What to look at when in a greenside bunker?

Just wanted to know what you guys look at when in a green side bunker? Do you look at the ball or look behind the ball, or a grain a sand behind the ball?
I have a lot of problems with entering it sand at a consistent point. Either I catch it clean and send it over the green or fat and leave it in the bunker. I’ve worked on stop swaying, ball position and keeping my weight a little left. I just wondered who looks at the ball and who looks at the sand behind the ball.

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  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,854 ✭✭

    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

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  • golfingnut300golfingnut300 Members Posts: 373 ✭✭

    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

  • PowderedToastManPowderedToastMan Members Posts: 3,801 ✭✭

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    He’s saying he looks at the entry spot behind the ball. The ball is the one thing you shouldn’t hit in the entire bunker; why would you look at it? Move the ball forward, open up your stance, open up the blade more than you’d think. Then just turn back, turn through, and call it a day.

    More importantly, you should be picking out an exact spot you want to land your bunker shot.

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  • golfingnut300golfingnut300 Members Posts: 373 ✭✭

    Sorry 😐. Didn’t see the first two words. Duh 🙄

    Entry spot, thanks, bad habit of looking at the ball.

    I guess the green is a little to vague

    @PowderedToastMan said:

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    He’s saying he looks at the entry spot behind the ball. The ball is the one thing you shouldn’t hit in the entire bunker; why would you look at it? Move the ball forward, open up your stance, open up the blade more than you’d think. Then just turn back, turn through, and call it a day.

    More importantly, you should be picking out an exact spot you want to land your bunker shot.

  • ebrasmus21ebrasmus21 Serial Shanker CAMembers Posts: 5,353 ✭✭

    @PowderedToastMan said:

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    He’s saying he looks at the entry spot behind the ball. The ball is the one thing you shouldn’t hit in the entire bunker; why would you look at it? Move the ball forward, open up your stance, open up the blade more than you’d think. Then just turn back, turn through, and call it a day.

    More importantly, you should be picking out an exact spot you want to land your bunker shot.

    Agreed. I try to make as “normal” or “standard” of a golf swing as I possibly can. I focus on a point roughly 2” behind the ball and try to hit the sand at that spot.

    The less exact I’ve become with my intentions in the sand the better a bunker player I’ve become.

    1. Open the blade
    2. Hit the sand first
    3. Make a normal golf swing
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  • theothertwotheothertwo Members Posts: 2,481 ✭✭
    edited Apr 21, 2019 2:45am #7

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Just wanted to know what you guys look at when in a green side bunker? Do you look at the ball or look behind the ball, or a grain a sand behind the ball?
    I have a lot of problems with entering it sand at a consistent point. Either I catch it clean and send it over the green or fat and leave it in the bunker. I’ve worked on stop swaying, ball position and keeping my weight a little left. I just wondered who looks at the ball and who looks at the sand behind the ball.

    Great question and I don't know if I really have the answer.
    When I was struggling with my bunker shots, I spent some time actually practicing my bunker shots and what I find out is that I was losing focus on the ball or the entry point of my club because my eyes were constantly moving around despite my head being relatively still. So I focused on keeping my eyes quiet (if that makes sense) and focus on the ball and it solved a lot of my problems.

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  • David CDavid C Members Posts: 848 ✭✭
    edited Apr 21, 2019 6:58am #8

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    Since when do you want to be shallow in a bunker?!? You want a steep, V shaped swing that produces a shallow divot because you are releasing the club and having the sole in the correct attitude through the sand. Almost everything in the modern bunker swing, from pre-setting the hands low, to picking it up, to maintaining an open leading edge, to an OOT downswing (that comes down the shaft angle because of how you set your body) is designed to have a steep descent into the ball.

    I wouldn’t focus on where to look, focus on the feel of the right swing for the distance and lie you have.

  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,157 ✭✭
    edited Apr 21, 2019 8:54am #9

    Consider getting something like a Callaway Sure Out. That way you don't even need to open the club face (esp. not if you go with a 64*). Just use your normal wedge swing but addressing with the ball an inch or so forward so that you hit the sand first. It's called a 'Sure Out' for a reason :)

    Also works in thick rough.

    But the key for me in sand has always been to commit to the swing and make sure I do a follow-through. I often say to myself 'If you don't want to lose golf balls, don't play golf'. A faint-heart never got anyone out of a bunker.

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  • GolfbeatGolfbeat Swing Lessee Members Posts: 1,656 ✭✭

    I focus on a spot just in front and then swinging down whilst feeling that I leave the club head down in the sand for the longest time possible.

