Hi, my name is Christopher Toulson and I am the Director of Instruction here at the Jim McLean Golf School at the Doral Resort and Spa here in Miami, Florida.
Control How You Finish
I am going to give you a couple of tips here on controlling your distances out of a greenside bunker. How does the top player, how is the touring pro, controlling how far the ball goes? I will tell you how. They are not doing it by how much sand they are taking; they are not regulating their distance by how much sand the take. They are doing it by the speed of their swing number one, and by the length of their finish. So, we will have a long bunker shot, a medium bunker shot and then a shorty.
Long Bunker Shots
A long bunker shot you are going to go to a nice full finish and you are exploding the sand a long ways. You can actually use the sand as a visual. On a long bunker shot before I walk into the ball I am visualizing exploding the sand a very long ways. The speed of my swing of course is going to be greater than the short or medium shot and y finish I am going to go to a full finish.
Medium Bunker Shots
For a medium bunker shot, one that you are pretty much going to find a little fifteen yarder, my finish is literally kind of a half finish with the club pointing at the target and my sand is not getting thrown as far. One thing to note here, the length of my backswing for a medium, long or even short bunker shot is going to stay pretty much the same, it is the finish.
Short Bunker Shots
For a short one, say I wanted to stop a ball on top of the wall up here, it would be a pretty short bunker shot, and my finish is going to be short. And the sand is probably not going to get out of the bunker. Remember, controlling distances out of a bunker, it is the speed of your swing and the length of your finish and a very simple and effective way of visualizing that is where the sand is getting thrown out.