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Do you REALLY have to sandblast the bunker shot?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

As you all know I'm by far a beginner but I just can't figure out the bunker shot so this past weekend I started just chipping out of the bunker same as I would on a tight lie. The taller the lip either the more lofted club I used OR the more I opened the face.  No sand blast  at all just a regular chip shot with a reasonable backswing.  No long swing, just a short controlled chip and I actually had good results. I even controlled the distance reasonably well considering my skill level.

 

Am I going down the wrong road here? What are your thoughts on this guys?

post #2 of 21
When I have a good lie with a reasonable amount of green to work with and a lower lip, I will chip it. But you should learn how to blast it. Most bunker shots I face will require a normal bunker shot. The odds are you won't get a favorable situation to chip. The idea is to get it up and down. Putt if the lie and lip is really good.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by vangator View Post

Putt if the lie and lip is really good.

 

Yep, I play pretty regularly with a guy who does that at every opportunity. He's real good at it.

post #4 of 21

You can either take some sand or thin it out of the bunker, essentially. The problem is that hitting it thin will only work in some situations where height and spin aren't needed. So I prefer to hit the higher explosion shot out of bunkers unless it's a really easy shot to pop it out.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post
 

You can either take some sand or thin it out of the bunker, essentially. The problem is that hitting it thin will only work in some situations where height and spin aren't needed. So I prefer to hit the higher explosion shot out of bunkers unless it's a really easy shot to pop it out.

I'm no good at this game for real so this is a question... So what you are saying is that you can hit a higher shot with a sandblast that an open-faced chip shot?  Once gain, I'm not being funny, I'm truly asking.

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RightEdge View Post
 

I'm no good at this game for real so this is a question... So what you are saying is that you can hit a higher shot with a sandblast that an open-faced chip shot?  Once gain, I'm not being funny, I'm truly asking.

Yes, and I'd say it works better from bad lies as well. Tricky shot to learn but extremely useful.

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post
 

Yes, and I'd say it works better from bad lies as well. Tricky shot to learn but extremely useful.

I guess I really need to learn this shot then.  The problem is every time I open the face and try to blast it, the bounce catches the sand and I blade the ball right into the lip or directly into the wall of the bunker.  I thought we are supposed to use the bounce but when I do it just glides across the sand and blades the ball.  And god help me if the sand is not soft and fluffy then it's IMPOSSIBLE for me altogether.

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RightEdge View Post
 

I guess I really need to learn this shot then.  The problem is every time I open the face and try to blast it, the bounce catches the sand and I blade the ball right into the lip or directly into the wall of the bunker.  I thought we are supposed to use the bounce but when I do it just glides across the sand and blades the ball.  And god help me if the sand is not soft and fluffy then it's IMPOSSIBLE for me altogether.

If you're like me I ignore the term of bounce, because it'll happen on its own if you hit a correct bunker shot.  I open the club face and focus on the amount of sand I want to take to get the ball where I want it to go.  I use a flatter swing, and hit down into that one spot.  The more sand=less distance.  But most of all, find a consistent swing and just practice at a bunker, taking different amounts of sand.

post #9 of 21
How to hit Sand/Bunker Shots
started on 12/02/11 last post 06/21/14 at 8:03am 111 replies 5322 views

Check out this thread, I also agree you shouldn't worry about bounce; borrow your buddy's wedge if you want so you don't get distracted. It's good to get properly fitted then not worry about the wedge too much, and the technique done properly will work with any wedge, even with irons in some cases.

post #10 of 21

Check this out, hope it helps

 

 How to hit Sand/Bunker Shots 

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post
 
How to hit Sand/Bunker Shots
started on 12/02/11 last post 06/21/14 at 8:03am 111 replies 5322 views

Check out this thread, I also agree you shouldn't worry about bounce; borrow your buddy's wedge if you want so you don't get distracted. It's good to get properly fitted then not worry about the wedge too much, and the technique done properly will work with any wedge, even with irons in some cases.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

Check this out, hope it helps

 

 How to hit Sand/Bunker Shots 

+3 on these videos.  I had a long bunker shot yesterday, ~30 yards, that I had to get up quickly.  I just relaxed, set up as in the video above and executed.  Got it to 10 feet.

 

If you can find a practice bunker, that helps.  But you can also just practice the pitch shot technique from this thread.  The swing is very similar, just the set up is slightly different.

