WHY’D I DO THAT?
With water long the bunker skull is instant death
I sn’t it funny – not ha-ha funny – when there’s one shot you absolutely must not hit, and it’s the one you can count on hitting? Case in point: You’re in a greenside bunker with water on the other side of the green. The shot that ends
things in a hurry is the headhigh skull into the drink. You’d be better off leaving the ball in the sand, although that gives you another chance to skull it – might not like those odds.
I learned a lot of bunker technique from Claude Harmon and Ken Venturi. They advocated taking more sand rather than less. When you know you’re going to take a chunk of sand, you can give these shots the big swing they need. Try these tips:
1 Set the clubface square. There’s no need to open the face because sand wedges today are built with plenty of bounce on the bottom of the clubhead. And no need to cut across the ball, either. Play it like a normal pitch from the grass.
2 Enter the sand further behind the ball. Even tour pros take more sand than they realise on greenside bunker shots. Traditional instruction says to hit an inch behind the ball, but I like three or four.
3 Make a full turn back and be aggressive. If you get No 2 right, you’ll learn to trust you can take a swing at it. A big windup will give you room to accelerate and power through the sand, sending the ball out safely.