  • stingreyestingreye Members Posts: 66 ✭✭

    This method from Dan/iteach improved my bunker play a lot. I have the old paid videos he had but this one on YouTube is available and Same concept.

  • stingreyestingreye Members Posts: 66 ✭✭

    Oh and regarding your question I definitely look behind the ball. I also will take more sand and swing harder if there is pressure on the shot. It helps me commit to the swing more.

  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,854 ✭✭

    @David C said:

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    Since when do you want to be shallow in a bunker?!? You want a steep, V shaped swing that produces a shallow divot because you are releasing the club and having the sole in the correct attitude through the sand. Almost everything in the modern bunker swing, from pre-setting the hands low, to picking it up, to maintaining an open leading edge, to an OOT downswing (that comes down the shaft angle because of how you set your body) is designed to have a steep descent into the ball.

    I wouldn’t focus on where to look, focus on the feel of the right swing for the distance and lie you have.

    Please watch the iteach video on a long and SHALLOW divot
    The world is full of hack trap players that steeply bury the club deep into the sand

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  • tgard227tgard227 Members Posts: 50 ✭✭
    edited Apr 22, 2019 3:45am #14

    I've never focused on entering the sand at a certain depth and I've always been a good bunker player. I would bet that one of four things are occurring. 1. Fake open face. Meaning that you are "opening" the club face by rotating your hands. Instead of this, grip the club open. If you have grips with the logo aligned to the top of the shaft(like almost all clubs are bought off the rack) you would want that logo pointing to the right hand side of the club when you grip it(for a right handed golfer). So, when I grip a wedge that I am hitting out of the bunker, the logo will be facing towards my fingers in my right hand(if that makes sense). You want to grip the club open so that the club face points to the sky. 2. Place the ball an inch or so off your left heel. 3. When you dig your feet in you should be able to tell how firm the sand is. The firmer the sand the less club head speed that is needed and the softer the sand the more club speed needed. 4. You need to make sure you accelerate. I.E. The backswing should be shorter than the follow through.

    Doing this, especially the ball placement and digging in your feet, should negate the need for estimating where you need to hit the sand because your natural swing arc will enter the sand for you. Just accelerate through and practice hearing that thump.

    Hope that helps.

  • b.mattayb.mattay New WRX'er Members Posts: 487 ✭✭

    I look in front of the ball where I want the club to exit the sand

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,711 ClubWRX
    edited Apr 22, 2019 11:47am #16

    @David C said:

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    Since when do you want to be shallow in a bunker?!? You want a steep, V shaped swing that produces a shallow divot because you are releasing the club and having the sole in the correct attitude through the sand. Almost everything in the modern bunker swing, from pre-setting the hands low, to picking it up, to maintaining an open leading edge, to an OOT downswing (that comes down the shaft angle because of how you set your body) is designed to have a steep descent into the ball.

    I wouldn’t focus on where to look, focus on the feel of the right swing for the distance and lie you have.

    More often than not, in general, probably work best to be shallow and no reason to impose some special "OTT" downswing.

  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,711 ClubWRX
    edited Apr 22, 2019 11:46am #17
  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day.... Members Posts: 25,890 ✭✭

    @David C said:

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    Since when do you want to be shallow in a bunker?!? You want a steep, V shaped swing that produces a shallow divot because you are releasing the club and having the sole in the correct attitude through the sand. Almost everything in the modern bunker swing, from pre-setting the hands low, to picking it up, to maintaining an open leading edge, to an OOT downswing (that comes down the shaft angle because of how you set your body) is designed to have a steep descent into the ball.

    I wouldn’t focus on where to look, focus on the feel of the right swing for the distance and lie you have.

    Huh ?

    For a fried egg sure. What if you’re hitting it 40 feet and want it to throw the anchor out when it hits ? There is no one answer. All depends on the shot.

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  • Krt22Krt22 Members Posts: 6,504 ✭✭

    @David C said:

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    Since when do you want to be shallow in a bunker?!? You want a steep, V shaped swing that produces a shallow divot because you are releasing the club and having the sole in the correct attitude through the sand. Almost everything in the modern bunker swing, from pre-setting the hands low, to picking it up, to maintaining an open leading edge, to an OOT downswing (that comes down the shaft angle because of how you set your body) is designed to have a steep descent into the ball.

    I wouldn’t focus on where to look, focus on the feel of the right swing for the distance and lie you have.

