Hey, Performance Golfers, Matt Walter here, Vanderbilt Legends Club on #2 South. I’m going to show you a move that you can do in your setup that’ll fix your bunker game. I call it the lunge move because what we’re going to do is, we’re going to lunge into our setup and it will allow us to have a good, stable posture with our feet that will allow us to swing the golf club effectively on this very unstable surface. In this video, I’m going to assume that you have a decent move with the bunker shot, but with that, I’m going to give you some expert-level stuff, that we’re going to move you into the next phase of your bunker game.
The trick to bunkers is that you have to remember one thing. You’re standing on, basically, marbles, the grains of sand, so it’s a very unstable platform which you’re standing on that you’re trying to swing a golf club with. So, you’re creating forces around your body with the weight of a golf club, and we have to be able to have a good balance throughout that swing. The swing has to start to change in the sense that, the more narrow my stance becomes, the less I’m able to swing the club with a lot of force because I’ll have some sheering and twisting with my feet that’s going to mess with the surface and our ability to create pressure on the surface. When we hit a bunker shot, ideally, the goal is to get our stance a little bit wider than our hip structure so that we can hit a blasting bunker shot out and towards our target without slipping and sliding and losing traction in the ground.
So, what we’re going to do is widen our stance, and we want to get a lot of pressure on our front foot to keep our balance to where we need it and the pressure on our feet, so we can swing the club without fear of falling off balance, basically, right. What I see a lot of players doing is, they’ll get narrow in their feet because they’re thinking it’s supposed to be a pitch shot or a chip shot, and they have this narrow stance, this shaft lean forward, and then they can’t hardly put anything on it, on their swing, with the velocity of the club that’s required to hit a bunker shot because, one, their feet are too close together and they can’t get a good shallow arc at the bottom, and two, it’s not a very powerful stance when your feet are really close. So, first thing I tell people to do is, get your feet wider, like a driver stance.
Here’s where the lunge comes into play. We want to feel like we’re flexing our left knee out towards our left toe, and if we know anything about anatomy, our knee should go where our toe is pointed, hopefully. So, our knee should go where our toe is pointed, so we can open up our left foot and point it towards the target a little bit if we need to, so that way we get a little bit of extra twist, but we want to feel that left leg kind of lunge.
And so, what we want to be leery of is, though, is when we lunge forward, we don’t want to lunge up onto our toes. We want to bend that, flex that knee, but we also want to sit down, so we feel our left heel have all that pressure. The goal becomes, we just kind of widen the stance, lunge our lead leg, put pressure down into the heel, and this will allow us to swing our hands somewhat quickly. So, we execute a nice, soft little bunker shot. Now we can get ourselves shallowing the club out at the bottom and maintaining a good balanced swing. Now, here’s where a lot of players get it wrong. So, one of the main things that people err and they have the issue with in their hit is that they take the right stance, they get set up, they have their pressure on the lead foot, and then they push back off that leg to hit the shot. That’s going to create some problems, as you could probably tell, so here’s what I want you to think about. Think of it in this light. When you do a lunge, just in general, you’re stepping out and lunging forward. And imagine you had to hold it and do a bicep curl. With each bicep curl, we’re not doing this motion. We’re maintaining that lunge and swinging our arms. It’s a very similar concept. We get wide in our feet, we lunge onto our lead foot, pressure’s in our heel so that we can’t push off and push back. So, I’m trying to maintain constant pressure in my lead foot heel as I swing my arms. And so, while I do that, I can get a nice, crisp, clean contact. So, at the end of the day, what we’re trying to do, just to recap all the wonderful nuggets we’ve bestowed upon you, is I’m trying to get my feet wide, lunge onto my left foot, so there’s about 70% pressure. I put that pressure towards my heel, so I have constant pressure in my lead leg throughout the stroke. I have it in my heel, so I can’t push back and away from the golf ball. I have a good, stable balance to swing my hands quick, and we should make a nice, clean strike.
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