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Hitting greenside bunker shots like you're not in the bunker?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I don't have a practice area where I can practice greenside bunker shots. Needless to say, this makes me rather inconsistent. I can blast them out, but with no control for distance, so it's sort of a crap shoot.

 

Anyway, yesterday I decided to just play my normal chip shots with my 60, and had great results just picking it clean from the sand on about 3 holes. 

 

Obviously you need a perfect lie for this to work, but has anyone else ever done this?

post #2 of 24

I played around with this a while back. The problem, as you mentioned, is that it's pretty useless if you don't have a perfect lie in the bunker. I also found it more difficult on longer or uphill bunker shots due to the amount of spin generated. 

 

All in all, I think it's a much lower percentage shot, just because there's no room for error. Next time you play, try and hit into a few bunkers. It seems odd, but it sounds like you've got no other way to practice it. 

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

I played around with this a while back. The problem, as you mentioned, is that it's pretty useless if you don't have a perfect lie in the bunker. I also found it more difficult on longer or uphill bunker shots due to the amount of spin generated. 

 

All in all, I think it's a much lower percentage shot, just because there's no room for error. Next time you play, try and hit into a few bunkers. It seems odd, but it sounds like you've got no other way to practice it. 

 

Yeah, every round if I have time, I drop a couple in some GS bunkers and whack away...just need to build some consistency with it is all.

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

Yeah, every round if I have time, I drop a couple in some GS bunkers and whack away...just need to build some consistency with it is all.

 

That's the way I learned. The course I grew up on had no practice bunker, and only 5 greenside bunkers that were pretty easily avoided. Maybe post a video of your bunker technique on your swing thread?

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

 

That's the way I learned. The course I grew up on had no practice bunker, and only 5 greenside bunkers that were pretty easily avoided. Maybe post a video of your bunker technique on your swing thread?

 

Not a bad idea. I don't think it's so much technique, it's just practice. I can get it out, it's just that I never know how much mustard to put on it based on the distance, you know mang?

post #6 of 24
That's actually a pretty good technique in certain conditions, especially in very firm sand.

In soft sand, it could lead to some problems. A relatively low bounce club like your 60* lob wedge will tend to dig a bit if you don't open it up enough to engage what bounce there is. In that case, I think you're probably much better off with a more traditional explosion type shot. I think you're right.....it sounds like you've got the shot. You just need to develop some feel and confidence in it.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

 

That's the way I learned. The course I grew up on had no practice bunker, and only 5 greenside bunkers that were pretty easily avoided. Maybe post a video of your bunker technique on your swing thread?

 

Not a bad idea. I don't think it's so much technique, it's just practice. I can get it out, it's just that I never know how much mustard to put on it based on the distance, you know mang?

 

Do you use the same length swing for different distances and vary the amount of sand you take, or take the same amount of sand and vary the length of the swing?

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

That's actually a pretty good technique in certain conditions, especially in very firm sand.

 

Yeah, if it's wet sand, and explosion shot is next to impossible. I pretty much always chip out when the sand is wet. 

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

Ok, so I don't have a practice area where I can practice greenside bunker shots. Needless to say, this makes me rather inconsistent. I can blast them out, but with no control for distance, so it's sort of a crap shoot.

 

Anyway, yesterday I decided to just play my normal chip shots with my 60, and had great results just picking it clean from the sand on about 3 holes. 

 

Obviously you need a perfect lie for this to work, but has anyone else ever done this?

all the time....I also use a lob wedge. As for the explosion shot, I really need to practice it. Mostly its a matter of confidence and not to be afraid to take a long arc and follow through. Like so many people, I tend to get apprehensive and decelerate and leave the ball in the bunker. Those times that I was able to do it correctly, it felt really good. Other times, clear over the green.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

That's actually a pretty good technique in certain conditions, especially in very firm sand.

In soft sand, it could lead to some problems. A relatively low bounce club like your 60* lob wedge will tend to dig a bit if you don't open it up enough to engage what bounce there is. In that case, I think you're probably much better off with a more traditional explosion type shot. I think you're right.....it sounds like you've got the shot. You just need to develop some feel and confidence in it.


Slice, if you're good with the firm shots, you'll learn touch on the fluffy bunkers quickly I think. In my opinion, it's much harder to get out of a concrete bunker with touch to get it close than it is a soft, fluffy, fried egg lie (so long as you're not in a pot bunker or anything outrageous).

