Why You Need This: Today, you'll get the "Best Bunker Tips - How to Play Bunkers - Hard or Soft Sand"
Hitting out of the sand can be very difficult if you don't know what adjustments to make...
...but once you know them, your fear of bunkers will be a thing of the past.
And to take it a step further...
...there are 3 crucial adjustments to make if the sand is wet or hard.
After today's video, you're going to understand why the pros are so darn consistent out of the bunkers...
...and you will be too!
Golf Pros Featured:
Instructors Featured: Clay Ballard
Video Duration: 8:46
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Normally, this video in our step-by-step, course-based training is only available to our All Access Members...
But I'll let you watch this ONE video today only... because I can already tell I'm going to like you !
Let’s really get this bunker wet. So I’m not playing around here, this is a true bunker, wet bunker. I’m going to let this soak in for a second, I’ll be right back.
Do you ever hit out of the really soft lies and you swing hard, and the ball just barely gets up on the green with those bunker shots?
Or maybe you get into a hard pan lie, and the ball just shoots 30 feet over the green. How do we know how to hit out of both soft and hard lies when we’re in the bunker?
That’s exactly what I’m going to go over in this video. There’s a couple secrets to this, and once you know those it makes it really easy to get out of any lie. Let’s go ahead and get started, knock some of these bunker shots really close.
All right, so first let’s talk about a nice, normal lie or a fluffy lie. There’s plenty of sand, the ball’s sitting nicely. We can really go ahead and hit this one hard.
Now with this type of a shot, you want to make sure that you have the face really open. What this does is, it exposes the flange on the bottom of the club.
So there’s this big chunk of metal that’s sticking down into the sand kind of acting like a rudder. When you open that up, now it’s going to glide through the sand.
Your club’s going to come down, it’s going to hit the sand, and then slide through it without digging really deep. So if I hit this one here, I’m going to have the face wide open.
Number two, I want to go ahead and get my feet fairly wide and really kind of feel like I’m digging in with my feet.
This is a big key because it’s going to help me to feel how soft the sand is. If my feet sink way down in, I know I’m going to have to swing really, really hard.
If my feet sink in a little bit, kind of normal sand like this, I know I’m still going to have to swing pretty firm, but not quite as hard as I would on say the 60-foot shot with really, really soft sand.
As a rule of thumb, you probably need to swing at least twice as fast as you think you do. I took a radar, actually a GCQuad that has a high-speed camera that will read how fast the club is moving.
I found that basically the swing speed you would use for an absolutely full sand wedge or lob wedge out of the fairway, is the exact same swing speed that you would use in a green-side bunker.
If I’m going to hit this shot 60 feet, I’m going to hit it just as though I’m in the fairway and I’m hitting a full-strength shot. Really go after it really hard, even more aggressive than you would on a normal shot.
So face open, that exposes the flange, that keeps it from digging. Dig in my feet to feel how soft the sand is. If it’s a little soft, I’m going to absolutely take a rip at this thing as hard as I can swing.
Number three, I’m going to play the ball slightly up in my stance, and I’m going to keep my weight on my front foot pretty much the entire time.
Now from here, I’m going to feel like my club goes vertical. I don’t want to feel like I’m swinging around my body in the sand. I want to swing a little more vertical and I want to pop that club down into the sand, really hit at it aggressively.
If I can do that, I should be able to draw a line four to six inches behind this golf ball, and my club should enter the sand somewhere back around that line.
So here let me go ahead and do it through that. Open up, big swing, wide feet, and I’m really going to thump this sand.
There we go, I hit a nice one there. So I really feel like I had to swing super hard to get it pretty close on this 60-foot shot.
A little short of what I would have wanted to have happen, I should have swung just a little bit harder than that. It’s that simple. But that’s an acceptable result from being farther away.
Typically when you get more than 20 or 30 feet out on a bunker shot, they get pretty tricky because I have to really swing so hard to get it there.
Another thing that I find really messes people up with this, they just don’t open the face enough because you’re not used to swinging that hard.
What I’ll see most players do when they get in the bunker is they’ll square up this face then if I start to swing easier, so let’s say I square this face up. I’m going to do this the wrong way.
If I swing hard like I should swing in the bunker shot, let’s see where this one goes. That shoots way over the green. That one flew completely over the green.
So if you have that square face, you instinctively know well, I can’t really swing very hard, let me take something off of it.
