In previous editions of bunkered, I’ve discussed the set-up for bunker play and how you can relate it to your driver set-up with a nudge of the hips towards the target. Now, I'm going to explain that in a bit more detail.
Notice here, in the furthest left pic, that I have nudged my hips towards the target yet kept my spine tilted away for the target.
This position ensures I make contact with the sand at the same spot time and time again. After I nudge my hips forward, I visualise the buttons on my shirt being behind my belt buckle and I maintain that relationship throughout the stroke.
With my left foot turned outwards, my left knee points out towards my left foot which assists in driving through impact. This is another position I am aware of during the entire stroke. Correctly setting myself at address gives me key points to maintain during the stroke, leaving no room for or need for manipulation.
The bunker shot is the only shot in golf where you don’t hit the ball.
Now my focus (second left pic) is on keeping the buttons on my shirt behind my belt buckle while maintaining the weight on my left side. I create great leverage between my clubshaft and left arm, allowing me to be aggressive through impact.
In the pic second from the right, I’m concentrating on keeping those buttons behind my buckle while the weight is still 80% on my left side. From address right through to impact, I have been focusing my eyes on a grain of sand behind the ball which is where I want my club to contact the sand.
The bunker shot is the only shot in golf where you don’t hit the ball, so focusing on it will lead to poor execution. Keep an eye on your point of contact and commit to that.
As I near my finishing position, furthest right pic, my weight is still on my left side and, as I straighten up, my buttons and belt are starting to come in line, which is a sign I’ve swung down and through. I maintained my button-to-belt relationship, weight on left and committed to point of impact. Focusing on these areas kept my low point of my swing in the right place and allowed me to execute with no added interference, compensation or manipulation!
Steve Johnston is the PGA professional at The Roxburghe. For lessons, call Steve on 01573 450 333. Follow him on Twitter @mrstevejohnston