The possibility of a bladed shot out of a green-side bunker strikes fear into the hearts of many golfers. If this describes you there is hope! Correct knee flex is the key to making that dreaded shot go away forever.
Many of my students have told me that one bunker lesson with me has cured their green-side bunker play forever. My secret is in convincing the student on the importance of correct knee flex when it comes to this shot.
Green-side bunker shots are unlike any other shot in golf: The club-head never makes contact with the ball. The way to play a 15 yard green side bunker is to swing about as hard as you would for an 80 yard fairway shot. To hit the green-side bunker shot correctly, the club has to enter the sand a couple inches behind the ball which makes an explosion of sand for the ball to ride softly out on. If the club-head happens to make contact with the ball, the dreaded blade happens and the ball will fly way over the green.
Above are two pictures. On the left my knees are really flexed. This squatted position makes it really hard to raise up through the shot. Also, because of the large amount of knee flex, my lower body can’t turn and I am forced to just use my wrists and arms for this shot. Using only wrists and arms while staying down through impact sums up the correct way to hit a green-side bunker shot.
The picture on the right shows incorrect knee flex. Because of the small amount of knee flex, I am forced to bend over more at the waist. This leads to inadvertently raising up through the shot, and can cause the bladed shot over the green. Also, with the small amount of knee flex comes the ability to turn the hips. Turning the hips leads to more movement and a shallower swing which will also cause the dreaded blade.
Next time you have a green-side bunker shot, remember this rhyme: When you have a green-side bunker shot, just remember to squat!
Feel free to let me know in the comments section below if there is a topic you would like me to address.
Thanks for reading!