Ouch!!! That had to hurt!
Did you see Rory McIlroy’s shot attempt from the roots on Thursday of the PGA Championship? He pulled his tee shot left on only his third hole of the day. It finished among the trees in a barren area under the tree canopy where there were several exposed roots.
His ball came to rest just a few inches if that from one of those roots. This kind of thing happens to us weekenders more times than we care to mention. How does your group handle these potential injury situations? Are your playing partners sticklers for the rules or do you allow the player to take a drop in the nearest safe location no closer to the hole without penalty?
That’s what we do.I mean the player still has a trouble shot to deal with but the lie is made safe for the attempt. It just doesn’t make sense to risk serious injury or damage to our clubs when it is just a friendly game of golf. Wouldn’t you agree?
But the pros can’t do that with all that is on the line for them. So how should they deal with this dangerous trouble shot situation.
Rory attempt a full shot with his 7 iron. He has been roundly criticized for it too with those critics suggesting he should have hit a little shot just to punch it back out to the fairway. Even his caddie is said to have discussed the punch out option with Rory overruling him and going for the full shot.
Rory hit the shot and struck the root immediately after striking the ball. Ouch! You could just see it coming. He released the club which went flying a few yards in front of him and began to grasp his right wrist with his left hand. He had hurt himself and as he said later he rendered himself to be a one-handed golfer for the rest of the round.
The result of this high risk shot? It flew weakly ahead failing to escape the trees. He finished the hole with bogey and played the rest of the round hurting.
You be the judge. Golf is a game of risk/reward decision making. Was the aggressive shot Rory chose worth the risk it presented?
For my two cents, definitely not. That is not just hind sight speaking either. When I face these shots, even after our free drop, I am most likely thinking bogey would be a good score.
I have learned that you have to make conservative decisions if you want to avoid a big number. The average duffer couldn’t have made bogey from where Rory had to hit his third. Just punch it out. Reach the green and hope to make a par putt. Worse case would be a two putt bogey. Disaster avoided.
Conquering the trouble shots requires both good skills and good judgment. You have to understand your limitations and the margin of error you shot allows. Chose the shot you estimate you could hit successfully more than 5 times out of 10 tries unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. Very compelling.
The judgment is something you develop over time based on your knowledge of your game. The skills are learned and honed through practice. If you just focus on hitting longer straighter drives you reduce the number of times your facing a trouble shot but let’s be honest here; you or I will never be so good off the tee that we always hit the fairway. So it makes sense to prepare yourself for the inevitable wouldn’t you think?
You can get better at escaping golf’s trouble shot situations. “How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots” is just the guide you’ll need to develop a full set of trouble shot skills. It is just slam full of tips, drills and help for you to use on the course to make the best of any bad situation you might face. It can be the difference between your score and the others in your group.
Want to lower your handicap, play better golf and enjoy the game even more? Then I am sure that “How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots” will help you do just that.
Trouble Shots come in all shapes and sizes. All the various bunkers shots and sand conditions, the uneven lies, shots from heavy rough or from out of the woods leave the average everyday golfer with just a gauntlet of obstacles to overcome during a normal round of golf.
That’s a lot of the ordinary golfer to deal with don’t you think? Yet it is what comes with this game we all love. Errant shots result in difficult lies usually creating the need to execute a solid recovery shot to keep a good round going or avoid a blow up hole. Heck, sometimes even a good shot ends up in a divot or an uneven lie. While that seems unfair ( it is unfair) if you know how to deal with them these unwanted lies can result in a decent result.
So have you noticed that this years PGA Championship from the Atlanta Athletic Club is producing more trouble shots for these pros daily than you would normally see from them for an entire tournament? More or the pros are failing at their attempt to hit a recovery shot too.
For most pros hitting out of bunkers is something they never worry themselves over. Not this week. The bunkers are a real penalty for them like it is for us. I kinda like seeing that. How about you?
