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New Interesting Bunker Video from James Ridyard


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11 hours ago, MonteScheinblum said:

Conventional bunker instruction is so bad it’s embarrassing.

 

 

 

Isn't there a mismatch between conventional (decades old) bunker technique and the way bunkers are built and maintained today? 

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My bunker play is absolutely dreadful. So far out of whack with the rest of my game. Makes me play very cautious near bunkers, which is probably optimal for me, but low hanging fruit to improve with. I have real trouble with my depth control. I'll knife one and then dig three inches under the ball on the next one from overcorrecting. When I practice it's fine though. I suspect a little bit of this is from trying to consciously sort out depth control, rather than letting myself do it instinctively, but I also watched this video last night and I'm now seriously wondering if some of those knifed ones are actually from relatively firm sand and me producing 50 odd degrees of bounce, so the club is bouncing and that's why I knife them. To correct that I need to get steep enough to get the club in the sand anyway. 

 

Long story short, I think I need to open the face up less, have less bounce at address and then try to be shallowish with the club and the less bounce, so it doesn't skip into the ball. Will be trying this out next week. I'm quite excited about it.

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23 minutes ago, Ty_Webb said:

My bunker play is absolutely dreadful. So far out of whack with the rest of my game. Makes me play very cautious near bunkers, which is probably optimal for me, but low hanging fruit to improve with. I have real trouble with my depth control. I'll knife one and then dig three inches under the ball on the next one from overcorrecting. When I practice it's fine though. I suspect a little bit of this is from trying to consciously sort out depth control, rather than letting myself do it instinctively, but I also watched this video last night and I'm now seriously wondering if some of those knifed ones are actually from relatively firm sand and me producing 50 odd degrees of bounce, so the club is bouncing and that's why I knife them. To correct that I need to get steep enough to get the club in the sand anyway. 

 

Long story short, I think I need to open the face up less, have less bounce at address and then try to be shallowish with the club and the less bounce, so it doesn't skip into the ball. Will be trying this out next week. I'm quite excited about it.

Seeing this video shows how little you need to change setup and technique to deliver plenty of bounce even if you normally play a lower bounce wedge.

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The shaft lean component isn't a shocker to me. I think my problem is that I set my weight so heavily towards my left side (pretty much 100% on my left foot with my sternum about an inch or two behind the ball at address) that I'm probably not setting myself up for success when there is less sand in the bunker and the club "skips" off the sand as Ridyard put it. I don't love the idea of setting up as neutral as he suggested in the video, but I might fool around with my setup and maybe try to get it back to something like 75% of my weight left. From how I'm currently set up, I can usually blast it over the lip but I feel a bit constrained in the number of shots I can hit from that position and I have been rather unsuccessful in trying to hit it higher even with my 58'. 

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I expect the different angles showing actual applied bounce are eye-opening for many who watch that video. Sand technique varies a lot, just like the golf swing. The REAL trick is to UNDERSTAND whats happening when the club passes through the sand. This is the about only INTENTIONAL FAT SHOT in golf and one of the most misunderstood. Once players know they have to take the conditions of the sand into consideration first, it gets a lot easier. He talks about depth in the video but you also have to consider dampness, granularity and slope into every sand shot.

 

Dampness - The wetter the sand, the more energy is transferred from the club to the ball, the affect of the bounce can be magnified (hard-packed or non-raked sand) and the club can be slowed down more (wet & raked). In hard-packed sand, the problem is the club tends to skip off the sand if too much bounce is used in the shot. I typically use a little more shaft lean, contact the sand closer to the ball and use a bit less power. With wet raked sand, you usually have more resistance swinging the clubhead through it, but it doesn't compact as much against the ball. I typically play a more lofted wedge with a little less bounce on these (60-8) with the normal amount of power. The club slips through the sand a little easier than my SW (56-14) and the added loft softens the force on the ball a bit. This usually gives me about the same trajectory and distance as my SW in dry sand.

