Ball above your feet in bunker…now what?

Sometimes in bunkers with a lot of sand, the ball will hang up on a slope and leave the ball above your feet. Having the ball above your feet is a shot that very few golfers practice, so when faced with the situation on the course, they have a hard time figuring out how to pull the shot off and at least get it on the putting surface.

 Here are some adjustments to make in your setup to help you get this ball out of the trap…and maybe up there for a tap-in!   First of all, try to find a practice bunker with some slope to te side of it so you can simulate the conditions of the shot you will face on the course.  Here’s a picture of what this will look like

june blog 3 200x300 Ball above your feet in bunker…now what?

ball above feet in bunker

Here’s what you need to do:

• The ball is above your feet so the ball will tend to shoot to the left. The further the ball is above your feet, the more you should aim right.  Hit a few shot from different lie angles to get a feel for the aim.

• Choke down on the grip of your sand wedge and stand a little taller.  The heel of the wedge will tend to dig into the sand, so we want to create a flatter lie angle on the club.  By standing taller and moving our hands down the grip a couple inches, we are effectively flattening the lie angle on the club, thus reducing the effect of the heel digging into the sand.

• Swing flatter and accelerate through impact. The angle of the shot makes it difficult to use the bounce on the wedge, so the leading edge of the club will dig a bit. It’s important to accelerate so you can get through the sand.  Try making a follow-through that finishes with your hands above chest high.  This will accentuate the acceleration, helping you blast the ball out and avioding the kiss of death (leaving the ball in the sand).

Spend a few sessions in the sand working on the above tips and so when you have this shot on the course, you can set-up with confidence, knowing you have the skills to knock it close to the hole.

Hit em’ straight,

Shaun

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  1. Basics of the Grip: Your only link to the club

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