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The Greenside Bunker

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Post by Nay Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:17 am

Ok so last i stepped onto the 8th tee a short 297 yard par 4, 5 over but with two holes left i can birdie and feeling confident.

One 297 yard drive later i am beside the green in one but sadly in a bunker and i proceed to walk off with a 7 after three shots to get the bunker (the one to get out flies way over the green and into rough), a pitch back across the green and two puttts.

So my question to you is simple, how the hell do you get the ball out the damn bunkers and onto the green.

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Post by super_realist Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:36 am

Best way is to open up the clubface, (by open I mean that it should be so flat you can balance something on it)

In order to get the ball out, you have to hit behind the ball hard into the sand, the explosion of sand will carry the ball out. A full follow through and shot commitment is essential.

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Post by Nay Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:48 am

How would you adjust for bunker with no samd, or little anyway

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Post by incontinentia Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:55 am

Nay Bother wrote:How would you adjust for bunker with no samd, or little anyway
That problem exists at my place- a thin film of sand over a rock hard base. Feckin nightmare, especially if you have to hit a high shot
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Post by super_realist Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:55 am

Whatever the type of bunker, I'm looking to treat it like a flop shot, scooping the ball rather than you hit a normal shot. Imagine you're trying to get it over a tree on the lip of the bunker.

If you can hit a flop shot off a tight lie, you can hit something similar out of thin bunker sand

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Post by incontinentia Fri 12 Jun 2015, 10:36 am

super_realist wrote:
If you can hit a flop shot off a tight lie, you can hit something similar out of  thin bunker sand
In fairness super, thats one of the most difficult and high-risk shots in the game
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Post by super_realist Fri 12 Jun 2015, 10:43 am

Not that hard Inco, If you understand wedge bounce it's pretty straight forward

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Post by incontinentia Fri 12 Jun 2015, 10:51 am

Have you ever tried the Dave Pelz method for bunker shots? I could never get the hang of it, the ball always came out low with loads of sidespin. Any tips on how to hit a high bunker shot?
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Post by super_realist Fri 12 Jun 2015, 11:06 am

incontinentia wrote:Have you ever tried the Dave Pelz method for bunker shots? I could never get the hang of it, the ball always came out low with loads of sidespin. Any tips on how to hit a high bunker shot?

Inco, to play a high bunker shot you need the face wide open (i.e. the face horizontal)

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Post by Eyetoldyouso Fri 12 Jun 2015, 11:59 am

I find that when there is not much sand and/or its very firm I get better results with my lob wedge (60deg).

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Post by LadyPutt Fri 12 Jun 2015, 12:15 pm

It always amuses me when TV commentators (usually someone like "doom and gloom" Howard Clark) look at a player's ball in what looks like a perfect bunker to me and says he has a poor lie. They want to try playing out of some of the lies we get in bunkers - unraked footprints (human and animal - yes, I know animals can't rake bunkers, but you know what I mean), no sand, too much sand, weeds, liners poking through, buried stones .... I could go on! censored
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Post by incontinentia Fri 12 Jun 2015, 12:37 pm

Eyetoldyouso wrote:I find that when there is not much sand and/or its very firm I get better results with my lob wedge (60deg).
That seems odd
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Post by McLaren Fri 12 Jun 2015, 12:46 pm

Inco

What is the dave peltz method? I have the book but have not read it for a couple of years and can't remember what he said about bunker shots?


Super

I am surprised you have any success with a scooping method. I play bunkers as high impact shots and allow the velocity of the clubhead and wide open face to get the ball out as a pillow of sand is displaced under the ball. Scooping sounds like a very amateur thing to try. Do you scoop on any other shot?
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Post by incontinentia Fri 12 Jun 2015, 1:07 pm

Dave Pelz provides a three step plan to properly adjust to a shot from the sand trap:

Set up your aim, body, and swing lines a little left of the target (for a right hander), about 17 degrees. That means that your shoulders, hips, knees, feet, eyes all should be aligned together a little left.
Set up with the club face extremely open, perhaps as much as 45 degrees. The lines on the club face should point a little in front of your left toe.
Position the golf ball just inside your left heel.

