Pitch Over a Bunker

Pitch Over a Bunker

The pitch over a bunker is a scary shot. Most golfers can’t take their eyes off the sand, and that’s generally where they land the ball. It’s better to focus on the green and the technique required to hit the ball high and soft. Using a special method of photography (see “How We Did It”), we can show you what a perfect pitch looks like.

IMPACT: GET LOFT You need plenty of loft for this shot, and that means having your hands even with the clubhead as you swing aggressively (below). If your hands get ahead, you’ll de-loft the club. Rotate to the left as you come down: This will help you swing along your stance line. Try to keep your left knuckles and the clubface pointing at the sky after impact, and you’ll get the necessary height on the shot.

SETUP: FRONT AND CENTER Pick out a landing spot and set up to it — clubface square, stance slightly open, hands and wrists relaxed (left). Play the ball forward in your stance, so it’s just inside the left heel, and tilt the handle of the club so the grip end points at your belt buckle. Try to keep your head steady over the ball throughout the swing — it’s the best way to ensure clean contact.

How We Did It
By Leonard Kamsler, Photographer

A teacher and mentor of mine at Duke University, Bill Stars, taught me a most important rule in photography: Exhaust the possibilities. For many years trying to shoot a photo from the “golfer’s-eye view” was a guessing game. It could be done, but not without skewing something in the background. I got to thinking about how to do it better.

My first approach was to attach a small camera to a viewfinder so we could check the position on a computer screen (right). Then there was the matter of a boom, to hold the camera in position directly under the golfer’s eyes. I then came up with an idea of trying to show the target in the same photograph — something that had never been done before. Digital photography was the best way to compose these multiple photos into one, so along came a new camera.

Finally, after three cameras, four booms and several pan heads, tripods and light stands, I finally arrived at a usable rig. If the possibilities are not exhausted, I think perhaps I am. Enjoy the view.

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