Well, with that square face, when I start taking something off of it, it gets really, really dicey. Notice how with this divot how much it dug down into the sand? That’s because I took away that bounce on the bottom.
Square face, that leading edge is really sharp, and now it’s going to start to dig. So if I try to swing a little bit softer here with that square face, now I leave it in the bunker because I tried to swing softer, the first one sailed over the green.
The second one I made it a little softer, the club dug into the sand and I just didn’t get to the golf ball, it didn’t go anywhere.
You really have to, and it’s something that I see basically everybody doing. You’re not opening the face enough but the reason you’re not opening the face enough, you’re just not swinging anywhere near hard enough.
I want that face wide open, and I want you to swing at this ball as hard has you can. Don’t worry about hitting the golf ball, just thump the club into the sand behind the golf ball.
If I do that really hard, it’s going to be completely fine. That felt like a full wedge shot to me, and I only hit it about 60 feet or so. So really be aggressive with it.
Now let’s talk about when you have those firm lies. Let me go ahead and grab this big Home Depot bucket of water here and let’s really get this bunker wet.
So I’m not playing around here, this is a true bunker, wet bunker. I’m going to let this soak in for a second, I’ll be right back.
All right, so we’ve got this soaking wet bunker. This is really going to compact the sand. Usually after a rain, the bunkers are going to get pretty hard.
So you want to adjust your technique here a little bit. When I normally play a shot, like I talked about, let’s say this is a square face.
I’m going to open that face up probably a good 45°, that leading edge of the club 45° open. When I set that down on the ground, that’s going to look like it’s just facing straight up to the sky.
You look at any PGA Tour event, that’s what you’re going to see as far as the face, what it looks like.
Now when this bunker gets harder, I’m going to tend to skip if I do that. This big flange that sticks out of the bottom, if it’s really pronounced like this, if I hit four to six inches behind the ball when the bunker’s soft, it’s going to tend to skip and not dig, and I could thin that golf ball.
So what I’m going to do is instead of it being about 45° open with the face, I’m only going to be about 30° open with the face.
Instead of hitting somewhere in that four to six inches behind, now I want to hit two to four inches behind the golf ball.
So that’s not where I’m aiming, but that’s when my club very first comes into contact with the sand.
I want to feel like I’m aiming in a spot right behind the golf ball, and especially with this firmer, harder sand, I want to eel like I hit down more.
That way I can penetrate into the sand, and what I don’t want to have happen, the worst thing that could happen, is if I hit, I don’t get down enough, I don’t thump the sand hard enough, and it’s skips off the sand and goes back up into the golf ball.
So that’s the one that sculls across the green. You get nervous, and then the next one you make a really timid swing and you leave it in the bunker. Really frustrating.
The keys to harder sand, little bit less open with the face. I’m going to aim a little closer to the golf ball, and I need to be ultra-aggressive, even more aggressive than I was with my softer sand and making sure that I hit down.
I don’t want to get timid with this, I’m going to start thinning them and leaving them in the bunker if I do that.
I want to really concentrate on feeling like I’m just going to slam this club into the ground behind the golf ball. So I really want to have that downward hit kind of like that.
I really want to thump the sand with it. So that’s exaggerated there, let me go ahead and show you an actual shot here.
A little less open with the face, aiming a little close to the ball, and I’m really hitting down more and still being very aggressive.
There we go, and that ball came out a little bit hotter because the face wasn’t quite as open, but you can see here I really thumped the sand. I want to hit my club into that sand.
If you follow those rules, you’ll be able to get out of both soft sand and really hard sand.
Now you’re not always going to find yourself in the bunker. We really need to be solid on our bunker shots, our chipping and our pitching to where we don’t even have to worry about missing a green. We know we’re confident that we’re going to be able to hit it pretty close and have a good chance of making the putt.
But that comes from getting your technique solid with your chips and pitches also.
So what I want you to do, if you’re a member of the Top Speed Golf website, go to the Instruction tab, go to the Top Speed Golf System, and then work through the Short Game videos there.
In those I’m going to give you some of the secrets to hitting it consistent every singe time. If you’re struggling thinning and chunking your chip shots and your pitch shots, it’s going to be really easy once you work through the system.
But it only happens when you stick with that system. You work through it piece by piece, and you’re not even going to be worried if you miss the green at all. You can’t wait to impress your buddies by knocking it up close.
I can’t wait to see you there. Let’s go ahead and get started.