“The dreaded bunker shot” is what most golfers say to their PGA professional, but bunkers are easier to master than you think.
Drop any tension by having soft hands and forearms and understand how to utilise the bounce of the golf club. Take these tips to the practice bunker to improve your play.
SET UP FOR CONSISTENCY
Take a neutral grip and a nice wide solid stance. Place about 60% weight on your front foot. As the image shows, it is helpful to draw lines in a practice bunker. Ensure the ball position is forward of centre but inside your left heel.
WHAT IS BOUNCE?
Bounce is the bottom part of the golf club which is measured in degrees, typically ranging from 8 degrees (low bounce) to 16 degrees (high bounce). Higher bounce means the leading edge of the clubface is higher than the trailing edge. Using a low bounce club when conditions are soft can cause the club to dig too deep. This often happens in soft sand or when the sand is wet. You need to use the bounce effectively to hit a consistent bunker shot.
REMEMBER: Too much shaft lean forward at impact is incorrect - you need to use the bounce of the club.
TAKE THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF SAND
During the downswing it is vital that you maintain your spine angle and head position, do not sway or lose height. This will help you to achieve the all-important entry point in the sand.
This is where the crucial bounce comes into effect, allowing the clubhead to slide under the ball. Ideally the clubhead will enter the sand approx 1 inch before the ball.
During impact and just past impact you should be in your bent forward posture, ie the same spine angle as set-up. The uncoiling of the body action will transfer weight onto your forward leg and arms should be fairly straight to allow the correct follow through.
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