Positive attitude can help cure those bunker woes

Picture 1
Picture 1

Hands up if you use your lob wedge to play a standard bunker shot and hands up if you only use it for a specialist bunker shot.

Just as I thought. Most golfers would only play their 60 degree lob wedge in a difficult situation, as I find myself faced with in the first picture.

Picture 2

Picture 2

As you will clearly see my ball is very close to the very high face and I am wondering just which wedge to use to extricate it. In my left hand is my standard 58 degree wedge, and in my right hand is a 60 degree lob wedge that I only aquired fairly recently.

In this case the new wedge is the ideal choice as I require as much lift as possible due to the ball being almost up against the lip.

Will I open the face to add even more loft? Yes, almost allowing it to lie on its back, but I will do this before I even enter the sand.

Placing the clubhead on the ground (wide open) I will then take my grip. Some players take their grip, then try to alter the club face position, this is not to be recommended and usually does not work well.

Now look at the second picture. Having chosen the lob wedge I played the ball from almost my left heel (for extra height), set my weight on my left side on a 70-30 basis and left it there throughout the entire swing. At no point was any weight ever on my right side.

Too many golfers fall back and try to scoop the ball up out of the sand. Normally then the leading edge contacts the ball halfway up, resulting in a thinned shot directly into the bunker face, or over the green into another bunker.

As we all know by now the followthrough is probably the most important aspect of good bunker play and you will see just how my chest is facing directly towards the target, with my right heel well up clear of the sand. This is always a good idea, as it ensures that the body has cleared nicely out of the way, creating the momentum/acceleration required to exit the sand.

Think in terms of striking the sand roughly two inches before the ball and feel as if you splash that sand up/out onto the green. This works well, as the ball tends to go where the sand goes.

Bunker play can be quite daunting. Try to be confident/positive in your attitude and above all try to be very committed to the shot.