Escape the bunker in one
THE sand trap, camel grass, the beach, the pit, the bunker and many other names have been given to that one thing that sends shivers down the spines of most weekend players as they watch their ball come to rest in a patch of sand that spells disaster for many.
The initial thought is “oh no, not again” as memories flood back of the three or four strokes taken last time you landed in a trap, as is the case when most weekend players are faced with this situation.
But there are ways to get out in one without resorting to swearing and cursing the day you were born and the foul individual who put the trap there in the first place.
Many a player has found him or herself in a bunker and tried to get out without knowing the basics, only to find the ball moves a few inches or careens off into the distance to land in a bunker on the other side of the green, adding to the frustration and angst.
Once the ball is in a trap we know we are not able to move any loose impediments around the ball, we are not allowed to ground our club and the list goes on.
The stance is all important and looks and feels slightly ridiculous as you take your left foot back until it feels funny to you – this is for a right hander, the reverse foot for left handers.
Then wriggle your feet until they are firm on the ground, even if it means digging them in a couple of inches.
Position the ball forward in your stance towards your left heel. Open the face of the club until it almost looks to the sky. Not only is this uncomfortable but looks that way as well and is contrary to most golf shots you will make.
When you swing make sure you contact the sand about one credit card length behind the ball and swing about 75–80% of your normal swing speed, going under the ball and throwing a divot of sand onto the green or fairway.
Don’t try to dig the club into the sand but bounce it off the sand. Most amateurs swing the club into the sand and when they feel the resistance they quit on the shot, so make sure you have a complete follow through and you turn your body during the shot so at the end your chest is facing the target.
Don’t worry about trying to hit the ball, the object is to throw sand up and forward and the ball will be propelled along with the sand.
Also don’t worry about the distance the ball needs to go at the beginning, just concentrate on getting the ball out of the bunker in one and the rest will take care of itself.
On completion of the shot and taking a bow at getting the ball out in one, be sure to rake the bunker back to its original state, including all foot marks, so the next player who falls into the trap will have a decent surface to play off.
This is my last article for this year and I wish all my readers good golfing and a very merry Christmas and happy new year.
The stance is all important and looks and feels slightly ridiculous.