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The 50 yard bunker shot.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am terrible from bunkers in general. I am getting better at green side shots, but I am looking for some thoughts on how to play a mid range bunker shot. Let's use a 50 yard shot for the example. What is the club selection, stance, ball position and method that you would play?
post #2 of 17

Hit a 9I or even an 8I. Plan for more run. Do everything else the same (the club will dig more due to much less bounce, but that should mostly be after the ball is on its way).

 

You can lay the 8I open a little bit to add a bit of loft and bounce back to the shot.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Hit a 9I or even an 8I. Plan for more run. Do everything else the same (the club will dig more due to much less bounce, but that should mostly be after the ball is on its way).

You can lay the 8I open a little bit to add a bit of loft and bounce back to the shot.

OK great. I kind of figured I have been using the wrong club. I was trying to pick it with a partial wedge shot. Thanks!
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Hit a 9I or even an 8I. Plan for more run. Do everything else the same (the club will dig more due to much less bounce, but that should mostly be after the ball is on its way).

You can lay the 8I open a little bit to add a bit of loft and bounce back to the shot.

I usually hit a 50 yard bunker shot when I'm aiming at the green 150 yards away, so yes, I agree, go with an 8i or 9i a2_wink.gif
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

Hit a 9I or even an 8I. Plan for more run. Do everything else the same (the club will dig more due to much less bounce, but that should mostly be after the ball is on its way).

 

You can lay the 8I open a little bit to add a bit of loft and bounce back to the shot.

Whenever somebody asks me what the hardest shot in golf is, I'd always answer that it's the long greenside bunker shot.  No question ... except now that isn't the answer anymore.

 

Yes, it's a small sample size, but I've hit two bunker shots in the last couple of weeks from about 30-40 yards, and they were both really easy.  I did exactly what Erik is suggesting.  Instead of blindly reaching for the sand wedge, I pulled my 50* (so for a 50 yard shot, it would probably be my PW or 9 iron) and otherwise hit it just like a normal sand shot.  They, quite easily, did exactly what you'd expect.  Flew a little further, and rolled a little further.

 

Piece of cake.

 

I think now my answer to the hardest shot question is going to be sidehill lies.:-\

post #6 of 17

Hi: just to validate what everyone else has suggested.... club up and keep club face square to target. So, a 50 yard bunker shot would be fine with either a wedge or 9 iron. ONE CAVEAT though.... texture of the sand counts!!!

 

If you are in soft, baby powder like sand I would club up one more time and hit an eight iron still square to target (do not lay open to increase loft), if you are in compact sand, or more granular sand (that is not soft and fluffy) then stick with the wedge or 9 iron for 50 yards.

 

Also, do not dig your feet in as if you are in a greenside bunker....try to keep your feet on the same plane as the ball and aim 1-2 inches behind to make the appropriate contact with the sand to have it push the ball out.

 

Another option to consider, and one that I am most comfortable with in compact/granular sand (and everyone is different with their comfort zones depending on what shots/techniques you practice) is that I grab my 54* Volkey, play the ball in the back of my stance, clubface square to the target, I do not dig in with my feet, choke up an inch and play it as a punch shot/pitch making sure my hands are in front of the ball at impact. I'll take the club only to aproximately 10 o'clock on my swing. I like this shot because it flies like a punch but has much more spin and stops on a dime. Wherever I throw it it sticks.

 

Lastly, committ to your shot - whatever you decide. Do not second guess yourself on any shot because it defeats the purpose of the technique or swing you are about to put on the ball. There is nothing more aggravating, i think, than reflecting on messing up a shot because you either slowed up through the impact area or trying to inhibit the flow of your swing by trying to control it. I would rather mess up a shot with full commitment, than mess it up by not executing - not that I expect to mess it up but I hate feeling like a moron not doing what I know I should do.... you know what I mean.

 

Oh yes, don't forget.... practice. Thanks.

