According to Bobby Jones, golf is a very close game that we call our life. We might get bad breaks from the best shots or acknowledge that the worst shots are turning into a good break.
Now, as we all know, golf is a sport where players use different types of clubs to hit the balls into a series of holes with as few strokes as possible.
Bunker’s shot is one of the difficult shots in golf as it is to be conducted on a compartment full of sands.
People become confused about how to handle a bunker’s shot especially when it comes for a beginner. Because often they hit shots fat, thin and so on. It’s difficult for sure but with proper practice, it’s possible to bring it under control.
And once one hits a few bunker shots correctly, the light goes on.
Beginners’ Guide for Aiming the Best Bunker Shot
Before we jump into the steps, let us know why bunker shot is a difficult one. A bunker shot seems difficult because sometimes you might try to skim the ball out of the sand.Otherwise, you might be using a wrong club. Maybe sometimes you missed the full swing needed for the shot or you might have tension in the arms and hands.To hit the bunker shots perfectly while being a beginner, several steps need to be kept in mind. They are stated as follows.
1. The Right Club
As a beginner, one should use a sand wedge of 56° or 58°. It is more preferable because its sole is thick and can bounce the ball efficiently. Lob wedges can also be used but that’s recommended when one becomes a skilled golfer.
2. The Stance & Setup
It includes feet, club face, ball position and hands. A little brief about these are given;
The feet should be aligned to the left of the target that is the most comfortable for one. It might be anywhere between 2 and 10 yards within the practice bunker.
Leading edge of the club should face at the hole or a little to the right of it. But that should be within a couple of yards.
It is the most important key point to be considered. If one wants to make a sweeping swing and not a chop, the ball should be played well forward. The appropriate ball position for a bunker shot is the left armpit. It will help the club head to enter the sand.As a result, the club will hit slightly behind the ball resulting in a soft but a solid bunker shot. A good swing thought can be stayed tall. Doing a controlled swing from a tall posture will result in one of the perfect smooth rhythms.
The right arm and hand play a significant role in the bunker shot. If one wants to roll the clubface open, it should point skywards in the takeaways. It also helps to put the club hand in position while skimming through the sand under the ball.The hands should be positioned behind the ball. The gripping of the club can be done 2 inches from the club top.
3. Hitting the Shot
The main job at this step is to hit the ball softly to deliver it to the green. While hitting, the sand enters an inch behind the ball. One shouldn’t stop at this time rather finish the shot smoothly with a swing and the swing should follow the line of one’s feet which is at the left of the target.
According to the golf instructor Will Robinson, the ball should be given a hit without taking any sand. As a result, the ball will be out of the bunker flying way over the green. However, Robinson suggested not to worry about it on the first go. Once one becomes completely master in taking away no sand and hitting the ball, he should dig feet into the sand. This will result in dropping the low point of the swing.
Now, the average swing is to be taken by naturally hitting the ball. At the same time, a bit of sand is to be made because the feet were kept lower than they were before.
4. Splash Shot from Behind
When a bunker shot is correctly conducted, one gets to hear a sound of slapping the sand. One will know that they have a good bunker shot with the hearing of that sound.
5. Learn to Turn
This point talks about an exercise for accelerating the motion along the sands of the green side. Despite a club, the setup is to be taken to the bunker. The left arm is to be extended towards the target. Then, the right palm is to be kept above. The elbow is to be folded and the right arm is to be swung. At this point, one should go for trying to connect the right and the left hand.
Here one will notice that they need to turn their body. In addition, the right hand will not be able to go far. Therefore, the right arm is to be turned and extended. The same is to be done in the real shot.
6. Aiming the Loft at the Target
In case of bunker shots on the green side, one will need a loft and bounce. This will help the heavier side of the club’s back edge to slide along the sand. An advantage to this is that it will prevent the sand from digging up. To make all of these forces work, it is suggested that golfers open up the club face.
While doing that, they mostly aim loft on its face. This is way too far on it’s right. As it looks a bit weird, they attempt to swing the ball on the left. A good way to get bounce and loft is to keep the hands lower. It should be done in such a way that it makes the shaft flat and keeps its face aimed at the target.
7. Keeping Flex in Legs
Golfers often attempt to help balls out. During this time, they hang on their right foot straightening the left. It results in hitting behind the ball or skull the ball onto the upswing.
