How to Hit Bunker Shots from Uneven Lies

By David Glenz

Those of you viewing here are very fortunate to have to refer to. Tremendous instructors, tremendous instruction, and tremendous information. One word of caution is trying to have a rule for every situation. We want you to develop some creativity and flexibility in the short game area. I’ve created a situation here and maybe you faced this, I have a downhill/sidehill lie on the bunker, I’m going to have one foot in the bunker, one foot out of the bunker.

Hitting on a Slope

So this is now different from my normal set-up, I’ve got to make some changes here.

  1. What I’m going to do, first of all, I widen my base, my balance is key. I have got to flex my legs a little more, put my weight a little more on the front foot, still trying to get the sense of the bottom of my swing being behind the ball. The big key here is balance, I can’t use my body as much with this, so that is why the wider base.
  2. Next I am going to take the club a little more up and down, and try and get it under the ball. Part of this is to understand that when I have a downhill/sidehill lie the ball is going to come out lower.
  3. Also, my expectations for the shot are different. Instead of trying to get it close to the pin, I’m really looking at a more conservative approach trying to get it on the green, hopefully I can get a putt for par. I don’t want to leave it in the bunker or play it way over the green. So I’m going to try and take a conservative approach just get into a good set-up, get a sense of the feel of what I have to do with the clubhead, a little steeper swing feel for me.

Stay Flexible

Not bad, I got that a little cleaner than I wanted and it went about 15 feet past the hole, but I certainly would take that. Also if you get into a situation like this you may have no lip and it might be reasonable based on your skill level to even try to putt the ball out of the bunker, if you have minimal lip in an awkward situation. Try to look at some options here, that’s the important thing and then create a position that allows you to get the sand wedge underneath the golf ball and get it onto the green.

Category: Bunker Play
Sub Categories: Address/Set-Up, Bad Lies

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