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Watch "How to hit Downhill Bunker Shots" Video

How to Hit Downhill Bunker Shots
by Chuck Quinton

As you learned from the Short Game DVD, hitting shots out of the bunker is very easy once you learn the few basic fundamentals. But what happens when faced with a downhill lie? As you'll see in the video, the same fundamentals apply, you simply need to understand a couple more things that will make this shot much easier. The swing is the same, only the setup is slightly different. Make sure you stay down through the shot and maintain your balance on the slope. It is important to trust that the loft on the club will send the ball up without you having to hit up on the ball.


As discussed in the video, you will want to get your shoulders to more closely match the angle of the slope. It will feel like they are steeper than they really are, so don't feel that they have to match perfectly. Because your right hand is lower on the club than your left, your shoulders will still appear to be shallower than the slope and this is ok. The most important thing is that you set yourself up in a way that allows your swing to naturally work down the slope rather than digging into, or coming up out of it. You will need a very stable lead leg and very good balance for this shot, so it helps to lower your center of gravity by flexing your knees a bit more at address and lowering your hips into the shot. You can see this in the sequence below.



In the beginning sequence above, you can see in the first picture that I have lowered my center of gravity by squatting down a bit more at address. This gives me the added stability I need to make an aggressive swing without losing my balance. My arms hang relaxed and naturally at address with no tension. As I take the club back, nothing changes from my full swing. When my left arm is at 9 o'clock, the club is right on plane with the shaft pointing directly at the ball. Note that it appears slightly to the outside because of my open stance. At the top of the swing, my club is perfectly on plane, parallel to the plane I took at back on. From here, all I need to do is swing down and through the shot with speed.



As the club comes down, it still follows the exact same plane as it was swung back on. You may have heard instructors in the past teach golfers to swing the club well to the outside and then reroute back to the inside or vice versa. But it is completely unnecessary to learn a completely different and manipulative swing for bunker play. Follow the fundamentals from the Short Game DVD and simply swing through with speed. You can see in the last picture that even though I am on a downhill slope, the ball still got up in the air very quickly because I stayed down through the shot with an open clubface and "struck the match." Practice this shot and you will master it quickly. It's not only easy, but fun!



Copyright 2008 Quinton Holdings



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