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So you’re standing over your ball, 60 yards away, with water in front of the green, and all you’re doing is hoping and praying you don’t chunk it. This video will show you what you need to focus on so that you end up with what you want: a ball inside 10 feet with a chance to make par or birdie!

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Shawn Clement is the Director of the Richmond Hill Golf Learning Centre and a class A PGA teaching professional. Shawn Clement was a 2011 and 2015 Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year nominee and was also voted in the top 10 (tied with Martin Hall at No. 9) as most sought after teacher on the internet with 65 K subscribers on YouTube and 29 millions hits.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. craig

    Jun 3, 2018 at 1:28 am

    If someone tries hitting a ball behind the lumber as you recommend and it hits them in the eye blinding them you will be sued… believe it

  2. ogo

    May 31, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    Is this ‘instruction’ or is this total farcical maroonical rubbish?

    • ben

      Jun 4, 2018 at 12:39 am

      Tip 1 = Jim McLean’s ‘connections’.
      Tip 2 = Homer Kelly’s TGM.

  3. SK

    May 31, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    … beautiful analogy.. dandelion stem in my mind.. momentum.. cut through the stem.. lawnmower.. nice and wide.. “isn’t that easy” ?!!

  4. SK

    May 31, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    To stop chunking chip shots.. 2×4 lumber.. pretend squeezing ball into wood.. easy task.. doorframe.. allow weight of club to squeeze ball.. ask the brain.. use the ground.. deliver a blow.. gather squeeze.. arms connected to shoulder sockets.. ribcage/clavicle… hmmm

    • SK

      May 31, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      … lumberjack.. tree.. stay behind the tree.. heave ax.. use body.. heave ax through side of tree.. behind the door frame.. divot behind the tree.. everything stays put.. hmmm

      • SK

        May 31, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        … beautiful analogy.. dandelion stem in my mind.. momentum.. cut through the stem.. lawnmower.. nice and wide.. “isn’t that easy” ?!!

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Instruction

3 keys for getting out of bunkers with soft sand

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One of the most infuriating things in golf is to land in a bunker that has too much sand, or sand with the consistency of a truckload of talcum power. Now, I am not picking on the Superintendents; they do have to add new sand from time-to-time, so no hate mail please! It’s my fault for hitting it in the bunker in the first place, and bunkers are supposed to be hazards; I know that.

The one thing we will assume for this article is that even though we are in soft sand, we will have a good lie, not a plugged or semi-plugged one. We are in a bunker that just has a bunch of sand, or it’s soft and fluffy sand. Everyone asks me what the secret is to handling these types of conditions and I’m here to help you get better.

1) Get a wedge with the correct bounce

Let’s consider that you play the same golf course every weekend, or that you mostly play on courses that have the same type of playing conditions mostly. When you have this luxury, you should have wedges that fit the conditions you tend to play. So, if you have a low bounce wedge with a sharp flange and you’re playing from bunkers with lots of sand, then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Why alter your swing if the wedge you have can help you? Use a high bounce wedge (9-12 degrees of bounce) for soft sand, and a low bounce wedge (6-8 degrees) for firm sand.

2) Control your Angle of Attack 

As with most things in golf, there are always things that you must pay attention to in order for you to have the odds in your favor. Simple things such as paying attention to the lie you have can help you save shots in the rough. In bunkers, you cannot test the surface, however, you can use your feet to feel the density of the sand. Pay attention to what you feel in the balls of your feet. If you feel a ton of sand below you, then you know you will have to alter your angle of attack if you want any chance to get out of the bunker successfully.

So what do I mean by this?

The setting of your wrists has a very dynamic effect on how much the wedge digs in or skids through the sand (assuming you have an open face). When there is a surplus of sand, you will find that a steeper attack caused by the maximum cocking of your wrists makes it much easier for the wedge to work too vertical and dig too deep. When you dig too deep, you will lose control of the ball as there is too much sand between the blade and the ball — it will not spin as much and won’t have the distance control you normally have.

The secret to playing from softer sand is a longer and wider bunker swing with much less wrist-set than you would use on your stock bunker shot. This action stops the club from digging too deep and makes it easier for you to keep moving through the ball and achieving the distance you need.

3) Keep your pivot moving

It’s nearly impossible to keep the rotation of your shoulders going when you take too much sand at impact, and the ball comes up short in that situation every time. When you take less sand, you will have a much easier time keeping your pivot moving. This is the final key to good soft-sand bunker play.

You have made your longer and more shallow backswing and are returning to the ball not quite as steeply as you normally do which is good… now the only thing left to do is keep your rear shoulder rotating through impact and beyond. This action helps you to make a fuller finish, and one that does not lose too much speed when the club impacts the sand. If you dig too deep, you cannot keep the rear shoulder moving and your shots will consistently come up short.

So if you are in a bunker with new sand, or an abundance of sand, remember to change your bounce, adjust your angle of attack, and keep your pivot moving to have a fighting chance.

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Instruction

WATCH: How to stop “flipping” through impact

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Are you flipping through impact? In this video, I share a great drill that will help you put better pressure on the golf ball at impact. By delivering the sweet spot correctly, you’ll create a better flight and get more distance from your shots immediately.

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Instruction

The Wagon Wheel Drill

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For many golfers, the ability to hit shots golf ball to the target is a difficult task, especially when you take into account the rough, trees or hazards lining the hole. In this video, I share “The Wagon Wheel Drill,” a simple idea of how to practice intentionally hitting the ball left, right and on target.

Practice this and you will soon be hitting the target more often.

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