Bunker procedures are often vilified, perhaps unfairly so. A properly executed ‘Sand Shot’ is one of the easiest and safest procedures in your artillery. That is why the ‘Tour Players’ and very talented ball strikers often deliberately hit their golf ball into a green side bunker rather than run the risks of hitting it elsewhere. Bunkers are quite predictable. Players assess the target risks and react intellectually to the determinations. These folks are very practical mentors and create a lot of ‘Saves or Up & Downs’!
There are two normal and specific Bunker techniques ...
- A normal firm sand bunker shot (Fairway or Greenside) is very similar to your regular ‘Pitch Shot Procedure’. (see ‘Pitching Protocols’) Among other very usual Set-Up requirements (Posture, Grip, Stance, Ball Location & Alignment), you hit the ball first and then take a few tablespoonfuls of sand. (see ‘Leading Edge Dominant’)(Ball Location is slightly AFT) A soft fluffy sand is a common option. It has different requirements and is a deliberate ‘Fat Shot’ that is well-served by utilizing the ‘Clubhead Sole’s Bounce’. Soft sad invites digging which is a negative outcome. (see ‘Bounce Dominant’)(Ball Location is slightly forward)
A very simple ‘Dynamic Rule’ that has served us very well over decades is to ‘Take ½ An Inch Of Sand From Directly Under The South Pole Of The Golf Ball’ … perfect COM face contact on the 4th score line or ‘Sweet Spot’. A lot of golfers ‘Open The Clubface’ to increase or more expose the ‘Bounce’. You have an option! You can very simply utilize a ‘Square Face’ and ‘Aft Tilt The Shaft’, which exposes or creates more ‘Loft’ resulting in increased ‘Trajectory’. Bottom Of Swing Arc (BOSA) is a critical component.
As a Set-Up matter, you should strive to ‘Plunk and Bounce’ your butt a little up and down to center your mass and ‘Weight Distribution’. (see ‘Spinal Axis and Knee Flex’) Remember, a little more weight on the Target Foot steepens your ‘Angle Of Attack’ (AOA). More on the Brace Foot (Aft) shallows or flattens your Clubface approach to the ball. This helps properly control ‘Loft and Bounce’.
These bunker shots are charged with ‘Energy, Velocity and Clubhead Speed’. More ‘Pivot Acceleration’ (Brace Leg Drive) produces more Chase Follow Finish or Follow through. A Rule Of Thumb? If it is a ‘Bunker Blast Shot’ (soft sand) strive to hit the ball three times as far as you might on the normal grass. ‘Blasts and Splashes’ are quite aggressive procedures. (see ‘Body Clocking’)