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  • Bunker shots

    I am having difficulty with bunker shots - my teaching Professional has told me that it is an "arms only" movement and although I am hitting plenty of sand out, the ball does not always follow - do I need to hit the shot with more power?

  • #2
    Absolutly. You will almost feel like you are making a full swing to make the ball go 30 feet. I hate that expresstion about the bunker shoot being "Arms Only". They do exactly that same thing they would do in any other swing. What changes is the setup. The rest of the swing is adjusted from the setup to the ball.

    1. Place the ball forward in the stance (on the left heal)
    2. Set the target line of your body (feet, hips, shoulders) to point anywhere from 5 to 45 degrees to the left of the target (righthanders). This angle will determine the length and hight of the shot. You have to experimient to get your results.
    3. Set the clubface square to the flag by letting the grip slide in you fingers -- do not roll your wrists to position the face at the flag. This will make the clubface "open" in your setup or pointing to the right of your target line. Don't worry, the ball will always fly where you face is pointed at impact and not where the swing line was going.
    4. Take a normal 100% swing to start. You can play with the % value later once you get the ball out.
    5. Hit at a spot 1-4 inches behind the ball. This distance will determine the amount of spin that is put on the ball (which regulates the roll after it hits the green) AND the distance it will fly in the air (the carry).

    Once you can get the ball out on a consistant basis, play with these factors to test the results. There were 3 varriables.

    1. 1-4 inches behind the ball.
    2. 5-45 degree Open angle
    3. % power of the swing.

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    • #3
      Re: Bunker shots

      I'm a beginner and have trouble in the sand. I do the common idea of setting up (feet open, ball forward, face open, swing along the line of your legs, weight slightly on the front foot etc..) But can you tell me where you should look? Ie, should you focus on the ball or the sand where you intend to hit it?

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      • #4
        Re: Bunker shots

        Originally posted by MJE77
        But can you tell me where you should look? Ie, should you focus on the ball or the sand where you intend to hit it?
        Focus on the back of the ball. Know you will hit a ball width behind it. If you focus on anything other then the ball you will have trouble focusing on anything. Looking at the sand bedind the ball is all the same and it is hard to pick one spot.

        I simply "think" about the distance to hit behind it and that is enough. You have to spend some time in the bunkers to really get the right feel for all the types of shots you need, because there are a lot that are just right for the lie/carry/spin/hight etc...

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        • #5
          Re: Bunker shots

          Excellent stuff!

          I'm totally with Greg on this one, the mechanics of your swing should be the same and you want to swing with a lot more power than you probably think you need. Once you're hitting bunker shots more consistently, the confidence to hit them harder will come.

          The "arms only" theory, I think, is used to try to ensure that the body angle remains constant and the head remains still . The bunker shot is extremely sensitive to small variations in the vertical position of the hands. A small dip into the shot probably results in a lot of sand being moved but the ball staying at your feet. Conversely, lifting as you hit the shot means that you'll probably catch it thin and fly the ball way over the green. My swing thought for bunker shots is to make sure my spine angle is constant and my head steady throughout the shot.

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          • #6
            Re: Bunker shots

            just a caution. i read in one of my golf manuals that bunker practice should be minimal as it can affect your normal swing action. so by all means practice but dont over do it!

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