Bunker shot distance control...get it close!
Get it OUT! Get it CLOSE! Get it IN! Once you’ve learned to get your bunker shot onto the green, you’ll now want to learn how to get it CLOSE! So you need to learn BUNKER DISTANCE CONTROL
This lesson is to help you adjust to the different length shots you will face from the bunkers. You need creativity and touch. We can all get better touch through practice and experience. Please use this lesson to help you develop your ‘touch’ so that you can hit
shots of varying lengths. Getting the ball close to the hole so that you only have a short putt is the key to making your ’sandy’ and saving a shot on your scorecard.
Step One – Address
A couple of keys:
Open club face.
Ball position in line with your left instep (right handed players)
Weight leaning onto left foot.
Step Two – The Backswing
For the most part your backswing for all your golf bunker shots does not change. You always want to take your club back to the set swing position.
Your left arm should be parallel to the ground.
Your club should be pointing to the sky. Your arm and club should form an ‘L’.
It may seem strange that your backswing does not change. All the other short game shots you play, the distance you hit your shots is dictated by the length of your backswing.
Now the distance you hit your sand shot is going to be dictated by the length of your follow through.
There is no specific range in which you should use each technique. It will take practice and experience to determine what distance you hit shots for each follow through position. It is up to you to figure which length follow through works best for you.
Use the following simple guidelines to help you determine your own distances:
Short bunker shot: small follow-through, turning chest into shot
Medium length shot: medium follow-through, more chest turn into shot
Long bunker shot: full finish with hands over left shoulder and full chest turn into shot
Experiment and find YOUR swing that gets it close. Pay attention to your follow-through and see how far the ball carries and rolls. Learning this technique will improve your bunker play and those dreaded shots will become fun shots! Once you learn to get it close…now experiment with getting it IN!
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To answer your question, I have seen my students vary their backswings for distance control but tend to decelerate as they approach the ball, causing very inconsistent results...even having to play another bunker shot next! Physics would say, yes, to your question...but the follow through has to vary also. But by all means, try it and see what works for you. I just find it easier to be consistent in your distance control with the same backswing and vary the followthough. This method promotes acceleration through the shot versus deceleration, which is disastrous in playing bunker shots.
I want to thank you. I had heard this advice before, but hadn't thought about it recently. Anyway, I've incorporated it into my play during the last couple of rounds, and today I knocked one stiff and holed another.
I figured that golf blogging is mostly a thankless job, so you might like to hear this.