Instruction: 4 steps to hitting better long bunker shots
Find it hard to play the long bunker shot? Learn how to play it efficiently without trying too hard.
Most amateur golfers find it tricky to get a grip over bunker play. Amateurs generally find a way to get around the shorter bunker shots but most of them find it tough to negotiate the long bunker shot. It is a shot which is often neglected and if played correctly, can help you shave a stroke or two off your handicap.
The shot which longer hitters will often face on par-5’s and a shot which anyone may face otherwise can be executed to good effect by following these 4 easy steps mentioned by David Leadbetter:
#1 Club Selection
Take a less lofted club as you have a longer distance to cover. Open the clubface and utilise the bounce on the club. It will enable you to make a nice easy swing at the ball.
#2 Aim closer
Take less sand and aim closer to the ball in order to do that. For a normal bunker shot, you usually aim 2 inches behind the ball. However, for longer bunker shots, aim only an inch behind the ball. As a result, the ball will come out easier and the club will go through the sand without having to force it.
#3 Length of swing
Make a full swing at it. It will allow you to have a good rhythm and promote the acceleration required to give it the distance.
#4 Maintain your flex and stay balanced
The most important step is to maintain your flex through impact and don’t straighten out or stand up through the shot. If you do so, you will either hit behind the ball or hit it cleanly and as a result, the shot will not be succesful. Make a full finish and let your right foot come off the ground .
It will allow you to generate the speed required to propel the ball to the flag without having to force it out.
Try these 4 easy steps and you will find a difference in your longer shots out of the bunker. The best tour professionals sometimes struggle to get long bunker shots close, so commit to the steps and you will see the results over a period of time.