There is something different about this bunker sand. It seems more fluffy, to use a technical term, than what they use normally. The ball is setting down in the sand more often than not rather than up on top of it. There was a lot of mention about how they raked the sand up the slopes of the bunkers being an issue for the golfers.
Something must be different because the ball plugs on the banks rather than trickle down the slope of the bunker into the center making for a nice flat bunker lie. The kind the pros just love to see because they just blast it out up close to the pin, make the putt and move on.
That’s not happening this week though. It is a bit shocking to see the pros leave the shot in the bunker. But I’ve seen it more than once already this week. It is embarrassing to me to leave one in the bunker so I just can’t even imagine how the pros feel about doing that.
The rough this week is more of a penalty than we see most weeks. Now I know this is a major championship so the officials toughen up the course but have you seen so many pros in one week suffer from the rough as they have this week? Shots are going hard left with a hook at the PGA out this stuff. I expect to see shots like this(and do) at my home course here in North Carolina. I mean the rough is thick and lush this time of year here and therefore it exacts a stiff penalty for the overly aggressive golfer.
But I at least am use to seeing pros, save the occasional flyer, reach the green consistently from the rough. Not so this week. Where the green is protected by water the pros are dunking a higher percentage of these shots than they care to remember I’m sure. And the normal bail out into a bunker is no longer the safe shot like the pros are accustomed to. Like I mentioned above, the bunkers here are particularly punishing this week.
Is this course more narrow than most? I think not but we seeing more shot from off the course, among the trees, shrubs and what not this week. Rory McIlroy’s now famous wrist injury occurred from a lie amongst the roots where his tee ball landed in the midst of the trees on his third hole on the first day of this tournament. Steve Striker took an unplayable on Saturday from the bushes. Tiger just punching back to the fairway is an unusual site too.
Surely golf trouble shots are a part of your game too. Maybe not the part you like to talk about or even admit to but I’d be willing to bet you’ve had your share. Do you know how to make the proper adjustments for those awkward lies, buried bunker shots or any of the wide assortment of trouble situations that golf can offer? What about punching it out of the woods or what to do when your deep down in the heavy rough? Do you what to do then?
I want you to know how to overcome those unusual circumstances. Having the knowledge is more than half the battle. That’s why I want to introduce you to an ebook I have written called “How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots”. This ebook was written to share with you all the knowledge and experience I gained in more than 30 years of golf. Over that time and with the help of the tips and tricks included in the ebook I have reduced my handicap from well above 30 (scoring avg of 110+) to where it is now at 14.1.
Saving strokes, several strokes, because I know what changes in set up or swing to make to gain a good result from a bad situation is what has helped me significantly to improve my scoring and reduce my handicap. I want you to enjoy that same kind of success when you are facing a trouble shot.
Please just take a second to check this out: “How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots”
Today we’re discussing a difficult lie that you are probably seeing more of here late in the summer months. So many courses are experiencing robust grass growth this time of year, especially those using Bermuda grass. That means the fairways are full and plush creating those near perfect lies we all hope for. But it also means that the rough is thicker and taller as well. That means more bad lies.
The wayward shot will have the golf ball settling down deep into the grass. Not only are they are hard to find in the first place, you have to be right on top of the ball to see, but there is so much grass nestled up close to the back of the ball makes the shot many times more difficult than usual.
Weekend golfers in particular have trouble striking the ball, creating the desired trajectory and controlling distance. Any one of those issues can create a poor shot adding a least one additional shot to the hole. Combine them all together as is more likely with these lies in heavy rough and more often than not the shot results in creating more trouble for us rather than a successful rescue shot.
And you can easily see why. Look at all that grass! It can really be a menace by slowing down the club head through the ball, grabbing the hosel and twisting the face way off line and getting between the clubface and the ball at impact.