From there, you’ll have a solid setup and will be ready to hit the shot. All that remains is to take a normal 9 o’clock finesse swing that follows your body lines. The swing arc should not be directed at the target and the club should not be manipulated toward the target in any way. You swing as if you’re hitting at a target 17 degrees left of your real target.

I should mention something about the 9 o’clock finesse swing: that’s a core fundamental of the Pelz short game system. I can’t do it justice in a blog post, so really think about picking up the book. But the important things to remember are:

The stance should be about shoulder width, with the left foot flared out about 20-30 degrees.
Use the “dead hands” grip. Only grip lightly enough to hold on to the club and man sausage the wrists. The grip should be neutral to weak. A strong (or “hook”) grip is not optimal.
The 9 o’clock swing refers to an imaginary clock face with the left shoulder at the center of the dial. On the back swing, the left arm gets parallel with the ground, or to a 9 o’clock position, relative to the imaginary dial.
The finesse swing incorporates a synchronized turn, where the upper and lower bodies turn together in a synchronized fashion. There is no power-generating coil, like in a full swing.
Swing at a nice, smooth tempo that matches your everyday body tempo. For instance, if you’re a fast walker you might have a fast swing tempo, and if you kind of lumber along like me, you might have a slower tempo. Never thought about the golf swing that way, did you?
Achieve a full finish with almost all your weight on your left foot.

Intuitively, you might think that you should vary the length of the back swing to vary the length of the shot. However, Pelz differs with that. He has found the 9 o’clock swing length to be the easiest for players to reproduce consistently. He recommends carrying four different wedges for the short game: a pitching wedge, a sand wedge, a lob wedge, and an extra lofted wedge. For varying distance in a sand trap, just vary the loft of your club. He makes the point that there’s no rule that says you have to hit a club with an “S” on it out of the bunker. This assumes that your wedges have the proper bounce angle and depth (the width of the sole) to be appropriate in the sand. (Edit: I forgot to mention that gripping down on each wedge is another way to create a shorter shot without varying swing length).
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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Fri 12 Jun 2015, 1:17 pm

incontinentia wrote:
Eyetoldyouso wrote:I find that when there is not much sand and/or its very firm I get better results with my lob wedge (60deg).
That seems odd

Could be that Eye's lob wedge is low bounce which works better for no/hard sand and it's probably not as effective if there's a lot of sand.

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Post by McLaren Fri 12 Jun 2015, 1:32 pm

Thanks inco.

That is pretty much as I remember it and how I set up for bunker shots. So I must have honed my set up while reading peltz.

I don't have too much issue getting the ball out of bunkers, whatever the lie, but rarely judge the distance very well. I might look out my peltz manual tonight.
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Post by super_realist Fri 12 Jun 2015, 1:35 pm

Eyetoldyouso wrote:I find that when there is not much sand and/or its very firm I get better results with my lob wedge (60deg).

Is there even such a thing as a "sand" wedge these days? Not seen one in years, I just assumed everyone used their 56,58 or 60 degree wedges?

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Post by super_realist Fri 12 Jun 2015, 1:37 pm

McLaren wrote:Inco

What is the dave peltz method?  I have the book but have not read it for a couple of years and can't remember what he said about bunker shots?


Super

I am surprised you have any success with a scooping method.  I play bunkers as high impact shots and allow the velocity of the clubhead and wide open face to get the ball out as a pillow of sand is displaced under the ball.  Scooping sounds like a very amateur thing to try.  Do you scoop on any other shot?

Mac, I'm not talking about that for normal bunkers, I'm talking about bunkers which are really short on sand, not so much a scoop, but more trying to slide the club under the ball if there is hardly any sand.
In normal conditions where there is sufficient sand, I splash it out as per usual

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Post by barragan Fri 12 Jun 2015, 1:57 pm

I just open the face up on my 58 wedge however much feels right.

Line the club head up with the leading edge square-ish to target.

Set my feet up pretty square-ish to the shaft which means my set up is open to target.

Aim to hit about an inch behind the ball.

Usually, if the bunker is good, the shot will be decent. Poor shots are almost always because there is much more or much less sand under the ball than I'd anticipated. Wish we had nice consistent bunkers...

