ONE of the most difficult lies you can get in a greenside bunker is when the ball embeds a little into the upslope, like America’s Patrick Reed faced here. This is especially true if the sand is soft. It’s difficult from an awkward stance to swing with enough acceleration to get the ball out of a slightly buried lie. But I’ll show you in four steps how to generate the power necessary to execute this tricky shot.
– with Ron Kaspriske
1. square up
Unless it’s buried under a lip, you don’t need to add loft to the shot to clear the face of the bunker. The upslope helps, so there’s no need to open the face of your wedge like you would in many bunker situations. Instead, square it to your target to give the shot more oomph.
2. LEAN IN
To generate enough power when you swing, get your footing. If you don’t plant firmly, you risk losing your balance during the swing. Put more pressure on your front leg, and lean into the slope with your body.
3. BE AGGRESSIVE
Once you have a stable base, you can be more aggressive with your downswing. And believe me, you’ll need to generate all the swing speed you can. Really give the sand just behind the ball a thump with your wedge. Expect a short finish.
4. step down
Even with an aggressive downswing, you still need more power. To get it, step down the slope with your lead foot as your club hits the sand. By moving in the opposite direction, you transfer a lot more energy into the strike. That should be enough to get the ball out.
– David Leadbetter operates 34 golf academies worldwide.