Easily get out of bunkers on the green side
How to make your sandplay as easy as a day at the beach
PITTSFORD, NY (WROC) — If you ask any casual golfer, chances are they’ll tell you the worst part of their game is getting out of sand bunkers.
This is a hotspot for many where one bad exit can ruin your game. Luckily, Oak Hill Country Club Director of Instruction Jeff Urzetta is here to help.
“Probably the biggest thing we see with players struggling to get out of the bunker is that they don’t open up the clubface enough,” Urzetta said.
Even when you pick up your club with the highest loft, whether it’s your lob wedge or your sand wedge, it’s still important to open up your clubface a little more.
“This will add loft to the club and help the ball lift and engage the sole of the club a bit more to help the club glide through the sand without digging in or stopping,” Urzetta said.
Once you’ve chosen and entered your club, it’s time to focus on your setup.
“The next step is to dig your feet in,” Urzetta said. “We are going to play the position of the ball a bit forward and then direct the weight a bit forward. This configuration is essential. I like to think of an alternating setup and a normal golf swing.
When it comes to the swing, it’s important not to slow down or try to adjust your swing to the short shot you’re taking.
“The only thing we see is there’s not enough shoulder room,” Urzetta said. “You’ll see players throwing their arms up and there’s no speed in the ball, the club doesn’t stay in the plane correctly, in an arc, down. You really have to focus on rotating your shoulders .
Don’t be afraid to go all out. You will need a lot more power than with a standard chip to get the ball as far as you need it.
“The energy transfer is so wet between the club and the ball because the medium is the sand, you need a lot of speed to get your ball going the right difference,” Urzetta said.
This setup will work well in most situations, but green side bunkers can prevent some unique situations, such as being pressed against a steep bunker face.
“You’re going to open up the face again, maybe even a little more, and then I like to choke on the metal,” Urzetta said. “So it helps the club break free and get the ball higher with that higher loft. But the key is to keep swinging, not stopping, swinging big, and that helps the ball appear and land a little softer.
With just a few tweaks to your sandplay, you can make it as easy as a day at the beach.