 

Granularity - The finer the sand particles, the less energy is transferred from the club to the ball, the affect of the bounce will be reduced and the club will maintain it's speed better. With soft sand, I typically use my SW (56-14), swing harder and restrict the low point so that it is no more than 1/2" under the ball. Many times, the soft sand will not let the bounce do it's job and the club can get too deep. That's why I consciously restrict the low point. I don't necessarily try to swing shallower, I just hold off on the release so the clubhead doesn't go too deep. With really soft sand, I will sometimes use my GW (52-10) to apply a bit more energy to the ball so I don't have to swing harder than normal due to the sand cushioning the impact.

 

Slope - This is talked about more in videos than the previous two things. Uphill and downhill lies will change the trajectory and have to be taken into consideration. Downhill I typically open the face a bit more and uphill I typically close it more. Sidehill lies present the problem of the heel or toe digging in cause they are closer to the ground. I usually try to swing the club with the sole as close to the sidehill angle as possible to lessen the chance of this.

 

Speaking of face angle on sand shot, many claim you should open the face up at least 45° or so. IMHO, the amount should vary based on the conditions. I've played sand shots successfully with the club wide open or completely square. It just depends on the lie and sand. As with every other shot in golf, the only thing that will help your sand play is good solid practice on every kind of shot you can think of. In the end, execution of the shot is the key.

 

BT

Edited by Ri_Redneck

 

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I liked the video overall, but I have some nit-picks. That's all these are, as overall it's a solid video.

 

First (in three small sub-points), adding or subtracting bounce isn't a linear deal when you open the face. Imagine spinning the face 90° open (you can't hit a shot this way, of course). The wedge doesn't have "96° of bounce" at that point. Also, the bounce isn't the same all the way across the sole - there's a camber, relief in the heel and toe. Finally, the angle at which the bounce approaches the sand changes - if the face is 30° open, the bounce interacts diagonally at 30° — it's like driving up a mountain by going at angle instead of straight up the slope. So, the math doesn't really work as he said it does.

 

Second, this is not 30° 😄 (I know, he didn't actually measure or anything, I'm not actually faulting JR here):

 

image.png.e4fa2d88806570a30ce531eaff3f3f15.png

 

Finally… I understand that it's more of a "concept" that people think they want the clubhead to pass the handle quickly and the shaft to feel like it's vertical at impact, but… it's pretty tough to have the club going down into the sand with a vertical shaft, so you don't actually hit many bunker shots with a vertical shaft. The shaft has forward lean, but you may still feel that it passes the handle more quickly than most normal shots.

 

My general approach in the bunker is very much a "square" setup, ball and weight forward… and I open the face and lower the handle in such a way that the face remains pointing in the same direction (opening the face of a higher lofted wedge doesn't really affect where the face points as much as the leading edge looks) as it would if it was square.

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26 minutes ago, vman said:

Always lie dependent, but given a good lie shallower is better than steep.

Shallow isn't universally good IMO. I would say shallow is good in soft, deep sand and something a bit steeper is better in firm or thin sand. Likewise more exposed bounce is preferred in soft, deep sand and less bounce in firm or thin sand.

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32 minutes ago, MonteScheinblum said:

There are two separate discussions here.

 

1.  How to not ruin your round in the sand by getting it out on the green somewhere and give yourself a chance to make a putt or two putt.

 

2.  How to be a great bunker player

 

 

2 involves nuances that can only be learned through trial and error after mastering 1.

 

1 is abandoning every stupid bunker tip that involves ridiculous bastardization of a normal golf swing.

 

Set up body wide open, face wide open, pick it up, fan it open, cut across, hold  face open….and my favorite, aim 2.35982” behind the ball….ad nauseum

 

 Step 1……understand the ball goes where you move the sand.

 

If I asked you to walk into the bunker, make a regular golf swing and move a block of sand out of the bunker with no ball there.  How many of you could do that?  That answer is 100% of you.

 

Congratulations, you’re now a decent bunker player., 

What Monte, you’re not advocating doing the most extreme thing possible? 😂

$$$$

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21 minutes ago, ALIF said:

What Monte, you’re not advocating doing the most extreme thing possible? 😂

There are opinions on many things in the swing that I don’t agree are the easiest way, but understand the reasoning and it’s a viable way to do it and and do it well.  
 

However, someone explain how setting up wide open picking it up and to the outside, aim at a specific spot really close to the ball and continually increase the openness of the club face from address to impact, is the easiest way to do it.

 

My rhetorical question is this.

