LESSON 11 Hazards
OK this week we will concentrate on hazards:
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Bunkers all courses are designed with bunkers placed to guard the greens, and on fairways at the distance the average club player will drive from the tee, approximately 220 yards. Now if you have gone through your pre- shot routine which includes checking for ALL hazards you will know where the bunkers are, then you can think how to avoid landing in a fairway bunker, you could decided to lay up short of the bunkers, you may be confident that you can land your drive on the fairway, and 6 times out of 10 your ball will land safely on target, with the average player 4 time out of ten it will be in a hazard or the deep rough. (Sorry but that is a fact, until you learn to play single handicap golf)
Stay with our normal philosophy of visualizing the shot, you have deciding to go for it and you drive from the tee: No dam it has landed in the fairway bunker.
Do not fear a bunker shot with practice they are comparatively easy – more predicable than heavy rough.
Remember when in the bunker the rules of golf say you must NOT ground your club e.g. DO NOT TOUCH THE SAND WITH YOUR CLUB BEFORE YOU PLAY THE SHOT
Check line to target – pick intermediate spot to play over, ensure you can clear the lip, if not play safe, a normal bunker shot with lofted club (SAND WEDGE) back on to the fairway. This is also the best choice if the ball has landed hard and is half buried in the sand
If you are sure you can clear the edge of bunker and want to play attacking golf
Set feet in the sand, ball back in the stance; pick the ball off the sand using one club more than the same distance off the fairway.
However ensure you have sufficient loft to clear the lip.
Also if you are still a long way from the green and your ball is sitting on top of the sand NOT buried, and the edge of the bunker is comparatively low.
Then you can play with a fairway wood, brush the ball off the top of the sand with a sweeping swing. Take the club straight back and straight through maintain in balance timing tempo, DO not be tempted to swing hard, 1—–2 let the club do the work. Do not forget to rake the sand smooth as you leave the bunker, this is club rules.
Do not touch the sand with your club.
Ensure the club you select WILL have sufficient loft to clear the edge of the bunker. With a deep fairway bunker you some have to take your medicine and just play safe back on to the fairway.
If you are going for a long shot then ensure you have the correct line to your target.
Green Side Bunkers.
OK let’s go back to visualization: How a green side bunker shot should be played. Imagine in your minds eye you are in the swimming pool splashing your children with the palm of your hand then simulate that same action only with your sand wedge.
Study the pro-players on TV take note of how they have the face open and, their stance, look closely how they play the shot hitting the sand 2” before the ball and playing right through the shot with confidence.
OK NO negative thoughts, you are going to land the ball on the green and it will roll into the hole.
Look over the edge of Bunker –study the contours of the green, select the spot where the ball must land, to roll into the hole. Keep this image in your mind.
Set up with open stance, aligned your feet left of the target, wiggle feet till well set down in the sand. (For two reasons – first it tells you how soft the sand is –second it gives you a firm base for your swing.)
Open the clubface; Ball forward in your stance.
Stance open to the target, swing the club along your body-line so the club head approaches the ball on an out to in swing path.
Aim the club face to impact in the sand 2″ behind the ball, do not quit on the shot play right through with confidence.
Watch your ball float into the air and land softly on green.
Ball on the sloping edge to the bunker (You need to play with one foot in the sand, and one foot on the grass slope.) Take one extra club, wider stance, lower center of gravity, easy swing,
Bunker shot with ball in the sand close to the edge of the bunker forcing you to stand on the grass.
Take extra club, a much wider stance, and body on even playing field; aim a little too the left, easy swing. Do not quit on the shot.
Remember when you practice bunkers shots to try shots from everywhere in the bunkers up close to the edge, buried deep in the sand, and practice a lot.
Chipping from an uphill lie:
Make sure your swing is parallel to the slope, wide stance, and steady balance. Check your line to the target this could mean walking to the top of the hill select a target that you can see from your playing position ensure you aiming correct clubface to the target.
Take one or two practice swings the club must brush along the grass at the same angle as the slope, ensure your shoulders are the same angle as the slope, smooth swing timing and tempo, DO NOT TRY TO HIT HARD
Left arm in control pull right through the shot.
Due to the up hill lie normal club selection does not apply – based on the distance to the pin. And the degree of slope select a club that is one or two more than you would take for this distance, because the slope-hill automatically increases the loft and flight path of the ball
Playing from an up hill lie like you said left foot on the higher ground.
The hill creates loft so you can not play with a wedge best you play the shot with your five- iron. It is very much a feel shot takes practice. Use the clock face as a means to consistency it can control you length of swing. You will soon learn the distance the ball will fly high and will land on the green from height so will stop; aim to land the ball close to the flag.
Chipping from a downhill lie:
Chipping down hill then you play a high chip with a lofted wedge.
Many PGA players now carry 60° lofted wedges; however it takes a great deal of practice before the average player can play a prefect shot with a 60° wedge.
Recommend you stay with your pitching or sand wedge, unless you have practiced with your 60°lofted wedge.
Make sure your swing is parallel to the slope, wide stance, and steady balance. Check your line to the target – ensure you aiming correct, clubface to the target.
Take one or two practice swings the club must brush along the grass in the same way it would if you were standing on level ground,
Do not try to lift the ball with the club, trust the extra loft it WILL take the ball on the correct flight path.
If you are still a 50yds plus from the green consider your options, use your pitch wedge, you must swing in line with the slope providing your shoulders are at the same angle as the slope and you swing with timing and smooth tempo, hit through the ball in line with the target it should land on the green, but with a lower flight path so allow for the ball to run up to the flag
Use the clock face to train your memory, short swing back to seven o clock through to five o clock longer swing more distance then take the club up to nine o clock and through to three o clock
Yes we know that when we are taking you on your virtual reality holes you will see these tips again, only in simulated play.
We would love to play a real round of golf with each one of our members but that is not possible we now have over 5000 members world wide.
We have considered videos and tested them on line. Unfortunately because in golf: Timing is paramount we found that the video transmittals run at different or intermittent speeds, which certainly did not help with instruction.
We are going to commission a full set of professional videos , to support all the lesson with both written instruction and visual.
In the mean time if you have any question please do not hesitate to contact your personal coach e mail: Support@hightolow.co.uk
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Two of the more unusual hazards we have encountered.
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