Heavy rough will slow down your club speed through the ball at impact compared to that plush fairway shot. The golfer’s big challenge here is to determine how much speed will be lost due to the grass and then actually executing that swing. All while his brain is telling him if he swings that fast the ball will fly way over the target. So many of us then decelerate through impact and hitting a pathetic shot the just falls way short of target. That deep rough can sure make a golfer look bad, huh?
What can often occur in this heavy rough lie is the long, heavy grass can wrap around the hosel of the club. This quickly slow down the heal of the club allowing the toe to move faster. This shuts down the clubface a sends the shots way offline left (for righties) of the target. If the golfer accounted for the thickness of the rough in the swing speed then this shut clubface shot will be both long and left. On most courses designers don’t allow for a lot of room long and left. You are now paying double for the original bad shot that put you in the rough in the first place. That’s how double bogeys and worse happen.
At the very best the golfer can expect to deal with grass between the clubface and the golf ball at impact. Instead of the grooves in the club making clean contact and imparting the spin the club designers intended, they get filled up with the grass so that the ball comes out with far less spin than expected under normal conditions. The result is a golf shot that is difficult to control either the distance or the trajectory.
How are you at dealing with all of this in your game? Do you conquer this shot or does it conquer you more times than not?
I have written an ebook to help you be the victor when facing these shots from the deep rough and other unusual golf situations. How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots is just the answer you’ve been looking for to help you improve your golf game, play better golf on a regular basis and lower your handicap too.
I want you to have all the tips and secrets to playing good golf in all situations like bad weather conditions, uneven lies, bunker play and a host of other trouble shots that those diabolical golf course designers include to give you so much trouble when you’re out there with your buddies. It takes a good eye and some golf know how to see and adjust to their attempts to derail your round.
That’s why I wrote How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots and that’s why you should consider how knowing everything this ebook offers will help you feel so much more confident with every shot you make because you know you can handle the occasional missed fairway or green without a problem.
You’ll run into all sorts of trouble on the course over time. Discover all the tricks to making the best of these bad situations here: How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots
Bunkers are a bad thing for many of us duffers. Players that just play for the fun and the fellowship often struggle with bunker shots. If that is you don’t feel bad you are by no means alone.
Among the most difficult bunker shots is the long fairway bunker shot. You know the one where the proper shots requires you to pick the ball cleanly off the top of the sand. Most of us find that to be a very difficult thing to do with any success at all much less reaching the green with it. For most of us we pull that shot off maybe one in ten chances or so.
Do you have trouble with it?
Add in an awkward stance and you compound the odds of success exponentially.
I played a round at my home course a few days ago with someone the started added to our group. His name was Wilson. He had a decent golf game and we enjoyed his company.
Wilson ran into some issues on the 7th hole with the fairway bunkers. The 7th is pictured here. Notice the bunkers protecting the outside of the dogleg and the fairway bunker just short of the green.
The story goes like this. Wilson’s tee ball barely trickled into the corner of the fairway bunker on the right of the dogleg. When we found it Wilson knew he was in big trouble. The ball did not roll into the middle of the bunker and he was forced to stand with his front foot in the bunker and his back foot out of the bunker.
He had not only the awkward stance to deal with but there is a significant lip on the front of the bunker too. Making the green some 180 yards or so away seemed near impossible to all of us but Wilson.
He pulled his 5 iron, no lay up for this guy, and attempted the shot. I have to admit he hit it better than I expected but still caught it some heavy which made it come up about 70 yards short of the green. Further he didn’t adjust for his stance properly so he not only hit it short but also had a bit of a pull hook ball flight.
You guessed it. Instead of landing in what would have been an ideal layup area, which would have been a good miss and along his chosen line to the green, he hit it into the fairway bunker short of the green.
As luck would have it, this ball didn’t land in the center of that bunker either but ended up in a very similar lie as the previous shot. This time he had to stand with both feet outside the bunker putting the ball more than 6 inches below his feet needing a long bunker shot to reach the green in 3.
Predictably his shot came up short. A chip and 2 putts later he makes double. He didn’t have to suffer through a big blow up hole like this. There is a better way.