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmbeltdesign View Post
 

Hi: just to validate what everyone else has suggested.... club up and keep club face square to target. So, a 50 yard bunker shot would be fine with either a wedge or 9 iron. ONE CAVEAT though.... texture of the sand counts!!!

 

If you are in soft, baby powder like sand I would club up one more time and hit an eight iron still square to target (do not lay open to increase loft), if you are in compact sand, or more granular sand (that is not soft and fluffy) then stick with the wedge or 9 iron for 50 yards.

 

Also, do not dig your feet in as if you are in a greenside bunker....try to keep your feet on the same plane as the ball and aim 1-2 inches behind to make the appropriate contact with the sand to have it push the ball out.

 

Another option to consider, and one that I am most comfortable with in compact/granular sand (and everyone is different with their comfort zones depending on what shots/techniques you practice) is that I grab my 54* Volkey, play the ball in the back of my stance, clubface square to the target, I do not dig in with my feet, choke up an inch and play it as a punch shot/pitch making sure my hands are in front of the ball at impact. I'll take the club only to aproximately 10 o'clock on my swing. I like this shot because it flies like a punch but has much more spin and stops on a dime. Wherever I throw it it sticks.

 

Lastly, committ to your shot - whatever you decide. Do not second guess yourself on any shot because it defeats the purpose of the technique or swing you are about to put on the ball. There is nothing more aggravating, i think, than reflecting on messing up a shot because you either slowed up through the impact area or trying to inhibit the flow of your swing by trying to control it. I would rather mess up a shot with full commitment, than mess it up by not executing - not that I expect to mess it up but I hate feeling like a moron not doing what I know I should do.... you know what I mean.

 

Oh yes, don't forget.... practice. Thanks.

Hmmm ... actually I do not do it this way.  I hit it EXACTLY like a greenside bunker shot, save for the club choice.  Now, if we're talking fairway bunkers and full swings, then yeah, I have a square club face, and I'm trying to get ball before sand so I push it back in my stance a hair.

 

But for those 30,40 and 50 yard middle range bunker shots.  I feel like if I'm 50 yards out, and I keep the club face square, then I have to be real precise with my low point, otherwise I'm gonna chunk it 10 yards, or worse yet, pick it clean and have it go 100 yards.  I want that bounce on my club.  I need that bounce on my club.

I use words like ... (Click to show)
... honor, code, loyalty.  I use these words as a backbone of a life spent defending something .. you use them as a punchline.  I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it.  I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way.  Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.  Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.  (And yes, that's all from memory ... I'm a weirdo ;))

 

Also, I dig my feet in on all bunker shots, including fairway shots ... I don't want to be slipping around.  To counteract, I may choke down on the club 1/2 inch or so, but I think a stable base is important.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmbeltdesign View Post
 

Hi: just to validate what everyone else has suggested.... club up and keep club face square to target. So, a 50 yard bunker shot would be fine with either a wedge or 9 iron. ONE CAVEAT though.... texture of the sand counts!!!

 

If you are in soft, baby powder like sand I would club up one more time and hit an eight iron still square to target (do not lay open to increase loft), if you are in compact sand, or more granular sand (that is not soft and fluffy) then stick with the wedge or 9 iron for 50 yards.

 

Also, do not dig your feet in as if you are in a greenside bunker....try to keep your feet on the same plane as the ball and aim 1-2 inches behind to make the appropriate contact with the sand to have it push the ball out.

 

Another option to consider, and one that I am most comfortable with in compact/granular sand (and everyone is different with their comfort zones depending on what shots/techniques you practice) is that I grab my 54* Volkey, play the ball in the back of my stance, clubface square to the target, I do not dig in with my feet, choke up an inch and play it as a punch shot/pitch making sure my hands are in front of the ball at impact. I'll take the club only to aproximately 10 o'clock on my swing. I like this shot because it flies like a punch but has much more spin and stops on a dime. Wherever I throw it it sticks.

