photo credit: bradleypjohnson The bounce on your sand wedge makes it possible to slide the club under the ball from the sand. After a rain when the sand is tightly packed, the last thing you want is for the club to bounce into the ball from the firmly packed sand.
1) Try using a pitching wedge; having a sharper leading edge it will help cut into the sand. 2) Stand a little squarer to the target and have the clubface only slightly open. 3) Hinge your wrists earlier in the backswing to create a slightly steeper angle of attack. Aim to hit a spot about 1 inch behind the ball. Be sure to accelerate through the shot. Take a little less sand than normal.
photo credit: D.Hilgart One of the most difficult shots in the game is the downhill sand shot. The concern of most golfers faced with this shot is to “blade” the ball and have it go flying across the green landing in another bunker. Try the following:
1) Building firm footing is critical. Bend your back leg so that your hips and shoulders are parallel with the ground slope. 2) Twist your feet into the sand but not so much that you are no longer level with the ground. If your back foot is out of the bunker be sure it is planted firmly. 3) Choke down on the grip and use a very “wristy” swing. 4) Swing upright to three-quarter height. 5) Keep your lower body still.
photo credit: SouthAsiaGolf Fairway bunkers are almost always placed near the landing area of most drives, therefore, you must be ready to execute a fairway sand shot. There are two very important factors to be considered when hitting from a fairway bunker: 1) club selection. 2) swing.
When confronting a plugged ball, use your sand wedge and make an explosion shot in order to get back out on to the fairway. When the ball is sitting up, use a long iron or even a fairway wood. The primary consideration, of any fairway bunker shot, is to get over the lip of the trap. Make sure the club you select will get you over the lip.
Hit the ball first and keep your lower body relatively ”quiet.” Swing mostly with your arms.
photo credit: nsaplayer Scooping the ball out of sand usually ends in failure. The player gets too wristy forcing them to hit the sand early, causing a fat shot. Scooping can also cause a thin shot (hitting too close to the ball/or the ball itself) which sends the ball over the green.
TIPS: 1.) Draw a ring around the ball, a few inches wider than the ball. 2.) Open the clubface so that it aims at the target and hover the club over the back of the doughnut ring. 3.) Open your stance with your weight on your lead side. 4.) Be aggressive and remove the sand from the middle of the doughnut.
The goal of every bunker shot is to get the ball on the green !
photo credit: star5112 Deceleration is one of the most common causes of missed bunker shots. Decelerating, causes the club to take too much sand because there is a lack of power in the forward swing. In order to be a good bunker player, it is critical to have a positive attitude.
When faced with a long bunker shot, simply do not make your backswing as steep as you ordinarily would. Drive your arms and hands forward, allowing the club to sweep on a shallow path through the sand. The ball will come out a little lower and run farther than a typical sand shot.
TIPS: A) Point knees forward. B) Keep weight on lead foot. C) Accelerate hard through the sand. D) Make a three-quarter length follow-through, for added control.
photo credit: www.theedinburghblog.co.uk When playing a bunker shot, one of the most critical parts of the set-up is establishing the correct knee flex. All great bunker players have a lot of knee flex, they look like they are preparing to sit down. The good bunker player executes the shot with the arms accelerating through the ball and a full follow-through. Very little movement occurs in the legs.
Using just the arms during a sand shot means that you will not very likely raise up or drop down during the execution of the shot. Swinging with just the arms makes it easier to cut through the sand with the clubhead. Once contact is made with the sand, the club's bounce will do the rest.
Use a seven-iron and play the ball in the middle of your stance at address. Make sure your hands are ahead of the clubface and keep most of your weight on your lead foot. This shot (as does a long fairway bunker shot) requires that you keep your lower body perfectly still throughout the swing. Any movement with your legs can mean that you may be faced with the very same location with your next shot. Your foremost thought, when executing this shot, is that your hands lead the clubhead through the ball. The ball should be picked cleanly off the sand, unlike a typical explosion shot.
photo credit: zachd1_618 Here are some tips to help you with your buried sand lies: 1) Distribute your weight on your left side. 2) Tilt your spine toward the target. 3) Spread your feet by at least two feet. 4) Play the ball well forward. 5) For increased loft, set your hands low. 6) Set the clubface open. 7) Use a very wrist stroke. 8) Keep your body still as you hit down into the sand about 1 inch behind the ball. 9) Don't try to scoop the ball out of the sand. 10) Make a full follow-through and finish. 11) Maintain a very weak grip with the right hand (right handed players) turned counter-clockwise (to the left). 11) Be certain to break your wrists early on the backswing and make a more upright swing.
You can make a sweeping swing because of the longer shaft length of a hybrid and the rounded sole cuts through the sand much easier than an iron. With an iron, amateur golfers tend to catch the ball too fat when executing this shot, not so with a hybrid club.
TIPS: 1) Embed your feet an inch or two in the sand. 2) Grip down to compensate for your lower profile. 3) Play the ball back in your stance. 4) Don't muscle the ball, swing easy and hit it thin if you can. Good Luck !
photo credit: foxypar4 When most players are faced with a ball that lies just below the lip in a sand bunker, panic sets in. What appears to be an impossible shot, is actually a very playable shot indeed.
The important goal of this type of shot is to get the ball out of the bunker. Do this by opening the clubface and taking a big backswing. On the downswing accelerate down and through the ball but snap the clubface back prior to it reaching the lip of the bunker. There will be a popping sound and the ball will float right out of the sand. You can also use a mid iron for this type of shot if you have a long way to your target. Try this method next time.