A great way to get a good swing in a bunker on the greenside is to turn into the left leg keeping it bending. It will remain one in his posture as one makes a swing.
However, it will also help to place the lower point of the swing in the front half. Likewise, it is to be made sure that the ball is in the correct place. The right place is nothing but a couple of inches inside the front heel.
Finally, with the ball, the sand is to be turned and thumped with the right arm which will result in a great shot.
8. The Special Stacy Lewis Shot
This technique is introduced by Stacy Lewis. It helps to convert the problematic shots in golf into an easier one.
In a nutshell, one needs to catch the ball smoothly, and then it should be given a hit fifty yards from the sand. But this also indicates the setup. When the sand wedge is used, the face is to be opened and the ball is to be positioned to the opposite of the front heel.
Weight should be set fifty by fifty and the golfer should make sure that the shaft is not leaned towards the target. It’s far to be picked smooth off the sand. This setup ensures enough bounce and loft that one can even hit it from behind and score a great shot. It will not require a dig but the ball will come out checks and low.
9. Slightly Open at Address
A golfer should open up at address but not too much. A better way that will focus on making a perfect address and swing path is to make a line in the sand. This line should be aiming to the left of the target.
During the address, the body should be placed parallel to the line but the clubface should be aimed at the target. As a result, the ball will pop up directly on the line with the pin with enough loft.
10. Set & Reset
If one is still having problems with the bunker basics, can try this simple but efficacious movement. Firstly, the wrists are to be set on the back and should be reset on the way through. If everything is perfect, the club will have a contact of the sand.
Furthermore, to make use of the bounce of the club, this technique of releasing the shaft can go along but it should be ensured that the club head quits the sand faster than the ball.
Complete the Swing
There is one complex issue that the golfers face while on the sand. They often hit the ball from a short distance, which can cause a provisional approach.However, they should focus on what they are doing and letting the swing flow without any obstructions.At the finishing position, there is only a shot of around ten yards. Since the sand is responsible for absorbing a lot of the energy of the club head, one can let the swing flow.Other than that, it will be a perfect one when control of the distance is not lost. In this regard, they must make sure that they swing through the full finish.Otherwise, it’s nothing but a short, convulsive stroke that will be enough to ruin a good bunker shot. As long as the club is on acceleration, there’s less chance of losing control of the ball.
What’s The Mistake Here?
An overall mistake that can be acknowledged in this case is trying so much to guide the club. It distracts the golfer and takes him out of the play. Another common mistake is people setting up very open with their feet, hips and shoulders.
Then they aim to the left of the shoulder. It helps to make a steep angle of attack. It also ultimately helps the golfer to dig the club into the sand. Often it happens that the speed in the head gets lost resulting in the ball to fail and clear the lip.
At the very first, one should start by taking a wide stance. This stance must be a little open to the target. The position of the ball should be a bit forward of center. As a result, the golfer gets the advantage of creating a shallow angle of attack.
This will result in taking the right amount of sand. At the same time, a fraction of the clubface should be open to the stance. Due to this, the golfer will feel powerful, athletic and fast in movement. It’s essential to attempt to hit the sand just about an inch before the golf ball.
This is the one single shot in the whole game where one doesn’t have to strike the golf ball before the ground. Acknowledging this essential element is crucial it gives one more margin for error.
Will Robins says that bunker shots are most natural because there are more rooms for errors than any other shot. It is the only shot where the golfer gets a chance to hit the ball from a few inches behind and scores a good shot. According to Robbins, the bunker shot doesn’t require different swings.
Although people will suggest to swing steeper or wing flat, those should all be ignored. Instead, a bunker’s shot can be conducted by using the regular full swing. A good number of people face troubles when they start slowing down the shot but this problem can be easily escaped by a club speed of the normal swing.
Consequently, to be very concise, there will be a lot of obstructions at the very beginning while playing a bunker’s shot. Nevertheless, a tough practice can help out a beginner to become a pro golfer, especially in bunker’s shot.
A good number of tips and techniques are available that can boost up one’s performance. It is to be kept in mind that once a golfer has the right information on how to play the bunker’s shots, it’s never hard to land the ball safely on the green.