Bunker Shot “Ball Below Feet”

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Bunker shots with the ball below the feet can pose a challenge for golfers, especially those with high handicaps. However, by making certain adjustments to their setup and technique, players can successfully execute this shot.

One crucial adjustment is to lower the center of gravity by bending the knees more to reach down to the ball. Additionally, slightly opening the clubface helps to dig down and lift the ball out of the bunker. To prevent blading the shot, it is important to play the ball just forward or center.

Maintaining balance is also crucial, and this can be achieved by quickly picking up the club in the backswing and abbreviating the follow-through. Consistent practice incorporating these adjustments can greatly enhance performance in this challenging shot.

Whether one is a professional golfer or a high handicapper, these techniques can help navigate bunker shots with the ball below the feet successfully.

Setup adjustments

One important aspect to consider when faced with a bunker shot where the ball is below your feet is making appropriate adjustments to your setup to execute the shot effectively. These adjustments include weight distribution, grip adjustments, stance modification, club selection, body alignment, swing plane, visualizing the shot, shot trajectory, and interaction, and mental preparation.

To begin, it is crucial to distribute your weight towards your toes to lower your center of gravity and maintain balance. Additionally, adjusting your grip slightly by placing more pressure on the pinky finger can help control the clubface through impact. Your stance should be wider to ensure stability and promote a more upright swing.

Choosing the right club is essential, as a shorter club may be needed to compensate for the ball being below your feet. Aligning your body parallel to the slope will help promote a more natural swing path. Visualizing the shot and the desired trajectory can also aid in execution.

Lastly, understanding how the sand will interact with the clubface and mentally preparing yourself for the shot will increase your chances of success. By making these setup adjustments, you will be better equipped to handle bunker shots with the ball below your feet.

Execution tips

To successfully execute a bunker shot with the ball positioned lower than the golfer’s feet, adjustments to the setup, such as lowering the center of gravity and slightly opening the clubface, are essential to effectively dig down and get the ball out of the bunker.

However, there are several common mistakes that golfers should be aware of. Proper club selection is crucial, as using a club with too much loft can result in the ball flying too high and not reaching the desired distance. Additionally, the golfer’s body positioning is important, with a slightly wider stance and more weight on the front foot to maintain balance. Visualizing the shot and envisioning the trajectory can also aid in execution.

Dealing with uneven lies requires adjustments to the setup and swing, with the golfer adapting to the slope of the bunker. Controlling the distance of the shot is achieved by varying the swing speed and length. Adjusting for different bunker conditions, such as wet or firm sand, requires understanding how the club interacts with the sand and adjusting accordingly. Using the bounce of the club effectively is crucial in preventing the club from digging too deep into the sand.

Lastly, a strong mental approach is necessary to maintain confidence and focus during bunker shots. Practicing different bunker shots and incorporating these adjustments into practice sessions can help golfers develop the necessary skills and confidence to successfully execute bunker shots with the ball positioned below their feet.

Avoid blading the shot

To prevent a mishit when executing a bunker shot with the ball positioned lower than the golfer’s feet, it is crucial to carefully position the clubface and play the ball just forward or center to avoid blading the shot.

Blading the shot occurs when the leading edge of the club strikes the ball too high, resulting in a thin shot that travels too far and lacks control. To avoid this, golfers should consider the following:

  • Proper club selection is based on the specific bunker conditions and desired trajectory.
  • Importance of body positioning, including maintaining a lower center of gravity to reach down to the ball.
  • Visualizing the shot and focusing on the target to enhance accuracy and confidence.
  • Utilizing the bounce of the club effectively to prevent the leading edge from digging too deeply into the sand.
  • Strategies for practicing bunker shots, including adjusting for wind and slope to simulate real-game scenarios.

By considering these factors and implementing the appropriate adjustments, golfers can increase their chances of successfully executing bunker shots with the ball positioned below their feet.

Abbreviate follow-through for balance

Abbreviating the follow-through can enhance balance and stability when executing a bunker shot with the ball positioned lower than the golfer’s feet. To achieve this, proper weight distribution is crucial. The golfer should ensure that their weight is evenly distributed between their feet, allowing them to maintain stability throughout the shot.

Additionally, a shortened swing is recommended to avoid overextending and losing balance. By shortening the swing, the golfer can maintain control and execute the shot more effectively. Other follow-through modifications may include practicing balance drills and making adjustments to foot placement and hand positioning techniques.

Strengthening the core muscles through targeted exercises can also contribute to improved stability. Furthermore, controlling the tempo and visualizing the shot beforehand can aid in maintaining balance and executing a successful bunker shot.

