It’s not the time of year to be talking about swimsuits, but how is your beach fitness on the golf course? If like so many golfers it doesn’t exactly shine like the sun, then these tips might just save your sizzling bacon!
I can spot someone immediately that doesn’t embrace bunkers. They slope into the sand dragging their heels, looking somewhat sluggish and unwilling. Compare this golfer to someone who loves bunkers - they stride into the sand and confidently settle themselves into it before accelerating through to a Seve-like finish. It’s effortless and there is no sign of wimping out on the shot. So how do you capture that style and finesse?
PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING
You aren’t going to act like you own the sand until you have actually seen yourself splash balls out onto the green on a fairly regular basis.
TRUST THE CORRECT TECHNIQUE
So many golfers who fear bunker shots try to be too cute. They only swing halfway back if that, and try to scoop the sand. The moment they take a longer swing, they stop at the ball; scared it will go too far.
SMARTEN UP YOUR SET-UP
Ensure your clubface is open to utilise the bounce on the base of your sand or lob wedge. (Yes, you can use a lob wedge; it is not cheating and will help you to gain more height).
The clubface should point at the target, so this means your stance is a tad more open than usual. The ball should be positioned forward in your stance like a driver set-up. This will help you to hit the sand before the ball, cushioning the shot and encouraging you to really accelerate through. Wriggle your feet so you settle into the sand, I call this my disco dance. This is a confidence-boosting dance move and it will help you feel ready and raring.
Take a full swing. By hitting behind the ball, popping it out on a cushion of sand, the sand will gobble up the energy of a longer swing, resulting in a much shorter shot than golfers expect.
Shot on location at The Grove, London’s Country Estate www.thegrove.co.uk