How to Play Long Bunker Shots Vs Short Bunker Shots

August 16th, 2018
VIDEO: Transcript

If you find yourself in greenside bunkers and you tend to handle maybe a certain distance okay, but if they are a little shorter or a little bit longer and you are struggling with either short bunker shots or longer bunker shots, I’ve got a simple tip here that you may not have thought to employee when you’re on the greenside bunker and this assumes you know how to play a basic bunker shot, so if you don’t know how to play a basic bunker shot, check the channel here and make sure you watch the video on just basic bunker play, but the suggestion would just be to use, think about using different clubs. Just because there’s a club in your dad called the sand wedge, doesn’t mean that for every single sand shot, you need to go to the sand wedge. So, with the wedges, you have a certain amount of loft on the club, so with a sand wedge, it might be something like this. With a lob wedge, the loft might be a little bit higher. With a gap wedge, the loft might be a little bit lower or the pitching wedge might be lowered nine or eight. The point is, there’s different lofts to the different clubs, of course, and what can happen – I think what I usually see is people struggle a bit more with the longer ones, so to make the ball go the distance that you may need it to go with a sand wedge, oftentimes, you’re going to have to make a bigger swing, and when you make a bigger swing, it gets a little – can get a little bit more difficult to make a good strike into the sand pop the ball out. So, what I think is a little bit easier is to just go with a lower lofted wedge for those longer ones are not even a wedge. Again, you can try like a nine or and eight, or a seven, or a six. [0:02:08] get out with a three iron for example. You can open the blades, open the clubface on those, and if you squat down long enough, you can still get under those even with the three iron, provided that the club does not have to thick of a sole here, so it needs to do it with like a three or four, or five iron something, you need to have a pretty thin soled club to be able to lay it down flat enough to play that shot and need to have a lower amount of heel bounce to get the club to sit down as well, and you probably aren’t going to be using a three or four, or five, or probably even a six iron, probably even a seven iron, but for a greenside bunker, but you might use an eight iron if you’ve got a little bit of a distance to get it back there, so the nice thing about that is you can again, you can so open it up, just play it like a normal bunker shot, you may have to lower yourself a little bit more, and then you can take a smaller swing which can help you be a little bit more in control, little bit more bounce in the sand on an uneven surface there, and you’ll get the more distance out of it versus having it make a huge swing with a sand wedge, and similarly going the other way, if you’ve got a really short bunker shot and you seem to struggle getting your sand wedge to go high enough or to come out and stop in time to get to the flag there, you might use a lob wedge or like a 60°, or even higher – 61, 62, 63, or 64° wedge, that can help a little bit more high as well. So, I guess the main point in this is it’s a simple thing to do, to use a simple concept, simple idea to use different clubs, but a lot of people, I find just don’t think about that, they automatically go straight to the sand wedge, it says sand wedge on it, so you think like, oh, that’s the club I got to use but it’s really not the case. So, you can use different clubs with different lofts to help achieve different distances with a smaller swing, I guess, you could say, in particular with those longer greenside bunker shots.

So, hop in a bunker, grab a bunch of different irons, maybe eight to lob wedge – just try hitting some bunker shots and see what happens, see how far they go, and then take that feedback in and get a sense of what the different clubs to so that when you get out of those situations on the course, you can maybe pick a little club that can help you more easily achieve the distance that you want the ball to go more consistently from those greenside bunker shots. Give those things that tried, play around with it, have fun, enjoy, and hopefully, you will be playing those a little bit better.

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