These shots are very difficult even for the touring pros so we can’t expect to make a whole lot from this kind of lie. That was Wilson’s first and biggest mistake. He would have been far wiser to lay up to around 100 yds and wedge in close from there. He would of had a chance at par and would do no worse than bogey most likely.
Being aggressive can work for you in the right situation. We’ve all made the impossible shot at some point in the past and that memory sticks with us and encourages us to “go for it”. More often we fail to pull that off and end up with a disaster hole instead.
We have literally written the book on golf trouble shots. We did so because we know how many strokes ordinary players lose attempting these uncommon shots. Strokes they can’t afford to sacrifice but often do.
Our ebook, How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots, is written to help these same golfers improve their skills and overcome these challenges. We’ll cover the proper adjustments and swing techniques that will get you back on track quickly. It will help you play better golf and shoot lower scores. Guaranteed.
When you are faced with unusual bunker lies creating an awkward stance I would suggest (strongly) that you consider playing the safest, smartest shot possible. You will actually save more strokes that way over the long haul that you spend.
Just ask Wilson.
You’ll run into all sorts of trouble on the course over time. Discover all the tricks to making the best of these bad situations here: How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots
Seve Ballesteros was a living golf legend. That is until his passing this weekend. He was unable to escape from this one last awkward situation. He succumbed to the brain tumor he first had surgery on back in 2008. Succumbed might not be the best way to say that as he fought hard for more than 2 years to beat this thing. He passed fighting.
He was a humble person but a flamboyant golfer. He had “style”. A certain way about him the endeared him to everyone. Even through a TV screen you just had to like this guy.
His efforts to bring the European Ryder Cup team to a level where the were competitive with the U.S team remain one of his most significant accomplishments. It is an important part of his legacy. I have always respected him for that in spite of being an American. That says something for how special he was.
What I most remember about Seve is his remarkable ability to escape from the worst golf lies. He was very creative and inventive while on the course. He had the kind of imagination it takes to create an escape shot from the most unusual locations and the confidence to execute it. He was remarkable that way.
He won a major by deliberately hitting his ball into a parking lot because it allowed him to play with the wind that day. He birded that hole and won the tournament by the 3 strokes.
At the 1980 Masters during the final round he three putted once, hit in the creek twice and drove his ball onto the 7th green from the 17th tee. Yet he found a way to escape from all that trouble and won that Masters by 4 shots. The man was a magician and the golf club was his wand.
In the 1983 in the World Match Play Championship this brilliant escape artist was 2 down with 2 holes to play. His back was seriously against the wall. He won the 17th. Then on the par 5 18th hole he was in a terrible lie just outside of a greenside bunker. His opponent, Arnold Palmer, was on the green safely. Seve could either play it safe and hope to make a putt while his opponent 3 putted or get aggressive. He chose the latter.
Seve plays a low runner that barely clears the lip of the bunker, lands on the green and rolls smartly into the hole. He had tied the match in the most ridiculous manner possible. Of course he won the match on the 3rd playoff hole.
On another occasion Seve displayed his extraordinary escape shot ability. On the final hole of the final round of the European Masters Ballesteros was trailing Barry Lane by one shot. So he had to have birdie for any chance to win. His pushed his tee shot way to the right. He found his ball lying just a few feet from a tall wall about 8 feet high.
He needed to cover the 130 yards between his ball and the green. The wall and some tall trees above it stood between him and the green. A shot to the green seemed impossible to everyone but Seve. Even his caddie was suggesting he should chip out to escape the wall.
But in typical Ballesteros fashion he pushed aside his caddie’s advice, selected his sand wedge and proceeded to loft a miraculous escape shot clearing the wall and trees falling just short of the green.
Then, of course, Ballesteros chipped in for a birdie. What talent!
The list of his spectacular shots could go on and on. The point is that he was a great escape artist. One with style and character. His smile and humility won him many fans including me..
