I felt impelled to report on my latest story from the lesson tee, this time on our short game area here at ROWGC. Even i was amazed on how small changes in set-up and one swing thought led to amazingly different results (instantly) out on the course. 

Like the weather of late it was another bone chilling day out on the short game area for me wrapped up in around 10 layers of clothing, battling the elements. I was coming towards the end of my teaching day and had one bunker lesson left. It had rained during my morning lessons so our practice bunker was a little compact not ideal for improving someones action in!! 

After the initial feedback from my golfer i got to work on analysing his patterns. During bunker sessions i like to gain feedback on my pupils beliefs into their technique and observe certain aspects of impact i.e. consistency of entry point and depth of entry point being the main two. My pupil struggled with both aspects, inconsistant in the entry point and inconsistent in the depth of sand. After analysing a few more shots challenging the pupil from different lies and stances i got to work in explaining the importance of set-up. Bunker play is a totally unique part of the game, i mean we are not striking the ball....right!!! 

I certainly have a set preference on how to set up for a bunker shot and some key in swing principles. Our method at the THSG has come from years of research and practical applications with our pupils. Our thoughts are based around giving our pupils the easiest and most forgiving way to hit shots from the sand. 

Left - Before Right - After Set-up changes 

Left - Before Right - After Set-up changes 

After an explanation and a demonstration of the set-up, i allowed the pupil to hit some more shots feeling the new positions at set-up. These marginal changes in set-up allowed the pupil to gain confidence in their new process and allowed the pupil to start from a stronger more stable base. 

The 2nd element of the marginal change came from a feeling i gave the pupil at impact. A sound i wanted to hear, an interaction with the sand that was so different from a acoustics point of view. The results were staggering, instant success followed, every shot coming out and close to the pin.....one happy coach and even happier pupil!! 

During the initial feedback before the lesson the pupil mentioned that they struggle to get the ball out of the bunker let alone get it close. After a week i got an email from them saying although the changes still feel very strange they totally get it and the results dont lie!! They mentioned int he email that not only are they getting it out 100% of the time, they are even hitting shots into gimme range!!! 

Great feedback from one very happy golfer......Bunker shots are a challenge and played in the wrong way are pretty impossible!! If you want help with your bunker shots sign up for our bunker clinic in April or an individual lesson with one of the team.