Practice sessions

During practice sessions, golfers can enhance their skills and improve their bunker play by incorporating adjustments to their setup and focusing on maintaining balance and stability throughout the swing. To achieve this, golfers should consider the following key elements:

  1. Shot technique: Practicing the correct technique for hitting bunker shots with the ball below your feet is crucial for success.
  2. Sand consistency: Understanding the sand consistency in different bunkers and practicing with a variety of sand conditions can help golfers adapt their shots accordingly.
  3. Practice drills: Engaging in specific drills that simulate bunker shots with the ball below feet can help golfers develop the necessary skills and muscle memory.
  4. Shot selection: Learning to assess the lie and situation in the bunker will enable golfers to make appropriate shot selections.
  5. Club selection: Choosing the right club for the shot, considering factors such as distance, slope, and sand conditions, is imperative for success.
  6. Distance control: Practicing distance control in bunker shots is essential for consistently getting the ball close to the target.
  7. Stance adjustment: Making the necessary adjustments to the stance, such as widening the feet and bending the knees, can help golfers maintain balance and stability.
  8. Visualizing the shot: Visualizing the desired trajectory and landing spot of the ball can help golfers execute the shot more effectively.
  9. Mental preparation: Developing a pre-shot routine and focusing on mental preparation can help golfers stay calm and confident in the bunker.
  10. Pre-shot routine: Establishing a consistent pre-shot routine, including visualization, alignment, and breathing exercises, can enhance performance and reduce anxiety.

Head Professional at The Club at Olde Cypress

Gary Shea has been appointed as the new Head Professional at The Club at Olde Cypress, bringing his expertise and experience to enhance the golfing experience for members. With a focus on golf tips, club fitting, course management, golf fitness, the mental game, golf equipment, golf instruction, golf drills, golf swing analysis, and golf practice routines, Shea is dedicated to helping golfers improve their game. As a knowledgeable and technical professional, he understands the importance of proper technique and the role it plays in achieving success on the course.

Shea’s expertise extends to all aspects of the game, from selecting the right clubs to managing the course effectively. With his guidance, members can expect to see improvements in their game and a deeper understanding of the intricacies of golf.

Moving from range to first tee

Transitioning from the practice range to the first tee can present a unique set of challenges for golfers seeking to carry their practice success onto the course. To navigate this transition successfully, golfers should focus on several key areas.

Firstly, a thorough pre-round warm-up is essential to prepare both physically and mentally for the round ahead. This can include stretching exercises, hitting a few practice shots, and focusing on loosening up key muscle groups.

Secondly, mental game preparation is crucial to maintain focus and confidence on the first tee. Techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and positive self-talk can help manage nerves and set the stage for a strong start.

Additionally, golfers should employ effective course management strategies to make smart decisions and avoid trouble early on. This may involve playing conservative shots, avoiding high-risk shots, and playing to one’s strengths.

Maintaining a consistent routine is also important to build confidence and create a sense of familiarity.

Finally, managing expectations and staying positive despite any first-tee nerves or mistakes is crucial for a successful round. By choosing the right clubs for the first few holes, visualizing success on the first tee shot, and implementing a solid warm-up routine, golfers can set themselves up for a strong start and set the tone for the rest of the round.

PGA Tour and TrackMan

The use of TrackMan technology on the PGA Tour has revolutionized the way players analyze and improve their swing mechanics. TrackMan is a radar-based system that provides accurate and detailed data on various aspects of a player’s swing.

This data-driven practice allows players to have a deeper understanding of their swing, which in turn helps them make more informed decisions on shot shaping and club fitting. One of the key benefits of TrackMan is its ability to analyze distance control, launch angle optimization, and spin rate analysis.

This information is crucial for players looking to improve their trajectory control and overall performance on the course. Additionally, TrackMan can also help players improve their swing speed, as it provides instant feedback on clubhead speed and acceleration.

Overall, TrackMan has become an essential tool for PGA Tour professionals in their quest for technical excellence and performance improvement.


In conclusion, bunker shots with the ball below the feet can be challenging, but with the right adjustments and techniques, golfers of all skill levels can successfully navigate these shots.

Lowering the center of gravity by bending the knees, opening the clubface slightly, and playing the ball just forward of the center are key setup adjustments that help in executing this shot.

By picking up the club quickly in the backswing and abbreviating the follow-through, golfers can maintain balance and avoid blading the shot.

Practicing these adjustments during bunker play is crucial for improving performance in this difficult shot.