 

Lastly, committ to your shot - whatever you decide. Do not second guess yourself on any shot because it defeats the purpose of the technique or swing you are about to put on the ball. There is nothing more aggravating, i think, than reflecting on messing up a shot because you either slowed up through the impact area or trying to inhibit the flow of your swing by trying to control it. I would rather mess up a shot with full commitment, than mess it up by not executing - not that I expect to mess it up but I hate feeling like a moron not doing what I know I should do.... you know what I mean.

 

Oh yes, don't forget.... practice. Thanks.

 

I play that exact shot with my 51* GW.  Great shot......

post #9 of 17

Hi: like I said, everyone has different comfort zones so whatever works for you.... keep at it!

 

When you get a chance    check out the technique the pro's utilize for fairway bunker shots, they don't dig in like they're in a greenside bunker and are very quiet with their legs.

post #10 of 17

David... That is a great shot and it requires practice and conviction. it's funny to see my friends see me hit that shot and they think I'm flying the green and they're licking their chops until the ball hits the green and either stops or zips back to a great look at the putt. It kills them. It's a fairly easy shot if you put a little time into it.

 

That gives me more control than the chunk and run option of clubbing up, especially to tight pins. Pins that offer a lot of run up with the green are easy to execute given the added options you have.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Hmmm ... actually I do not do it this way.  I hit it EXACTLY like a greenside bunker shot, save for the club choice.  Now, if we're talking fairway bunkers and full swings, then yeah, I have a square club face, and I'm trying to get ball before sand so I push it back in my stance a hair.

 

But for those 30,40 and 50 yard middle range bunker shots.  I feel like if I'm 50 yards out, and I keep the club face square, then I have to be real precise with my low point, otherwise I'm gonna chunk it 10 yards, or worse yet, pick it clean and have it go 100 yards.  I want that bounce on my club.  I need that bounce on my club.

I use words like ... (Click to show)
... honor, code, loyalty.  I use these words as a backbone of a life spent defending something .. you use them as a punchline.  I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it.  I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way.  Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.  Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.  (And yes, that's all from memory ... I'm a weirdo ;))

 

Also, I dig my feet in on all bunker shots, including fairway shots ... I don't want to be slipping around.  To counteract, I may choke down on the club 1/2 inch or so, but I think a stable base is important.

Great movie.

post #12 of 17
This is a really tough shot I have tried the 9-8 iron and hit it like bunker shot and also tried to hit to clean with LW. Both are difficult in my opinion. I try to stay away from this shot as much as possible or practice lots if you have a course with lots of bunkers in this range
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmbeltdesign View Post

 

Another option to consider, and one that I am most comfortable with in compact/granular sand (and everyone is different with their comfort zones depending on what shots/techniques you practice) is that I grab my 54* Volkey, play the ball in the back of my stance, clubface square to the target, I do not dig in with my feet, choke up an inch and play it as a punch shot/pitch making sure my hands are in front of the ball at impact. I'll take the club only to aproximately 10 o'clock on my swing. I like this shot because it flies like a punch but has much more spin and stops on a dime. Wherever I throw it it sticks.

 

I use this sort of low spinny pitch sometimes around the greens, especially if I have a little backstop.  Never tried it out of the sand though.  Do you try to hit it like a punch shot out of the grass and hit ball first, or are you doing a sort of punch/splash shot, still hitting sand first?

post #14 of 17
Backfoot a waist high gw
Hit ball first
If its 10 yds long
Use sw
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by impactswing View Post

Backfoot a waist high gw
Hit ball first
If its 10 yds long
Use sw

 Do you fall down a lot?

post #16 of 17
Lol
post #17 of 17
Elk has a good short game video In it his method for long bunker shots is he describes he is hitting one dimple fat.

The method I tried last summer that I had best success for myself was to try to slice the ball. Instead of my usual V shape swing. I would make a fuller U shape swing and hit fat and aim fat inside quadrant of ball
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