Tips from the Pro
Arguably, the hardest shot in golf is the 30- to 60-yard bunker shot. The shot calls for a precise swing with a premium placed on ball striking. The best golfers in the world all agree this is the toughest shot to pull off. In the following paragraphs, we will talk about different aspects of the shot that will help the average golfer in playing the long bunker shot.
For a normal bunker shot, the idea is to blast the ball out of the bunker. The main problem with the long bunker shot lies in the distance the ball needs to travel in the air. If the ball is struck too thin or heavy, the distance may be too long or way too short. In your set-up position, stand with the ball two inches back of the center of your stance. The important aspect of the ball back in your stance is your center of mass must stay in front of the ball during the swing. The position of the ball will help in striking the ball first and then the sand.
To further aid your center of mass staying in front of the ball, let you left leg (right-handed golfer) take about 60 percent of your weight. With more weight on the forward leg, your sternum will stay just in front of the ball.
With your feet stabilized in the sand, let yourself stand with your posture a touch more vertical than normal. The vertical position of your body will help in creating a more vertical swing. As you begin the back swing, hinge your wrists to 90 degrees early to help in making a more vertical swing. The vertical swing is important as it will aid you in striking the ball prior to the sand.
As you are accelerating through the ball, make sure the body turns through the shot into a full finish position. The body turning will help in not allowing the club to decelerate prior to impact.
Try the tips above in a practice bunker or on the golf course. The key to executing the hardest shot in golf is in the set up. The bottom line is you must strike the ball before impacting the sand.
Ben Sinclair is a PGA member and golf pro at the Park City Golf Club.
For information on lessons and tee times, please call the golf shop at 615-5800.
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