By Tim Mahoney
Fairway bunker shots are regarded as some of the more
difficult in the game. Adding distance,
a high lip and a difficult lie and the task is almost impossible. There are several myths when it comes to
fairway bunker shots, and I hope to dispel some of those this week. Golfers, must keep in mind, when facing a bad
lie (bad lie is defined as when there is question about the lie), the first
objective is to advance the ball to a good lie.
Second objective, never attempt a miracle shot after a poor one. Finally, never attempt a shot that you have
not practiced. Keeping these objectives
in mind, fairway bunker shots will become an easier task.
When faced with a fairway bunker shot, preparation is the
most important element. Keys for the
choice- take enough loft to clear the lip.
Golfers should never hear “ball-thump.”
As a reference 1 more club should be utilized. High lofted fairway woods are an excellent
club of choice, assuming limited loft is need.
the golf ball back in your stance. Your
impact objective is a steeper angle of approach, striking the ball first and
sand after. The rearward ball position
will assist in steepening the angle.
down on the club. Shorten the club about
an inch. The shortened club will reduce
the chance of striking the sand prior the ball.
your feet into the sand about an inch.
The lowering of your feet will reduce the amount of lower body motion
during the swing. Excessive amount of
lower body slide will result in an incorrect bottom of the swing.
your body weight towards the target. As
you lean your weight allow the grip end to move towards the target. The weight and the hand adjustment will move
your swing bottom towards the target, resulting in a steeper angle of approach.
The adjustments in your set-up will steeper the angle
resulting in ball/sand contact.
Checkpoints during the motion:
a balanced swing. Holding your finish
until the ball comes to a rest guarantees success. Inability to hold the finish is an indication
of an out of balance motion.
the upper body to wind against the lower body on the backswing. The lower body must resist and hold. The coil generated is a power source. If the lower body does not hold, the swing
bottom will occur behind the ball, resulting in sand and ball contact.
swing posture throughout the motion.
Turn the upper body on the backswing and clear the lower body on the
forward side. Golfers must maintain
their measurement and posture throughout the motion. A conscious attempt to lift the ball will
result in a shallow angle.
Golf is a unique game, due to the fact; they never face the
same shot twice. Consistency is the
result of developing a repeating swing motion. Pre swing adjustments are
utilized when faced with different lies.
Golfers should 1 swing with different set-ups. Perfect your swing, make a few simple address
adjustments and the fairway bunker shot will be a simple one.
Utilize Ground Forces for increased clubhead Speed
During my 20 years working with Bob Toski in the Golf Digest
Schools, Bob would state daily during our sessions, “ The hands grip the club
and the feet grip the ground.” As Player
Development activity has improved with the utilization of Trackman, K Vest,
Gears and 2-D video one area of development is lagging: understanding the force
of the ground. As I instruct throughout
the world, one simple ingredient is being utilized in increased club head speed
for all golfers: using the ground throughout the dynamic motion of the swing.
Golf shoe technology has greatly improved and the feet, ankles and toes have
room to launch and grip the ground.
Golfers slight in weight and leverage have found ways to increase speed
simply by using the ground in the swing.
A simple thought, “ are we more powerful with a cannon from a canoe or
from a firm surface?”
Ground forces start at address with a firm ground and
posture. Arms hanging freely, weight on
the middle of the ankles, bending from hips and spine at a neutral
position. Stability at address allows
the body to load and unload throughout the swing. Feet and ankles must have the mobility to
load and unload.
As you wind up into the backswing, allow the upper body to
wind against the lower body and ground.
Spine is tilt away from the target as the body is turned against the
feet and ground. The gluts are lowered
and activated as you wind against the ground.
There should be a slight lowering of the head during the backswing as
you wind up.
Explode during the downswing into impact. All muscles must fire as the trailing leg is
extended and lengthens. This movement of
thrusting upward creates a swing path and angle of approach upward through
impact. Lead glut is turning behind as
the trailing leg is straightening.
Pushing off of the balls of the feet as the heels rise off the ground
through impact. Low to high concept as
the golfer explodes through impact.
Using th3 ground on the backswing and downswing. Ground forces throughout the golf swing.
The most misunderstood concept in golf is the use and
utilization of ground forces. Low to
high as the golfers loads and explodes.
Use the ground as the legendary golf instructor Bob Toski mentions, “
hands grip the club as the feet grip the ground.”