A story about bunker shots

I joined the local public golf course when I was 15 years old. The course was built on an old dumping ground and I remember being able to smell the methane gas of the rotting rubbish. The course was nothing flash and within a few years I knew every bit of that course.

The part I liked the most was the practice chipping green. It was tucked away behind the green keeper’s shed and out of view. I reckon most of the older members didn’t know it was there. But I loved it and could spend hours there (free of charge) and work the short game.

The practice bunker got a serious workout too. I was immediately fascinated by trap shots when I first saw Greg Norman play. He was a genius around the green and would open up the face wide open and take a huge swipe at the ball. He could hit the ball high and then make it spin. I wanted to do the same.

My goal was to hit the ball out of the bunker and get it to stop as close the edge of the green as possible. There were plenty of miss-hits that ended up over the fence – but my dedication eventually paid off. I was learning to get the ball out of the trap and stop it quickly.

And the secret here is the open face. When you do so you can fizz the club through the ball. Most club golfers never open the club far enough. They dig too deeply into the sand and the ball comes off hot. Just yesterday a single figure player was hitting some bunker shots at the Golf Farm – he was too closed and kept digging deeply into the vimax online semenax incredible site sand and then over-correcting, blading the next way over the green.

But get it right and you can really spin the ball. It’s almost like the ball sticks to the clubface and you can plonk the ball down where you want. The technique is simple: play the ball forward in your stance, open the clubface and then hit the sand behind the ball. You’re never hitting the ball first – only the sand. And it’s a fairly shallow angle of attack – think slither of sand, you’re not excavating.

This technique also gives you a built in safety mechanism. Hit the ball a little fat and it won’t fly as far but will roll towards the pin. Hit a little less sand and the ball will fly further but then spin more quickly. There’s a nice margin for error and it really makes bunker shots (the ones around the green) relatively easy.

When you can get good at the short and spinning shots, the longer trap shots are easier too. You can step up, use a more square club position and swing away. The ball will fly further. From here you can explore different clubs and swing speeds – there are so many possibilities from the sand. And I think this is why I enjoy these shots so much. There’s variety and it keeps my attention.

One more thing: I have always liked using bunker shots for warm up (if the course has a practice bunker) before play. Normally, the short-game area is quiet, so you have the place to yourself. And the feeling of whacking the sand and watching it fly is a brilliant way to warm up the body and mind. Gets you into the moment and it only takes a few minutes.

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2 Comments

  • Tony Lucas

    Reply Reply September 4, 2014

    I liken it to slapping the sand
    Cheers Lukey

  • Adam

    Reply Reply September 28, 2014

    Dig your feet in. This way you hit the sand behind the ball every time without having to reach down unnaturally to strike the sand. So with your feet dug in, you can make a normal swing.

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