How to Hit a Greenside Bunker Shot
Here is a golf tip that many players may find handy. It has to do with hitting a long bunker shot.
Most of us are fairly good at hitting short bunker shots. No surprise there as most bunkers seem to be situated near the green. But there are some courses, and the trend seems to be increasing these days, with either fairway bunkers or bunkers that are far enough away from the green that you cannot call them close bunkers and yet they are not precisely what we think of as fairway bunkers either.
If you find yourself in one of these long bunker shot situations, consider this:
The problem that most players have when they are in a long bunker shot is not knowing if they should pitch the shot or blast it with some gusto. The answer to that depends on the type of sand you are standing on.
If you are say 50 yards or so from the green and the sand is soft and nice, you can try to pitch it by using a 60 degree wedge and hitting a perfect 9 o’clock shot, or you could take your sand wedge and try to hit a very hard blast shot and just pray that the ball will get to the green.
I would rather attempt a blast shot because the sand is soft. If I went with a pitch, I might hit the ball too fat. But I would consider doing one other thing as well.
Instead of sand wedge, I would use my 9-iron. By using my 9-iron, I do not have to hit the ball as hard as I would with my wedge. I can swing a little easier and the ball should still make it to the green.
I use my 9-iron a lot in cases like this because I am used to playing with that club. When I was a kid, just starting in golf, I did not own a sand wedge! So, I had to use my 9-iron. With some practice, this is not a difficult shot.
Take your regular bunker stance with your 9-iron in hand. On the backswing, you want to go back as far as you would if you were trying to pitch 40 yards or so. When you are coming back, you want to hit about an inch behind the ball and make sure you complete a full swing. Follow through all the way.
Remember, you do not have to swing or hit as hard with this club, so take it easy with it. You will like the results.