 

 Quickie Pitching Video - Golf Pitch Shot Technique 

post #12 of 21
The key to bunker shots (for me) is to keep my head still (on all shots actually) and keep my lower body quiet. This will work for most bunker shots. A bunker shot is typically a half swing (more for longer shots), so it doesn't take great athleticism. Watch the vids. Throw a few balls in the practice sand trap. Learn how hard you have to swing (or how far to bring back the club) to hit a particular spot on the green. Learn how your ball reacts when it hits the green and there you have it. You must learn how to play bunkers if you really want to play golf. With a 25 cap, you'll find a few. Pros also find a few. If hitting an approach to the green is really difficult, sometimes missing into a bunker is a better option than leaving it in some thick cabbage (course management).
post #13 of 21

Two skills that have helped me recently out of the sand are keeping the clubface always pointing to the sky,  and visualizing the ball coming out while sitting on a dollar bill.  The   dollar idea helps keep the angle flatter so not so much digging in.  

post #14 of 21

+++++ on the videos.

 

It's tough to chip or putt from deeper bunkers, or from a bunker with a harsh lip, or from soft sand. In river sand, it's easier. But sometimes the fluffy stuff is not level, and if you make a mistake, forget it.

 

That's why it's best to grow some technique.

 

Even with the video, when I falter in the bunker, it's because my lead hip is too level on the downswing. It engages the bounce of the wedge better if I think "up" after the hip slide, and just allow the hands to whip through the shot without me doing it ... in other words, the lower body whips the arms through the sand ... just keep turning up after the hip slide. It feels effortless when done correctly.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post

+++++ on the videos.

It's tough to chip or putt from deeper bunkers, or from a bunker with a harsh lip, or from soft sand. In river sand, it's easier. But sometimes the fluffy stuff is not level, and if you make a mistake, forget it.

That's why it's best to grow some technique.

Even with the video, when I falter in the bunker, it's because my lead hip is too level on the downswing. It engages the bounce of the wedge better if I think "up" after the hip slide, and just allow the hands to whip through the shot without me doing it ... in other words, the lower body whips the arms through the sand ... just keep turning up after the hip slide. It feels effortless when done correctly.

I've never been one to use my hips in a bunker at all (at least not consciously). I see some of the video instructors do that, but I would have to practice that more. When my lower body moves, all kinds of things happen, usually not good. I'm better at more precisely controlling my club when I keep still. I do a similar thing for punch shots and hardpan. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
post #16 of 21

I recently switched from one method of hitting shots (below) to doing it the proper way and I picked it up much quicker than expected.   The key for me is to have the ball in the front of my stance and make sure my setup is appropriate to the shot that I want to hit.  I.E. digging in more to make the ball go less distance and take more sand.

 

I used to keep my face closed, swing way out to the right and aim to the right of my target.   I would still pop the ball out with the explosion of sand, but it would go straight and not have a ton of spin, if any.   I learned it from a club champion at where I caddied as a kid.   He could do it that way and put spin on the ball and was a very good bunker player.  The problem is that you take less sand when the club makes contact, you are relying on the wrong things to make it stop.

 

I am very happy I changed to laying the blade open and doing it traditionally and properly.   I can really hit tight shots with little green to work with in positions to make par again.

post #17 of 21

I don't ever try to chip the ball from a trap, regardless of the lie, but I will frequently use the "pitch" technique (as described on this site). Generally I use it in one of two scenarios. 1. A perfect sand lie where I want to achieve good height and a quick check or 2. A hardpan lie, where a "blast" would result in skulling the ball.

 

If the ball is sitting down a bit, or if I want to hit a shot that runs for awhile, I will take bit more sand and blast the ball with a near full swing.

 

And if the ball is in a fried egg or worse, I will take a really steep swing and pound my club down in the sand as hard as I can.

 

Those are about the only three bunker techniques I will use.

post #18 of 21

Learn to blast away!

I used to attempt a clean pick with my SW and sometimes would get good results, but the occasional fly over the green/miss hit, convinced me to learn proper technique.

 

But more importantly, not every bunker lie can be hit using a modified wedge shot, so chances are, you're going to be faced with a sand shot where your current technique you will fail you. 

This means you're going to card a double or worse.

 

Once you learn how, it's actually one of the easier shots on the golf course, which is why you rarely, if ever, see a pro flub a greenside bunker shot. If you want to avoid that pesky double or triple bogey, you have to how to do this

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