 

Somehow the only shot on the golf course where you don’t hit the ball first and the margin for error is the greatest, is somehow the hardest shot for golfers, even some tour players.

 

There are two possible explanations, which is the likely choice?

 

1.  The sand has some magical evil force imbedded in it by a coven of wives in order to punish their husbands for leaving them to go to the golf course.

 

2.  The way sand play is explained is so awful, that even fairly skilled to elite skilled golfers struggle more than they should….and higher handicaps just assume pick up and take X

 

There are a few posters here that have seen this.

 

I take high handicap golfers who admit they take 2-5 tries to get it out of the bunker and turn them into one and done’s in 30-90 seconds.

 

Imagine how quickly better golfers learn it.

Edited by MonteScheinblum
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All "tips" are welcome. Instruction not desired. 
 

 

The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

BERTRAND RUSSELL

 

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1 hour ago, MonteScheinblum said:

 

 Step 1……understand the ball goes where you move the sand.

 

If I asked you to walk into the bunker, make a regular golf swing and move a block of sand out of the bunker with no ball there.  How many of you could do that?  That answer is 100% of you.

 

Congratulations, you’re now a decent bunker player., 

 

 

Oddly, I was looking for an old Manzella video where he shows basic get out of bunker play... that with our higher loft and with bounce wedges now there's no need to open them up and complicate matters for starters (and especially for someone like me who hasn't spent hours in a bunker finessing bunker technique), and this Malaska clip leapt out

 

After all these years, it hadn't clicked with me or really understood this - that in this case ... the ball does NOT go pretty much where the face is aiming.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, coops said:

 

 

Oddly, I was looking for an old Manzella video where he shows basic get out of bunker play... that with our higher loft and with bounce wedges now there's no need to open them up and complicate matters for starters (and especially for someone like me who hasn't spent hours in a bunker finessing bunker technique), and this Malaska clip leapt out

 

After all these years, it hadn't clicked with me or really understood this - that in this case ... the ball does NOT go pretty much where the face is aiming.

 

 

 

On a sand shot (aside from bunkers with no sand), you don’t hit the ball, so how does the ball know where the face and path are?

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All "tips" are welcome. Instruction not desired. 
 

 

The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

BERTRAND RUSSELL

 

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Changing where the leading edge points doesn't change where the face points as much as many would think:

  

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16 hours ago, MonteScheinblum said:

Here’s my Bo Jackson story.

 

In 1986 my dad was playing in an old timers game in KC and I was standing next to the cage while the old timers were taking batting practice.  One of the coaches asked my dad, “Hey Rich, we know your kid was a pitcher, but can he hit?”

 

”No he’s a golfer.”

 

They told me to step in anyway and having not picked up a bat in 4 years, I whiffed 3 or 4 in a row then barely got wood on one.  Coach says’ “One more, we have a prospect we want to look at.”

 

I got lucky and tagged one off the wall.  I was so proud of myself and as I’m walking out of the cage this enormous man, that I recognized as Bo Jackson, comes walking up. (I am and was a huge college football fan so I knew it was him).

 

First pitch, 420 foot blast up the grass opposite field.  Second one, 500+ out of the stadium.  Coach looks at me and says, “What do you think of that?”

 

”Thank God I picked golf over baseball.  I pee’d my pants a little just thinking about pitching to him.”

 

 

 

Great story. It would have been amazing if Bo could have stayed healthy. 

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23 hours ago, ThinkingPlus said:

Shallow isn't universally good IMO. I would say shallow is good in soft, deep sand and something a bit steeper is better in firm or thin sand. Likewise more exposed bounce is preferred in soft, deep sand and less bounce in firm or thin sand.

Wouldn't want to get too steep with less bounce in firm sand. I agree that there are lots of nuances to bunker play with different sand types and lies.

Whatever works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Nels55 said:

The ball knows where the sand goes?  Is that like Bo knows?

 

 

This one's better! The Great One has it right!!

BT

 

 

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As I understand it, the conventional wisdom is open stance, open the club face, weaken left hand grip, and put the ball forward.  Slide the club under the ball, using bounce, sole width, weight of club, relying on loft of club for height.

 

Is this wrong?

 

If so, why did that Woods guy say that’s the way he did it in his book?

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