How to Bust One From the Bunker's Back
You can't take a regular stance. Big deal. Step back on the slope and swing down the hill.
By Mike Adams
Top 100 Teacher
Your approach shot landed near the back edge of a greenside bunker. When you set up to the ball, you have to place your feet so close together that the ball position moves back to your right foot (photo, below right). With the ball so far back in your stance, it's extremely difficult to make a proper bunker swing.
Move your right foot up and out of the sand and place it on the hill behind the bunker. You might think this stance is just as limiting as the one with your feet close together, but it actually turns this tough lie into a regular downhill bunker blast. For that shot, the key is to adjust your body so that your swing is level with the slope.
A. MAKE AN ANGLE Tilt your shoulders with the slope (at address, your right shoulder should be higher than your left) and move the ball forward in your stance. This creates the out-to-in path you need to swing down the hill and blast the ball out.
B. CLOSE IT UP Move your right foot back onto the hill and slightly behind you to close your stance. If you don't close your stance your right hip will be too high.
C. A NEW STANCE Placing your foot out of the bunker might seem weird, but it makes this tricky lie easy. If you keep both feet in the sand the ball will be too far back in your stance.
2 of 3Angus Murray
HOW TO BLAST OFF ONE FOOT
Step into the sand, set your left heel even with the ball and flare your left foot open (for extra balance). Then place your right foot on the hill behind the bunker. Place it far enough up the hill to make your shoulders and hips even with the slope.
3 of 3Angus Murray
Make a few practice backswings (without touching the sand) to make sure you clear the lip. Keep in mind that your body is tilted with the hill—make sure your swing does the same. A good thing to think about is moving your left-hand knuckles down the hill on your way back to the ball. Since you've adjusted your body to the slope, the ball should pop out like a regular bunker shot.
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