So we must say goodbye to him now.
You’ll run into all sorts of trouble on the course over time. Discover all the tricks to making the best of these bad situations here: How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots
At the Player’s Championship this past week David Toms hit a beautiful drive on the 72nd hole to the middle of the fairway. The 18th on this TPC course is ranked as one of the toughest holes on the course. Also one of the most difficult on tour anywhere.
At the time he was one stroke out of the lead and the tee shot was critical. He got it done superbly while under the pressure at one of the most prestigious events on tour.
The bad news is that his ball came to rest in a fairway divot. Fortunately it had been filled with sand but still a abnormal lie. The last thing he needed when a birdie was his only realistic chance at winning eventually. Don’t you just hate when that happens to you?
I bet David Toms was none too happy either. But he is a pro and knew how to handle it. He very calmly reviewed the situation; lie, green and pin placement. Then made all of the adjustments required and nailed the shot to within 18 feet of the pin. What could have been a disaster was handled effectively resulting in a GIR (Greens In Regulation) and a more importantly that birdie putt opportunity he knew he needed.
Toms made that birdie putt to force a playoff which he eventually lost. But the awkward lie in the fairway divot was not to blame.
If you found yourself in a similar situation how would you handle it? Would your emotions get the best of you? Are you confident that you could execute a quality golf shot from a fairway divot lie – sand filled or not? What adjustments would you make?
Golf, if anything, is not fair. We may call it the “rub of the green” or the “luck of the draw” but we all know it from our own experience. Stuff happens. When it does it will be skill, execution and control that overcomes. Without those three things the chances of a successful outcome are less than 1 in 10. Virtually pure luck.
If you are serious about improving your golf game you want to change those odds to 7 in 10 or better. Then you can face any fairway divot with calm and confidence like David Toms. But how can you discover all the secrets to conquering the fairway divot lie?
That’s where I want to help. I’ve been that duffer swinging away at challenging lies only to make matters worse instead of better. Watching my score explode while I tried hopelessly to get myself back on track. Result: A nasty blow up hole. Know what I’m talkin’ about?
Well I eventually discovered all the tips and adjustments that really worked to help me conquer those kinds of lies and difficult golf circumstances. It took forever, I’ve been golfing for more than 35 years, but I did learn how overcome in those situations.
And now I can help you discover how to overcome those situations too and I want to do that. I have taken the time to write an ebook called “How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots” that is meant to help you develop the skills you need to execute a successful golf shot when faced with any kind of abnormal lie or circumstance.
Become the golfer you know you can be by adding these escape shots to your arsenal and stop losing so many strokes in the process. You’ll be the master of the situation instead of the other way around.
I’ve helped so many others make a real improvement in their golf game through the tips I share in the ebook. Now I would like to help you too.
Discover the real answer to conquering golf trouble shots.
It happens to us all on occasion. No one is exempt from this predator of the golf course. No matter the course these pesky villains lurk about waiting gobble up a wayward golf shots as soon as they come near. They seem to have a special magnetism that affects golf balls.
We’re talking today about fairway bunkers. Ever had them devour your ball? So many of us struggle with escaping fairway bunkers and advancing the ball safely toward the green. Maybe even reaching it.
It is possible to do all that you know. Below are some tips on handling the typical fairway bunker shot. By typical we mean the ball has rolled into the middle area of the bunker and not close to the lip. We’ll cover those lies near the lip in a later post.
You’ll need more club than normal for this shot. The shortened back swing along with the sand will prevent you from being able to get the normal distance for that club. Make your club selection as if you were on the fairway and add a club or two for your chosen target.
Set up to the ball normally with the ball further back in your stance to be sure to make ball first contact. Grip down a bit on the club and wiggle your feet into the sand. Choking down on the grip will serve to adjust for your feet being below the ball while wiggling into the sand provides a stable base for your swing. Make only one of those adjustments and you’ll hit it fat.
