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How to hit Sand/Bunker Shots

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 

Some bunker discussion going on and I wanted to start this thread to give my take and show myself hitting some shots.  Also as a reference in the future.

 

Hit 3 bunker shots here, standard, long and buried.  Here's what I do:

 

Standard

1. Feet turned out, knees bowed out.  Lower COG(center of gravity) lower.  Weight forward

2. Stance a little open

3. Arms soft, bent

4. Club face open 10-20*, hands slightly forward or neutral

5. Elbows stay on the body so that the hands stay close to the body as the clubhead swings

6. "Thump" the ground with the bottom of the club

7. Clubhead overtakes the hands on the followthrough

 

Long

Only difference is the club face is square, and my shoulder moves forward on the downswing.  Upper COG more forward on the downswing.  Ball will roll more and fly farther.

 

Buried

1. Clubface as open as possible.

2. Tilt left, try to get the right shoulder higher than the left at set-up

3. Clubhead ascend faster

4. Leave the clubhead in the sand

Ball comes out soft, rather than hot

 

post #2 of 77
Excellent info and video. May I trouble you for some downslope/upslope bunker shot modifications? Thanks.
post #3 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uttexas View Post

Excellent info and video. May I trouble you for some downslope/upslope bunker shot modifications? Thanks.


Downslope/ Upslope, I'll keep it simple

- Hips parallel to the slope or as close as you can get it

 

-You'll hit it higher on upslope, obviously, might take more club, like a gap wedge.  Opposite for downslope.

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 77
good stuff, thanks. I like simple.
post #5 of 77
Good thread Mac.
A few things that made a big impact on my bunker game. I used to be terrible from the bunkers. Hitting it fat or knocking the ball over the entire green.

  • "Releasing" the clubhead. This discovery came when I learned how to properly use the bounce on a pitch shot (thank you Erik). It made me think about how the bounce works and how you use it from the bunker. After I started releasing the clubhead, I've become a much better bunker player. On most shots from the fairway you want to hit the ball first with the hands leading the clubhead. In the bunker, it's the other way around. If the hands lead too much, you'll bring the leading edge into play and risk all sorts of trouble.
  • Where the eyes focus. I used to look at the ball. Now I look at the spot in the sand where I want the club to hit first. I also make an effort to keep that focus through the swing and not peek too soon.

When I get these things working, I can swing at full speed with great confidence and hit some great bunker shots.
post #6 of 77

Thanks for the post Mike.

post #7 of 77

Very good video. I now know how to hit a soft shot out of a buried lie. I didn't think it was possible.

 

I usually play for roll out of a buried lie by aiming right, closing the clubface, hands forward and chopping down on the ball leaving the clubhead in the sand.

post #8 of 77

I went and practiced this technique yesterday and had as much success as I've ever had out of the sand. It'll obviously take more practice to refine distance and accuracy, but hitting solid shots over and over again felt so good after I had been having a lot of issues with hitting them over the green.

 

Thanks for the help!

post #9 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by applejr View Post

I went and practiced this technique yesterday and had as much success as I've ever had out of the sand. It'll obviously take more practice to refine distance and accuracy, but hitting solid shots over and over again felt so good after I had been having a lot of issues with hitting them over the green.

 

Thanks for the help!



Great to hear!  Keep it up

 

From today 

 

 

post #10 of 77

Great instructions and video. more please!

post #11 of 77

Bumping an old thread...what are your backswing thoughts? Do you take it very inside? back on plane? I've returned to not having much bunker luck anymore...

post #12 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by applejr View Post

Bumping an old thread...what are your backswing thoughts? Do you take it very inside? back on plane? I've returned to not having much bunker luck anymore...


I feel like my arms are soft, a little bent and on the backswing I'm rotating the face open, a little under plane

post #13 of 77

Left arm should slide around the ribcage in the follow through. Hands finish low and club head high, so the left wrist flexes faster through impact, exposing more bounce.

 

Good way to get the feeling is to practice with a 6 iron in the bunker.

post #14 of 77
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james_hirshfield View Post

Left arm should slide around the ribcage in the follow through. Hands finish low and club head high, so the left wrist flexes faster through impact, exposing more bounce.

 

Good way to get the feeling is to practice with a 6 iron in the bunker.

 

How about a 3 iron?
 

 

post #15 of 77

;)

 

I wanted to give people a CHANCE first LOL. But yes, this would be to the EXTREME. Then can start dialing it back, so the hands wouldn't be AS low, the face not AS open, but the same concepts with the wrists flexing faster into the follow through and the elbow flexion rates.

post #16 of 77

Whoa!  Very Seve-like!

post #17 of 77

Thanks for reviving this old thread.  I had not seen it.  Going to work on the bunker play this afternoon, with your thoughts in mind.  Very nice post.

post #18 of 77

Ok, so yesterday I was playing a quick 9 with my wife and hit it into the trap on the first hole.  I had about a 20 yard sand shot with mostly carry over the bunker.  So I asked myself, "What would Mikey do?"  I took my 54.11 out, did my best MVMAC impression and "thump" the ball went to within 2 feet of the pin.  Sand Save!

 

Thanks Mike!!

 

Disclaimer:  I've actually worked on bunkers with Evolvr lessons last season (Mike, James and Erik).  I've struggled the last few sand shots before today, so I went back and reviewed the lessons and the videos above.  I went back to basics and it made it easy.  I think I was moving my lower body too much, so I calmed that down.  Notice how little Mike's lower body moves in the video above.  Thanks again.

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