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Post by golfermartin Fri 12 Jun 2015, 2:12 pm

I don't think that it is a problem if you know there is no sand under the ball, you can just paly a normal short pitch shot. The problem arises when where your feet are is ankle deep, you assume it is the same under the ball, go for the full splash and find out when you hit the sand there's hardly any there and the ball airmails the green!

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Post by MustPuttBetter Fri 12 Jun 2015, 3:39 pm

I'm no doubt what handicap less Mac would call a high handicapper but green side bunkers are probably the best part of my game these days.

I used to struggle a bit and then saw a Luke Donald clip where he said it's the only shot in the game where he ensures the shaft lean is such that the club head is ahead of the grip. I adjusted my set up to accommodate this - which meant opening it up a bit - and now get out no problem with tonnes of spin.

I set up like that and concentrate on replacing the sand under the ball with the sole of the club, good pace to the swing and a full follow through.

I see lots of poeple get out of bunkers in all sorts of ways though so suspect just a bit of experimenting to see what works for you
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Post by McLaren Fri 12 Jun 2015, 4:32 pm

Super

Reading that you "scoop" certain shots was shocking and really quite unexpected. I associate scooping with really bad players trying to almost lift the ball on the club face like gravel on a shovel when playing shots around the green. It was a shiversome thought to think of you playing a shot in that way. A terrible thing to have to read on a sunny Friday afternoon.
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Post by super_realist Fri 12 Jun 2015, 9:44 pm

Mac, It was a poor choice of word.

Let me try again, from a bare lie (if I needed to get the ball up over an obstacle for instance) or very thin sand where the usual splash/explosion shot wouldn't work I would be trying to slide the club under the ball as it were, almost trying to get the tablecloth back under the crockery so to speak.

On that shot you really need a smooth swing and big follow through, a hackers jab won't work.

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Post by TM2K Fri 12 Jun 2015, 11:32 pm

Was given a great tip a couple of years back for short bunker shots when you need it to pop out high and land softly. Line up as usual but weaken your right hand so it's almost on top of the shaft. You can be aggressive and the ball pops up really softly. Just a shame I can only execute it every now and then!

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Post by raycastleunited Sun 14 Jun 2015, 10:39 am

I used to play at a course where there was only a thin film of sand on a hard base. I learnt the the most effective shot was to play it as if a bare lie on the fairway, my low bounce lob wedge worked best

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Post by JAS Sun 14 Jun 2015, 11:33 pm

Of course another aspect of making sure you get the ball up is your weight. When I want to hit a low fizzer the most weight is on the left (front) foot whereas if I need to hit a lob, I'll have more weight on the back foot. In a bunker I tend to keep 50/50 but if I know its a thin layer of sand then its a lob like shot for me. The other thing to ensure a positive shot is don't take the club too far back as that can then lead to a dreaded de-cel through impact.

Out of interest how much bunker practice do people do (as a percentage of their total practice time?)

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Post by Roller_Coaster Mon 15 Jun 2015, 1:45 pm

Well, for well filled sandy ones:

Open stance, open clubface, more wrist break, 1/2 to 3/4 swing, steeper angle of attack, bottom of club into sand first (half to an inch behind ball), bounce brings club underneath and back out, ball on cushion of sand, finish swing, watch ball land, sort out rest from there.

For very shallow ones that appear to have plenty of sand in, but don't:

Open stance, open clubface, more wrist break, 1/2 to 3/4 swing, steeper angle of attack, bottom of club into sand first half to an inch behind ball, bounce hits ground, brings club up with blade striking ball, ball accelerating wildly 2 foot off the ground, finish swing, swear (and/or drop club and hold wrist), watch ball career into cabbage/trees/nearby tee-box/car in car park etc, sort out rest from there.



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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 15 Jun 2015, 3:30 pm

Roller, don't forget that after watching your ball disappear into cabbage/trees/nearby tee-box/car in car park etc. that when you drop the provisional it will almost certainly fall into the only sandy section of the bunker and leave you with a fried egg resulting in more swearing

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Post by MustPuttBetter Mon 15 Jun 2015, 3:45 pm

Ha ha, so true!
I was playing Sat and a relatively new member thinned a bunker shot hurtling towards out of bounds. He looked at us and asked where he could drop it. We apologetically said to him 'in the bunker'. He drops it. Fried egg. He has two hacks at that, still in the bunker, then picks it up and says 'screw it, if I don't find the first one I'm an NR'.
Luckily for him he found it, up against a fence......
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Post by Nay Mon 15 Jun 2015, 6:18 pm

18th on Saturday second shot scuttled into greenside bunker, minimal sand. Opened club, gentle swing and out no problem unfortunately catch it too well and it flys across the green almost hitting playing partners and lands in a lovely sandy bunker.