    That depends...do you want the club to glide through the sand and under the ball smoothly so the ball comes out high and soft...or do you want to stab it into the stand, have the club stop abruptly, and leave the ball in the bunker?

  • Bingo1976Bingo1976 Members Posts: 2,507 ✭✭

    @Krt22 said:

    @David C said:

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    Since when do you want to be shallow in a bunker?!? You want a steep, V shaped swing that produces a shallow divot because you are releasing the club and having the sole in the correct attitude through the sand. Almost everything in the modern bunker swing, from pre-setting the hands low, to picking it up, to maintaining an open leading edge, to an OOT downswing (that comes down the shaft angle because of how you set your body) is designed to have a steep descent into the ball.

    I wouldn’t focus on where to look, focus on the feel of the right swing for the distance and lie you have.

    That depends...do you want the club to glide through the sand and under the ball smoothly so the ball comes out high and soft...or do you want to stab it into the stand, have the club stop abruptly, and leave the ball in the bunker?

    My thoughts entirely!! With the exception of a plugged ball, you want to be sweeping a bank note sized sliver of sand away from under the ball. As regards the OP, I get my self set up in the practice bunker and make a few swings focusing on contacting the sand in the same place. Then I will do the same with a ball in the middle of the 'bank note' and concentrate on the same entry point.

    What did transform my game was getting a bunker lesson when I was young. Even if you don;t want a long game lesson, a bunker session will make a huge difference, as you stop worrying about missing greens.

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  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,854 ✭✭

    The same guys that struggle in traps can't hit flop shots greenside
    The releasing the hands and clubhead are a foreign concept

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  • golfingnut300golfingnut300 Members Posts: 373 ✭✭

    Thanks for all the suggestions! Have to spend some serious time in the bunker. Really liked Gary Players approach, setup, shallow divot, releasing wrists and of course “strike the match”😎

  • stryperstryper Members Posts: 3,185 ✭✭

    @cardoustie said:
    The same guys that struggle in traps can't hit flop shots greenside

    Until I was able to equate the two, my bunker play was horrible. Once I made the connection, my bunker play improved dramatically. Chunk and run, dollar-sized divots, strike the match, let the sand carry the ball...none of that made any sense, nor did any of those thoughts ever work reliably for me , no matter how much practiced.

    Flop shot = Sand shot is gold.

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  • golfingnut300golfingnut300 Members Posts: 373 ✭✭

    @stryper said:

    @cardoustie said:
    The same guys that struggle in traps can't hit flop shots greenside

    Until I was able to equate the two, my bunker play was horrible. Once I made the connection, my bunker play improved dramatically. Chunk and run, dollar-sized divots, strike the match, let the sand carry the ball...none of that made any sense, nor did any of those thoughts ever work reliably for me , no matter how much practiced.

    Flop shot = Sand shot is gold.

    I do have trouble with flop shots. I always try to help the ball in the air instead of releasing the club head and letting it pass my hands. I guess I should work on my flop shots at the same time?

  • GolfjackGolfjack All about the rotation Members Posts: 1,002 ✭✭

    There's just so many different ways to play it. Look at the video with Tiger and Jason Day. Even they have different styles. Day's method requires a **** lot of precision though. I like how Justin Rose depicts it. Prefer to thump down at the sand (not dig). Make sure to open the clubface so you can use the bounce, just like in a flop shot. I feel like I get out of bunkers OK now, way better than when I tried to dig a ditch out of the bunkers lol. Way less effort too.

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  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,854 ✭✭

    go learn how to take shallow divots of sand with no ball, using the bounce of the wedge as a rudder
    Then learn how to do it with a ball up in your stance. You have to pretend its like a flop out of the rough where you are releasing the clubhead and it is whipping/sliding/passing under the ball

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  • ScottboxScottbox scottbox Members Posts: 42 ✭✭

    A lot of where you enter the sand has to do with the way your torso is positioned. You can have wide legs, low hands, weight slightly forward, and all that good setup stuff, but if your torso is tilted back too much, you'll hit the sand too far behind the ball. So you may just need to adjust your sternum further forward (so it feels tilted a bit towards the target). That will move the bottom of the arc forward a bit.

  • golfingnut300golfingnut300 Members Posts: 373 ✭✭

    @Scottbox said:
    A lot of where you enter the sand has to do with the way your torso is positioned. You can have wide legs, low hands, weight slightly forward, and all that good setup stuff, but if your torso is tilted back too much, you'll hit the sand too far behind the ball. So you may just need to adjust your sternum further forward (so it feels tilted a bit towards the target). That will move the bottom of the arc forward a bit.