It is essential to make solid contact with the ball so the swing must be adjusted as well. Two important changes are made to the swing for this shot. First you’ll want to shorten your backswing (slower would help to) so that it is more accurate and less likely to pull you off balance.
Second is to keep the lower body still. This is not a full weight shifting type of shot here. You want to pick the ball off the top of the sand with this shot. So it not necessary to move the lower body here. You will have a tendency to pull this shot left (for righties) so prepare for that possibility in your alignment.
While the fairway bunker shot can be a difficult one for the weekend golfer it doesn’t have to be. With good course management and the tips outlined here you can escape with minimal damage to your scores. And that is what playing good golf is all about.
Rory Sabbatini is again in trouble with the big shots of the PGA Tour. Word is that his testy personality showed out again last week with Sean O’Hair ending in a heated profanity laden yelling match. This follows a similar situation earlier this year while the tour was playing the Riviera course in California.
The California incident was reportedly about his berating of a young volunteer over how she marked his wayward tee shot. It was said that he unleashed a profanity filled tirade on her.
Personalities can create conflict and I am not saying I know what happened and can determine fault. Sean O’Hair may have something to answer for too for all I know. What I am saying is that Rory Sabbatini has proven over time that he is both a catalyst for conflict with his smug demeanor and self-important attitude.
Okay, I don’t like the guy and never have I admit it. But he has earned that golf jerk title for sure.
He has done good work with the military. Good for him and thanks. Think he is sincere in that effort.
But he has put himself in too many ugly situations over too long a period of time now for this to simply be overlooked. His is still remembered for finishing out a hole and moving to the next tee well ahead of his playing partner Ben Crane. Seems Rory was upset about Ben’s slower pace of play and just had to make a scene while on the course and in front of the cameras. Rumor is that pace of play was the source of the confrontation with Sean O’Hair too.
Then he also had the cocky comments about how “beatable” Tiger Woods looked to him at the tour stop in Charlotte a few years later. That didn’t go over well at all coming from someone of his journeyman status. Tiger replied as I recall that he had won five times more majors than Rory Sabbatini had won any kind of tournament. Think Rory had 2 victories at that point.
At that point his popularity was deeper in the woods than his golf game had ever taken him. He needed something other than a low draw to get his image back in the fairway.
Following those events Rory worked to improve his image by highlighting his charity work and a golf channel special showing him in his home with his family. You know, “Hey I’m just a regular guy like you” kinda stuff. That seemed to help heal his damaged image and he was making progress on the public relations side.
Now he has two more episodes to answer for. Two more he can’t afford. After all he did win again earlier this year. But sponsors and the PGA Tour do take kindly to guys who create negative publicity. Don’t you think it will damage his future no matter the outcome of the Tour’s investigation.
Talk is that he will face a 2 week suspension from playing the tour once all of his appeals are exhausted. That will cost him a bunch if that is how things play out.
Sabatini deflected any comments this week at Quail Hollow with what came across to me as smug saying, “Comment on what? Those crazy rumors going around? Well, I’m playing this week, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much, OK guys?”
Asked if the tour was going to suspend him, he replied, “You’re going based on rumors. How many times do I have to tell you?”
He just comes across as superior in those comments, don’t you agree?
Well now he is in trouble again and it will take a lot more than a high flop shot to get him out of this hole.
You know how it is. You are in the middle of a great round of golf. It is your day. Your swing is working like a charm. Your buddies are in a state of shock over your great play. You have honors on tee box after tee box. Thoughts of your best round ever start to cross your mind now and then. It is one of those rounds you’ll remember and talk about for years to come.
But then it happens. From out of nowhere a disaster strikes in the form of a blow up hole.
It may not have even been your fault. Golf is a cruel game at times. It can happen that bad things come from a good shot. You struck the ball well. No slice or duck hook this time. But still the ball goes long and runs through the fairway into the woods or is in an unusual lie in a fairway bunker. Now you have trouble.