This time out first time again but only by about a foot failing to make the green which was 2 foot away.

More work needed i think

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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue 16 Jun 2015, 12:09 pm

MustPuttBetter wrote:Ha ha, so true!
I was playing Sat and a relatively new member thinned a bunker shot hurtling towards out of bounds. He looked at us and asked where he could drop it. We apologetically said to him 'in the bunker'. He drops it. Fried egg. He has two hacks at that, still in the bunker, then picks it up and says 'screw it, if I don't find the first one I'm an NR'.
Luckily for him he found it, up against a fence......

Ha ha, hope he called the dropped one a provisional!

Aah - Hamlet advert off of [sic] the eighties...

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Post by MustPuttBetter Tue 16 Jun 2015, 1:47 pm

Ha, he did Roller, although if I'm honest, had he not and had just said 'i'll play another' or one of those phrases you're not supposed to use, I wouldn't have pulled him up on it
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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue 16 Jun 2015, 2:08 pm

Fair enough, as long as you followed up with a pithy golfing/sand/beach cliché it's OK by me! Renting deckchairs, nearing Australia, reference to Hitler's time in bunkers etc etc

Rule 71 (b) (iii) - a fellow competitor's woes in a hazard must be roundly mocked by all players in the group. Adherence to 71 (b) (iii) over-rides the application of all penalties under the Rules found elsewhere.


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Post by MustPuttBetter Tue 16 Jun 2015, 2:31 pm

Ha ha, I didn't know him very well so kept it shut. Had he been a mate he'd have received some grief!
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Post by navyblueshorts Tue 16 Jun 2015, 4:58 pm

OK. My two penneth and, FWIW, I'd like to think I'm decent(ish) with bunker shots.

For a regular (i.e. not plugged) greenside bunker shot
If there's enough sand, best to use a wedge with reasonable bounce (10° and upwards). Key aim is contact with sand before ball (as many above have said) but one way of almost guaranteeing that is when you take your stance, work your feet side-to-side a bit to bury them maybe 1"-2" in the sand. Two plus points about this: you're allowed to do this when taking your stance (so you get a pointer to sand depth in the bunker Wink ), but only then and second, doing this will lower the bottom of your swing arc, therefore hitting the sand before the ball. Open stance (always) and lay the blade open (varying amounts) depending on height needed. Bear in mind that opening the blade increases the bounce angle so if it's wide open watch that it doesn't skid and hit the ball thin - it has to go into the sand. I usually find I get more height if I play the ball back a little - not middle of stance, but maybe midway between middle and lead foot. Generally, if I play the ball up at the front foot, the club goes shallower under the ball and the explosion of sand under the ball is less "up" under the ball, giving less height.
I like to have a slightly exaggerated wrist c0ck on the backswing as well as it gives me a slightly steeper plane and I make sure I let that go, hard, into impact.
Whatever you decide in the end, do it with commitment and make sure you don't quit on the shot with the clubhead buried in sand. Follow through. If you thin it, you thin it. Practice is a good thing here as a lot of this shot is quite different to a regular swing/setup.

For a plugged greenside bunker shot
Either use a wedge with no bounce or hood (close/shut) the face of a regular wedge - I do the latter. Seriously - you want the leading edge cutting into the sand fast, with no 'bounce' effect. Some people recommend opening the face loads etc, like a regular shot, but you run the risk of bounce making the leading edge catch the ball thin before the blade getting deep enough into the sand.
Set up a bit open and hood your SW so the face is closed - how much is practice. Bury your feet a little and swing - hard. You need sand first as for a normal shot but trust me, the ball will come out every time. You'll need to practice this both for belief in the fact it's going to come out with a shut face(!) and also to get a feel for the run out - you'll get no spin whatsoever. That's also true with the face wide open but, for me, this way is much more reliable in simply getting the ball out.
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