How to escape greenside bunkers

Andrew Jowett
Forever dropping shots by not being able to effectively get out of greenside bunkers?

Here’s some of the things you need to start doing – and other things that you must avoid.

DOs

1. If you get your set-up correct, and focus on a simple thought, it’s like any other shot. Take care of your set-up. If your feet are shuffled into the sand, then you need to understand why you shuffle your feet into the sand - to offer an uneven surface and to lower yourself beneath the level of the ball.

2. If you open the clubface, you have to open your stance. Be aware that you want your body and clubface to match up. After that, keep your weight favouring the left side to help hold you in position and provide stability.

3. Give 100% commitment and complete your finish. Spin comes from speed, so you need an element of clubhead speed to get the spin on the ball and the height you need to get it out. Get your chest turning to, if not beyond, the target as you rotate.

DON'Ts

1. No good comes from trying to help the ball up. I see a lot of people rocking back into their right side and trying to flick at it. That’s guarantees failure because your club will bottom out early. Do that, and you’ll take too much sand or knife it into the face.

2. Golf pros have a lot to answer for when it comes to that tip of hitting ‘two inches before the ball’. It’s an old wives tale. Yes, technique changes for each individual. If you understand how a bunker shot works - see above -– you don’t need to follow this tip.

3. Prioritise your goal, and that’s to get out… so don’t put the flag as your first goal. At times, tour pros will learn to take their medicine. Don’t overstretch yourself.

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Andrew Jowett is the Head PGA Professional at Gleneagles. For lessons, call 01764 694343. Follow him on Twitter @andy1504.

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