Or the one I hate the most is to nail it long and straight off the tee only to find your ball in a fairway divot. Can you make the right adjustment to hit the green and have a decent birdie putt?
It might be that you nailed the approach shot. Solid. Pure. Great contact. The kind of contact that goes click at impact. But the ball strikes a sprinkler head and bounces way over the green. Big trouble.
Then there is the self-inflicted trouble. Sometimes the swing is just off that day or the conditions are more difficult than usual. You come up short on your approach shot and find the ball buried in the bunker. A plugged lie is trouble.
Maybe you’ve hit a wayward tee shot. It happens to us all. But this time it is gone into the high grass. You’re lucky to have found it in that deep stuff. But now you need find a way to get this ball back onto the fairway with a clear shot to the green. You can still make par but should not make worse than bogey. Minimize the damage.
Golf course designers work to scientifically add challenges to each hole. Those challenges are intended to punish an errant shot. Whether it is a hilly fairway, a dogleg, a forced carry over water or a bunker golf course architects are not shy about making trouble for golfers like you and I.
You need specific knowledge for each and every obstacle they stick in your path to keep from taking multiple unnecessary shots when you fall victim to their designs. The blow up hole is avoidable every time. It all depends on your skill and knowledge to deal with those situations.
Dooley Duffer often says, “One errant shot doesn’t have to lead to another.” That is why he has written a ebook called How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots. He helps struggling golfers to improve their games and play better golf by providing easy to understand steps on how to handle the toughest shots in golf.
If you wish to become a better golfer and avoid the costly blow up holes, the kind that add multiple strokes and can ruin an entire round, then you well to consider getting some special instruction on how to overcome these bad lies and tough shots without losing too many strokes.
Dooley wants to help you improve your game and lower your handicap by helping you with golf trouble shots.
What is your first response when you hit into a greenside bunker? If you are like so many other weekend golfers you aren’t celebrating right then, are you? Most of us dread having to attempt escape shots from a sand trap.
Yes we’ve heard the TV instructors and analyst talk about how easy it is to hit a bunker shot successfully. They make it sound so simple don’t they. Just “blast” it out like there is nothing to it. Simple as that. So they say.
For so many of us that just does not translate in real life to the golf course. When we attempt to “blast” it out onto the green we do everything but. We either leave it in the bunker or clip it way over the other side of the green. No matter how you slice it that means we’ve added at least one stroke. Maybe more.
Is it that we are intimidated by the steep face of the bunker? Could be. Whether consciously or not some of us employ a lifting technique during our shot attempt. That is we want to help the ball up into the air. I’ve seen a couple of the more popular techniques golfers use.
They either flip at the ball with their hands or pull their front shoulder up high and away during the swing. Both lead to failure nearly every time. The golfer slows down the clubhead invariably while trying to make these kinds of swings which if they make contact behind the ball like they are suppose to you means the ball will end up short, often times still in the bunker. Otherwise, the rising clubface and particularly the leading edge will strike the back of the ball driving it low and fast across the green to who knows where.
Here are a few quick tips to getting these sand trap shots right.
Unlike most every other shot the sand trap shot requires that you not focus on the ball but rather train your eyes on the spot about and an inch or two behind the ball. By nature you will hit what you’re looking at so look behind the ball instead of the back of the ball like you normally would from the fairway.
Now forget about the ball altogether. Yes, that’s right, forget about it. Your goal now is to slice through the sand under the ball with a very open clubface to a full and complete finish.
Think about the clubface moving through an inch or two below the ball. I’ll share with you a swing thought that helped me improve my sand trap performance.
Imagine that there is a tee under the ball down below the sand. Your thought then is to break that tee in half. Somehow that idea made all the difference for me and my sand trap results.
I’m thinking that it will help you never fear the sand trap again.
You’ll run into all sorts of trouble on the course over time. Don’t let it ruin your scores. No more blow up holes. Discover all the tricks to making the best of these bad situations here: How to Conquer Golf’s Trouble Shots