding of the set up and swing required.

Take these tips onboard and see how many bunker shots you can hole.

1. Open the clubface slightly before you grip the club.

2. Aim directly at the target.

3. Set your stance wider than your normal driver stance width and 2-3 inches further away than normal, making sure you gently ease your feet into the sand for better grip and to allow sand contact before the ball.

(YOU DO NOT HAVE TO OPEN YOUR STANCE – KEEP IT SQUARE TO TARGET LINE)

4. Make sure that your bodyweight favours the front leg on a 70/30 ratio and that the grip end of the club is pointing toward your body centre. Keep the trailing shoulder as high as possible at address, so that the spine is tilted forward more.

(YOUR BALL POSITION SHOULD NOW BE FORWARD OF YOUR STANCE CENTRE)

5. Really feel that you are holding the club a little bit softer than normal. This should be in around a 3 on a scale from 1-10. One being too soft and ten being too tight.

6. Now you’re ready to play the shot, it’s crucial that you stay centred throughout the whole swing motion. That means no shifting of bodyweight into the back leg. To help this, keep your head in the same position throughout the swing, but do release the head as you swing through the ball to let the eyes track the ball flight.

7. On the swing itself, set the wrists early on the backswing and then really try to release the clubhead earlier on the downswing. This latter move will help you to utilise the sole of the sandwedge, making sure that the club glides through the sand taking a very shallow cushion of sand out with the ball.

(YOU REALLY WANT THE GRIP END OF THE CLUB AND THE CLUBHEAD TO ARRIVE ON THE BALL AT THE SAME TIME)

To summarise:

MAKE A GOOD SET UP, WITH A WIDER THAN NORMAL STANCE, WITH THE BODYWEIGHT FAVOURING THE FRONT LEG

HOLD SOFT AND REALLY FEEL THAT YOU ARE RELEASING THE CLUBHEAD EARLIER AND UNDERCUTTING THE BALL, MAKING SURE THE SOLE OF THE CLUB IS CONTACTING THE SAND FIRST.

Michael Langford

Golf Performance Ireland

Roe Park Resort.