Bunker Shot Ball Above Your Feet

July 19th, 2018
VIDEO: Transcript

If you are facing the situation of the bunker where the ball is above your feet, then I’ve got a couple tips here that can hopefully help you play those a little bit better.

The first, since that ball is above your feet a little bit and the ball is going to be closer to you, you want to choke up just a little bit. Now, with a single length irons here, with the sterling irons in particular, these are 36 ½ inches, roughly for eight-iron length and 37 for seven-iron length, and the difference between that and a normal wedge is it depends on which wedge you use, but kind of between 35 and 36, so you are really only talking about just a small amount, just an inch. So, just to go from single length to regular or from regular hearings to single length irons, you want to choke up a little bit anyway, but then when this ball is on the slope like this and it’s even a little bit closer to you, you want to maybe choke up a little bit even more. How much you choke up, it depends a little bit on how high the ball is up on the slope, so I guess the closer it is, the more you want to choke up and the farther down at it, then the farther away it is from you, and the closer it is to your normal to normal flat ball position, the less you want to choke up. So, there is no real role as far as how much to do it, just kind of gauge it so that where you can stand comfortably and you are not punched or you are not reaching excessively to get to the ball, so that is the first thing, just choke up a little bit.

The second thing is to be mindful of the lie angle, and the lie angle is this angle here between the shaft and hosel, and the bottom of the clubface, and why that is really important is that when the club comes through impact like this squarely, the clubface is pointed, say where you wanted to go, where you want the ball to start and that’s an important thing to know, is that the ball will primarily start where the clubface is pointed at impact. So, in a situation where the ball is on the slope like this and up the slope, and the club is going to be more up like this, it can look as though the clubface is square like this, square to or perpendicular to your target line where you want it to go, but because you are getting it up the slope, the clubface is actually pointed to the left. So, you have to be mindful of where the clubface is pointing, not necessarily the leading edge there or the grooves, but just the 3-D flatness of this clubface, where is that pointed in space? So, the more up the slope you go, in particular with a wedge like this, the more it’s going to point to the left of your target for a right-hander. So, with that, you have to aim sufficiently to the right to get that clubface two point where you want the ball to start out at. So, if you’re up on the slope like this, you may have to aim almost this much. It is quite a bit. It really just kind of depends on how steep the slope is, how far up the slope of the ball is, which wedge you’re going to use our which club you’re going to use, the more aloft that you have on the club, the more the lie angle of facts – comes into play on a shot like this. So, just use your imagination and you won’t have the advantage of having a little stick like this on your club, but just try and picture where you think the clubface is pointed, and then adjust yourself accordingly so that when you come back in the impact and are hitting the bunker shot, that the ball will start out on the line that you want it. So really, those are the two main things I would say as far as tips on how to play those. Just choke up a little bit is the first thing, and then the second thing – and choke up a little more or less depending on how much up the slope it is, and then second, just be mindful of the lie angle, the effective lie angle and where the clubface is painting because where that clubface is pointing is where the ball is going to start out at primarily when you are coming back to impact with that club in that position, so put those things into practice, give those things a try in the bunkers, and hopefully, you will be playing those shots a little bit more effectively.

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