Proper Stance to Hit a Downhill Bunker Shot

By Jim McLean

The downhill bunker shot. One of the harder shots in golf. As you can see, this is quite a slope. From the top of the grass down to here, I'm going to walk up the slope because it's not that easy to see on the camera but this is a very severe downhill lie. Now it's very important that you know how to set-up so you have a chance of putting this golf ball on the green.

Avoid a Two Stroke Penalty

The first thing we have to realize is that it's very easy to touch the sand on our backswing. Touching the sand in the bunker is a two stroke penalty so make sure that you don't make that mistake. That means hover the club well above the ball. You also need to get the ball back in your stance without leaning the shaft forward. So ball back, hands back, most people don't know that.

Correct Grip for Hitting a Downhill Bunker Shot

I start with my hands pretty much off my right thigh for this shot and then I really get that club up and swing down the slope. So I aim again about two inches behind the golf ball, get the club up, put my weight left. The club elevates and drops, sometimes I feel a little more knee action on this shot than any normal bunker shot so I can go down that hill. Leave the face open, don't close it.

Summary

You still got to get some height on this golf shot. So again, ball back, hands back, face open, get the club up, and drop down with the knee so you can get underneath the golf ball. Remember the down hill bunker shot is all about set-up. You have to get your body in the right position and you have to get the club in the right position. From there, make sure the club gets up and that you stay down the slope and you'll have a lot more success on the downhill bunker shot.


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

About the Instructor

Jim McLean
Jim McLean
Jim McLean Golf School
Doral Golf Resort and Spa
4400 NW 87th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178
Tel: 800-72-DORAL