    Practice session today and wow was it bad!! Tried lower hands, lower stance, hinge, unhinge and all I seemed to do was hit WAY too far behind the ball, fat and deep. Tomorrow I will make sure my torso is more tilted forward. Just seems to me with lowering legs and hands, that you would hit it fat, which I do a lot today. I definitely was not opening the club enough before, today I had it wide open but I was hitting it 4 to 6 inches behind the ball. Do you guys choke up on the club much?

    I haven’t tried just getting in the bunker with no ball and just trying to make shallow divots. The course was busy today and was unable the just swing away. Also have to find a good practice bunker near by and not leave till I get this **** down.
    I will figure it out, or just pay the money and get a lesson where he can see what I am doing wrong.

  • David CDavid C Members Posts: 848 ✭✭

    None of you have clearly understood a word I wrote. At no point am I saying you have to try to swing OTT. And at no point did I say you want a deep divot. You want a shallow divot but caused by a V shaped swing. Because that means you strike the ball with shaft lean but the club skins through the sand in a shallow manner because your technique is sound and body moving (or not moving) correctly. You don’t want a U shaped swing. The people that strive to swing shallow are exactly the people that leave it in the bunker, or are forced to manufacture some steepness by handle grabbing or leg drive or both in order not to come in way too shallow.

    You use a V shaped, steep swing, you set up correctly, have the shaft down and the leading edge open and your weight stays central as the club passes you - you will get a shallow strike with normal shaft lean. People that swing too shallow and/or have this misguided notion that there is no shaft lean on a bunker shot foul it up by last ditch attempts to create it.

    I repeat - V shaped swing, shaft lean, bounce exposed, club releasing, gets you the shallow skim you want.> @cardoustie said:

    @David C said:

    @golfingnut300 said:
    Thanks, but do you look at the ball or the sand behind it?😎

    My fat ones do have a big divot, and I do have a steep swing.

    @cardoustie said:
    Entry spot
    If I had to guess, your issue may involve not being shallow enough

    Since when do you want to be shallow in a bunker?!? You want a steep, V shaped swing that produces a shallow divot because you are releasing the club and having the sole in the correct attitude through the sand. Almost everything in the modern bunker swing, from pre-setting the hands low, to picking it up, to maintaining an open leading edge, to an OOT downswing (that comes down the shaft angle because of how you set your body) is designed to have a steep descent into the ball.

    I wouldn’t focus on where to look, focus on the feel of the right swing for the distance and lie you have.

    Please watch the iteach video on a long and SHALLOW divot
    The world is full of hack trap players that steeply bury the club deep into the sand

    I’ve seen the video. And he is doing exactly what I am saying: hands low by body low. Weight in heels so it minimises weight transfer. Face square and leading edge open. Low hands creates more wrist cock without you having to actively add it. Shaft is flatter without having to manufacture it with some swing wrecking attempt to swing shallow. Shaft gets more vertical straight away and V shaped, club releases with normal shaft lean: shallow passage of clubhead skimming through the sand.

    Set it up at address and swing simply and normally, I see so many people chunking it ‘trying’ to swing shallow.

    If you don’t think setting yourself low and putting weight in the heels doesn’t add more angle and V shape I don’t know what to say.

    Look also at bunker players like Luke Donald, Pete Cowen, Stan Utley, Brett Rumford, most of whom sit into the left leg as well. V shaped swings, shallow divots, ‘thunk’ sound of great sand play.

  • AtraynAtrayn ClubWRX Posts: 2,053 ✭✭

    I've had many a light bulb go off when I describe conceptually presenting the shaft vertical instead of releasing the hands...

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  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,854 ✭✭

    David your original wording of steep thru guys off. We're trying to say the same thing. Nobody has said swing shallow, we are saying shallow divot .. which you did say in your first post
    I've always been a huge Seve guy when I give bunker lessons. Low low hands, squat on a horse, club waaaay open etc etc
    Look just come North and we can hit bunker shots for cash
    PS I do disagree with your new comments on shaft lean

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    Ping G25 7w 20* Fubuki Tour 73x
    Ping G25 4h 23* Diamana White 92s
    Callaway Apex 5h 26* Mitsu KK 80s
    Ping s55 6-PW Fujikura mci 100s
    Vokey sm2 50* 54* 59* 64* DG s400 Onyx
    Piretti Matera Elite (torched)

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