Bunker Protocols

The ‘5 CONTROLS’ ….. always!

1. Similar to ‘Lob and Pitch Shots’.

2. ‘SET BOTH FEET’ into the Sand by squirming the Feet back and forth until they ‘FEEL’ firm-footed. (‘STANCE’ Issue)

3. Shorten the ‘GRIP’ (perhaps)

4. ‘POSTURE’ must support this procedure ‘CHIN Tallish’ making precise ‘clearance’ for the Clubhead to Swing with the exact ‘Bottom Of Swing Arc’. (‘Cock And Pop’)

5. ‘GRIP Pressure’ and ‘SET-UP Component’ as necessary to support the Stroke Pattern and task at hand. You may ‘Grip Down’ slightly to get better control and because you have ‘Squirmed your Feet Down into the Sand to get a solid footing which lowers your CHIN, Shoulders and Hips.

6. ‘STANCE’ not too wide but stable.

7. ‘BALL LOCATION’ slightly forward.

8. ‘ALIGNMENT’ ‘SQ SQ’ or Open with matching ‘Open Clubface’.


10. Soft Shoulders, Elbows, Arms and Hands.

11. ‘SLIGHT FORWARD PRESS’ may be beneficial

12. ‘WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION’ is 60T:40B Forward for short shots and more even for bigger swings. This may vary based on the ‘Lie Conditions’. In a deeply ‘Buried Lie’ the ‘Weight Forward Load’ is important but in a shallow or ‘Proud Lie’ (sitting on top in fluffy sand) you might ‘Set-Up’ with your ‘Weight Distribution Less Forward’ to promote a ‘Shallower Angle Of Attack’ which promotes that very useful ‘Splash Action’. The rule is ‘Forward Steep, Aft Shallow’. Remember the ‘Sand’ generally carries the Ball out of the Bunker and not the Clubface.

13. ‘NO COIL OR MINIMAL PIVOT OR ROTATION’; Arms Up & Down. This is ‘Pick Up and Drop’ (‘Cock and Pop’) Motion with ‘FOLLOW-FINISH’. The deeper the Ball is buried, the more ‘Cock and Pop’ (faster Wrist Set) you may require to produce a ‘Steeper Angle Of Attack’; well ‘Down and Through the Ball’ without ‘Sweeping Action’. This is a dominant ‘UP & DOWN Action’ (UBM) and minimally ‘ROUND & ROUND’ (LBM) in nature. Amplified ‘Leg Drive’ may cause your ‘Brace Foot’ to slip and cause problems. This is not a Drive. Be cautious.


15. Complete ‘Belt Buckle’ to the Target.


Fairway ‘Bunker’ shots are more like simple fairway and ‘Pitching Shots’ than deep bunker work. If the sand in the fairway bunker is quite firm, once you have ‘Set your Feet’, simply make a normal stroke. Keep it smooth and you may, perhaps, select one extra club (lower number than usual) as long as you can safely clear the lip of the ‘Bunker’. Catch the ‘Ball Before the Sand’. You need a well ‘Braced and Posted Brace Foot’. The ‘Ball Location’ will be slightly ‘Aft’ to ensure striking the Ball First. Do not overdue your Coil and forward Pivot (Lower Body Action) as your Feet may ‘Spin Out’ or you may ‘Slide’ causing poor contact and undesirable ‘Ball Flight’.

The ‘Upper Body Machine’ is relatively ‘quiet’. Make sure that you have enough ‘Loft’ on your ‘Clubface’ to clear the lip of the bunker. Breathe Out throughout your entire ‘Front and Back Swing’. Be ‘Ball Aware and Target Oriented’. Always ‘See the Ball’ and ‘FEEL the PIN’.


One of the bottom lines in working ‘On The Beach’ is that ‘Your Ball Goes Where The Sand Flies and NOT Where Your Clubhead PATH Tracks and Precisely Where Your Clubface Is AIMED and Hands Go’. When the ‘Foot-Body Line is AIMED Open 20 degrees’ (‘High Energy Side Of Target Line’) and the ‘Clubface is AIMED Open 20 degrees’ (‘Low Energy Side Of Target Line’) as well, what your ‘555 TEAM’ calls ‘Open/Open’, your ‘Ball Flight’ will be roughly to the ‘Low Energy Side’, where the ‘Clubface is AIMED and the Sand Flies’!

This is technically called the ‘Resultant Tangent Line of Ball Flight’. Makes sense? Open your ‘ALIGNMENT’ which directly affects your ‘Clubhead PATH’. Open your ‘Clubface AIM’ which controls ‘Initial Ball Flight Line’. Then Swing down your ‘Body/Foot Line’ and get the ‘Resultant’ of the two ‘PATH and AIM Components’ as an outcome to good ‘Procedures’.

‘Feel Like You Thump The Sole Of The Clubhead Down Behind The Ball and Splash A Handful Of Sand Out Of The Bunker At The Target’. Remember, we can focus on ‘Taking ½ Inch Of Sand Out From Beneath The Feet Of The Ball With Appropriate Clubhead Speed’.

It is very important to remember and practice ‘ALWAYS SWINGING DOWN THE BODY LINE’ when you make normal ‘Open/Open’ adjustments. If you ‘Do NOT Swing Down-the-Body Line’ you will necessarily be ‘Pushing or Pulling’ across the Body Line. This Swinging ‘ACROSS the Body Line’ either ‘Inside–Out’ or ‘Outside-In’, to any excess is less than optimal ‘Clubhead PATH’ in the sand or elsewhere. (‘Cut’)

The ‘Short Game’ is an ‘ARTFORM’.
Good Luck in your Artistry!

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