I use the same approach you mentioned for hard pan lies and hard, compressed sand with pretty good results. Basically, I approach it as a chip from the fairway for the most part.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

Ok, so I don't have a practice area where I can practice greenside bunker shots. Needless to say, this makes me rather inconsistent. I can blast them out, but with no control for distance, so it's sort of a crap shoot.

 

Anyway, yesterday I decided to just play my normal chip shots with my 60, and had great results just picking it clean from the sand on about 3 holes. 

 

Obviously you need a perfect lie for this to work, but has anyone else ever done this?

 

No, never.  I try to imitate the way Gary Player demonstrates it on YouTube, with pretty good success.  Player was an acknowledged master of the greenside bunker, and his technique is a good one to emulate.  

 

Your "new " method is destined to be inconsistent at best.  If it was a viable method, you would see the pros doing it.  The problem is that it takes perfect contact every time.  Fail in that, fat or thin, and the odds are that the ball will still be in the bunker for the next shot.  Or if you hit it thin but with enough height to clear the lip, it's going to clear the entire green too.  

 

I played for some 15 years before I was in a location where I had a decent short game practice facility, so I just made do.  Go out late when nobody is on the course behind you and don't play golf, just practice bunker shots.  

 

I did a similar thing to that on the par 3 course which is part of my home facility.  I'd go out at a time and day when I could mostly have the course to myself and I'd play 4 or 5 bunker shots on each hole.  I taught myself to at least survive greenside bunkers that way.  Even now, my primary goal is to be on the green with my next shot - the closer to the hole the better, but at least somewhere on the green.  I see guys on golf forums talk all the time about how they "expect" to be within 5 feet when playing from a greenside bunker, but I'm not buying it.  I certainly don't see that sort of consistency on the course, even from some very good single digit handicappers.  I just put it in the same bag with the 320 yard drives. e3_rolleyes.gif

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

 

Do you use the same length swing for different distances and vary the amount of sand you take, or take the same amount of sand and vary the length of the swing?

 

Same swing, different amount of sand. When I used to try to vary the swing length, I would typically duff it and keep it in the sand. 

post #13 of 24

Agree with Fourputt- I don't consider any of the players I have seen to try to pick it clean all the time as very good bunker players...it may work at times, but if they hit it just a bit fat, it stays in the bunker.  Of course, under certain conditions, it is probably handy to have this shot in your repertoire.

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Agree with Fourputt- I don't consider any of the players I have seen to try to pick it clean all the time as very good bunker players...it may work at times, but if they hit it just a bit fat, it stays in the bunker.  Of course, under certain conditions, it is probably handy to have this shot in your repertoire.

 

Oh, don't get me wrong...I agree with that as well. And would much rather built a real sand technique...just curious as to whether or not people had done this when they were having trouble with normal sand shots,

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

 

Do you use the same length swing for different distances and vary the amount of sand you take, or take the same amount of sand and vary the length of the swing?

 

Same swing, different amount of sand. When I used to try to vary the swing length, I would typically duff it and keep it in the sand. 

 

Just curious. I think that's the best approach. I hope it is: that's what I do. a2_wink.gif

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Agree with Fourputt- I don't consider any of the players I have seen to try to pick it clean all the time as very good bunker players...it may work at times, but if they hit it just a bit fat, it stays in the bunker.  Of course, under certain conditions, it is probably handy to have this shot in your repertoire.

The catch is that a lot of courses in NE Ohio neglect their bunkers and mostly all of them are compressed and as hard as the fairway, if not worse. The clean pick in this case is really your only option, so it is the appropriate play in my opinion. But, using in soft, fluffy sand is definitely not something I would do. That's where I open my stance 30-40° left of target, open the club face and flop the ball out using the sand rather than the club.

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

The catch is that a lot of courses in NE Ohio neglect their bunkers and mostly all of them are compressed and as hard as the fairway, if not worse. The clean pick in this case is really your only option, so it is the appropriate play in my opinion. But, using in soft, fluffy sand is definitely not something I would do. That's where I open my stance 30-40° left of target, open the club face and flop the ball out using the sand rather than the club.

 

Oh yeah. Rock hard garbage bunkers. Occasionally you'll find a nice fluffy one you just wanna plop in with a bucket and suntan lotion, but most of the time they're garbage.

post #18 of 24

I stand square to my target, and place the ball forward in my stance, i try to hit the shot with no shaft lean at all at impact. This brings in the bounce and the ball comes out nice for me.

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