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Green Side Bunker Shot - Please Help - Need More Spin


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I'm having issues creating enough spin out of the green side bunker.  Is there any good instructional tips that covers the wrist hinge, angle of attack and or varying the speed of the hands through the impact zone for the greenside bunker shot?  For instance, I'm looking for something I can take to the practice bunker and work on.

I regularly spin my full 50/54/58 SM4 Vokey wedges out of plush fairway lies... Sometimes spinning the ball several yards.  I'm not looking for that kind of spin out of the green side bunker per say... But I would like to see it maybe skip, and then check stop at least.  But it seems like my bunker shots always roll out before coming to a stop.

Any help or pointers would be greatly appreciated.

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Luke Donald Bunker Play

Luke Donald... DTL

Luke Donald... Face On

Couple of things just looking at these three videos I'm going to try is working on:

1.) Shaft angle... I have a forward shaft angle which Luke points out is not the best as you want to use the bounce of the club.

2.) My left arm - I don't believe I hold it straight like his appears in these videos?  I'll see if I can work on that too.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

I like the videos Mike, but need to hear some commentary.  I'd hate to act like I know what you're doing.



Very similar to what Peter Cowan was talking about and demonstrating.  Things that stand out are how flexed my legs are, left foot turned out and how soft my arms are at address.  The arms piece really allows the club head to move a greater distance while my hands stay close to my body.  Or at least closer than a full swing.  Hitting these shots with a lot of speed, which helps increase spin and allowing the bounce to skim thru the sand.  Not "thud"

- Ball forward of center

- Clubface open

- Hands neutral, maybe slightly forward

- Wider stance, feet turned out, left foot turned out 35*

- Chest centered, Weight forward

- More flexion in arms, very soft, elbows more at my side than a full swing.  More float loading feel

- Really feeling the "thump" of the bounce.  Club head overtakes my hands on the followthrough

Very similar to those motion

http://thesandtrap.com/t/39411/quickie-pitching-video

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Pay attention to how much sand you take as well.  Generally the more sand you take, the less spin you get.  Lie in the bunker plays a big part in how much spin you can expect to get.  Trying to get a certain amount of spin is probably the wrong way to think about it.  Focus on the technique and then understand the conditions that will let you fly it to the pin with a lot of check.  Pros get a lot of spin because their technique is sound, of course, but their bunkers are manicured and they play courses that have nice and consistent sand.  If you want to prove that to yourself, just go get some dry and powdery play sand at Home Depot and put it in your yard.  You'll see how incredibly easy it is to hit a good shot.  Then think about how tough it is to hit out of a hardpan bunker at a muni and you'll see why pros say it's the easiest shot in golf while amateurs are constantly struggling.  Work on the techniques, but don't judge the techniques by the results alone.  Consider the conditions as well.

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If your trying to control spin out the bunker, you better make sure its a perfect lie like in the fairway. The only time i worry about spin is if i am in the fairway, because i find that the only consistant terrain to be able to predict the amount of spin on. In the bunkers and around the green i am just trying to pick a spot were the ball will land and it will roll out. I personally like the least amount of open face as possible, using the sand to help the ball out. Its very rare were i open the clubface really open and take a huge swing to get tons of height on a bunker shot.

But i would just practice. Draw a small line in the sand and just hit shot after shot, hitting that line. I do agree with Gary Player, that you want to light the match. You need to accelerate through the ball, not at the ball. Through the ball. Meaning, don't slam the clubface down into the sand, though there is a few shots that this works with, like if your on an upslope near a lip you can blast the club into the sand to pop the ball up, but besides that, you want to accelerate through the ball. Also get a sound base, i don't do this enough, but dig the feet in. You can't build a house on sand unless you get deep enough to hit rock. For me i like to hinge a bit earlier and just try to accelerate through the ball. Doing that each time you can vary ball position, club loft, open or close the clubface, hit near the ball or more behind it, you can produce any shot you need out of the bunker.

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My concern about spin - it isn't to spin the ball backwards.  It's to be able to get it to check stop near the hole.  Here is a photo of a greenside 'grass' bunker I found myself in on Sunday.  It's just a quick example and not a perfect example.

Say that you had this type of shot - and were in a green side sand bunker... I'm looking for ways to hit short side bunker shots that land - check and stop.  You can see in the photo there isn't much room to run out a shot.  So you need to have spin.  On this photo in particular... You go past the fringe on the ocean side and your ball is in a hazard or going to be unplayable.  It literally drops off about 8ft.

Monarch Greenside Bunker.jpg

** Please ignore the fact that the photo is taken from a grass bunker***

I see all the time where courses tuck the pin close to a green side bunker and I struggle to get the ball to stop.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

My concern about spin - it isn't to spin the ball backwards.  It's to be able to get it to check stop near the hole.  Here is a photo of a greenside 'grass' bunker I found myself in on Sunday.  It's just a quick example and not a perfect example.

Say that you had this type of shot - and were in a green side sand bunker... I'm looking for ways to hit short side bunker shots that land - check and stop.  You can see in the photo there isn't much room to run out a shot.  So you need to have spin.  On this photo in particular... You go past the fringe on the ocean side and your ball is in a hazard or going to be unplayable.  It literally drops off about 8ft.

** Please ignore the fact that the photo is taken from a grass bunker***

I see all the time where courses tuck the pin close to a green side bunker and I struggle to get the ball to stop.



Probably too simplistic, but I'd tackle this shot as per the image below. Option 2 is somewhat blurry - basically allow for release and aim at the apron allowing for the ball to bounce slightly to the left. Either way, you have more green to work with right of the pin.

640x478px-LL-6f63805d_MonarchGreensideBunker.jpg

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

I see all the time where courses tuck the pin close to a green side bunker and I struggle to get the ball to stop.


In addition to what s_m said, uh, don't hit it there. It's a sucker pin and you've short-sided yourself. Play to the fat part of the green and take your two putts if you can't stop the ball close to the hole from the bunker.

Anyway, I prefer to play bunker shots with trajectory rather than worrying about spin. If anything I hate the shot that spins somewhat unexpectedly.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Probably too simplistic, but I'd tackle this shot as per the image below. Option 2 is somewhat blurry - basically allow for release and aim at the apron allowing for the ball to bounce slightly to the left. Either way, you have more green to work with right of the pin.



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Originally Posted by iacas

In addition to what s_m said, uh, don't hit it there. It's a sucker pin and you've short-sided yourself. Play to the fat part of the green and take your two putts if you can't stop the ball close to the hole from the bunker.

Anyway, I prefer to play bunker shots with trajectory rather than worrying about spin. If anything I hate the shot that spins somewhat unexpectedly.



Of course it's a sucker pin... So that suckers like me go for it! :P

That green is ridiculous by the way.  If you ever play Monarch Beach Golf Club here in SoCal, you'll know what I mean when you see it.

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Face more open so you can create MORE speed with tighter contact. ball still forward.

Ever notice the splash marks... how they kinda go from the center of the face and diagonally off the face....

well, setup with the ball off the heel. so you have the entire face for the grooves.

I need to get some proper "data" validation and high speed footage for this, but was a tip i was given when I was fortunate enough to be practicing alongside a European Tour golfer whos shortgame is his specialty.

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