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In your instruction video on greenside bunker play, nothing is said regarding where the club enters the sand, or the club not hitting the ball as we have been told many times.   What is your instruction regarding ball position and bottom of arc on this shot.  I have the same problem in the tall grass around many greens outside of the fringe area. 

Thanks Ross, Love your method, just wish I had found you sooner. You have made golf fun for me.
First, there are times you may want to hit the ball first for a certain result or due to a certain lie, ... so hitting the sand first, is not written in stone. 

Example:   The wind can blow away sand in many of the bunkers in New Mexico.  This leaves a crusty, hard pan surface under the ball.  If you try to enter the sand with an open club face, the bounce** of the SW, will literally bounce the leading edge right into the ball and send it flying across the green.  So one option is to square the face and create a "dig sole"* action, and catch the ball first and just allow for roll.  This kind of "picks" the ball off.  Sometimes we just "putt" the ball out.

You can also achieve many different results when you change the ball position and club face.  The best way to know what's best for you, is to experiment.  Here are some ideas for different results.

1.  The closer to the ball you enter the sand, will produce more spin (depending on angle of attack***).

2.  The more sand you take the less energy imparts on the ball. 

3.  With an "open" club face, the more sand you take, usually creates more of a "drop ball" action.  Where the ball just kind of sits down without much spin.

4.  With a "close" club face, and entering a couple inches behind the ball, usually creates a "running" shot.

5.  It the ball is buried, it is easier to get it out using the "dig sole" concept and allow for run.

Nothing is in stone here because of all the different kinds of lies, sand and conditions.  It really just takes experience and practice and experimenting to learn.

* A "dig sole" is a way of closing slightly the club face of a SW so the leading edge will "dig" down into the sand or turf, as to "remove" or "reduce"  the amount of bounce.

** "Bounce" is the difference of the Leading Edge and Trailing Edge (of the sole of the club), in degrees of a Sand Wedge.  Typical 12° of bounce.

***  "Angle of Attack" in general means ... Where on the swing arc, the club meets the ball ... before the bottom of the swing arc, at the bottom of the arc, or after the bottom on the way up.

Move Less ... Get Good!   

here in Ky., mostly two kinds of sand, dry or wet. our sand is usually too heavy to blow away.
the other thing i forgot to ask is ball position. is it still off the left toe as on turf?
Yes, just about the front foot, or front hip socket.  This ball position, is like an imaginary, vertical axes*, that you rotate around. 

You also want to setup with enough weight on the forward foot, so you can rotate, without the need for a weight shift.  What I mean by this is, if your stance is on a slope (uphill or downhill), you want to feel (once you're setup), that you could rotate to the finish from that position, without the need to shift more weight forward "first" to be able to rotate.  You have essentially, "preset" your weight, in balance, where you could windup your shoulders, then unwind your body in "one spot" (so to speak).  We do not want any weight shift.

* With my method (using the body athletically), we unwind the golf swing, around an "imaginary" vertical line.  This line is 90° to gravity**, right about the front hip.  We do not unwind with our weight 50/50 on both feet.  Nor, do we unwind with all our weight totally on the front foot (even tho we could in special cases).  This imaginary line, is what every kid/adult uses subconsciously to throw a ball.  It is easy to use if we're in BALANCE.

** When I say 90° to gravity, I mean this "vertical line" is balanced.  The body is always balanced, so it can rotate easily and stay in balance. 

FYI, one of the biggest flaws in traditional golf instruction is setting up "OUT OF BALANCE" to begin with, then wondering "what went wrong".  What went wrong was, your body know best and does not want to be out-of-balance, so it will "right itself" or move back in balance, during the swing.  No other sport, ever has the athlete in a position where, his weight is on his toes, his arms are reaching out disconnected, bent over with the weight of his upper body starting, out of balance ready to fall over.  Then ... spend hours and hours telling your students, to stay down... stay in your tilt,  "You're not staying in that out of balance position?"

This once simple concept alone, will help ALL golfers improve immediately (once they let balance "dictate" their setup).  I always say... "If you setup in balance, you will swing in Balance".

Move Less ... Get Good!   

Hi Ross,
A question regarding playing uphill on steep bunker faces (I reviewed the advance shots video on uphill
lies). Specifically a shot where the ball is on an uphill slope, and the left leg is on an even steeper angle then the right foot, and the left knee is bent to even get a stance. Trying to dig in I just kept sliding down the hill.
In this situation, where it's not possible to plant weight left, and it's difficult or impossible to move anything other then the upper body, I just use my arms, but not very successfully. This happened to me twice yesterday, on the same hole. This is mostly due to softer sand as well as the angle.
My partners have much better success using wrist and arm action in this situation, but I try and not revert back to that.

PS the good news is I'm actually able to reach some of these bunkers off the tee now. The wind was way up so not so easy to avoid them though.
There are times in extreme conditions, you have to just be creative.  Sometimes in a bunker you can't go for the hole and may need to just aim sideways to make sure you get out first... or the ball is right under the lip etc. so use what ever you think will get you out and if that is hands throwing the club head into the sand... do it. 

I think for myself, even in the most extreme conditions, I'd use my shoulders only and set my wrists to maintain a square face and the loft I needed to do what I was trying to do.

Move Less ... Get Good!   


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