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Greenside Bunkers | The Address & Posture Position.

Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

Your Address & Posture Position is a critical part of a Bunker Shot as it should create a foundation of Angles & Line for your 'Bunker Swing' (Hand & Arm Swing) to rotate round. It should also give a stable and balanced base for you to perform from so great care and attention needs to be given to this position!

Within my 'Lesson' I have divided the 'Address & Posture Position' into five instructional 'Main Headings' for ease of explanation.

These are;

  1. Club Alignment.
  2. The Grip Position.
  3. Creating a Stance Position.
  4. Ball Position.
  5. The Posture.

PLEASE NOTE!

With all of my 'Lesson Headings' it is my intention to give you a clear description of all the important positions in your Address & Posture Position and explain some key points to help you create a square and balanced 'Position' to be able to play your 'Bunker Shot' effectively and efficiently, so please enjoy!

OK let's now get start with;

1. 'Club Alignment'.

One of the most common 'Faults' I see when giving golf lessons is a player using poor 'Club Alignment' at Address. This can create a domino effect of 'Faults' by causing poor positioning in your Body Alignment that results in the 'Golf Swing' (Hand & Arm Swing) becoming restricted and breaking down that culminates in poor shots being played.

Poor 'Club Alignment' can be corrected very easily and simply by identifying a 'Target Line' for you to work too. This is a visual line that needs to run from your Ball to your Landing Area. Your visual Target Line will enable you to aim your Clubhead squarely to 'Target' and enable you to align your body squarely to your 'Target Line' to suit the type of shot you are playing.

After identifying your 'Target Line' stand back directly behind your Ball so you have a clear view of your intended shot then visualize your Target Line running from your Ball to your 'Landing Area'. Walk up to your ball in a committed way and start your 'Club Alignment' by holding the Grip Handle of the Club in your Right Hand. Then position your 'Clubhead' behind the Ball so it is hovering just above the sand with the 'Leading Edge' of the 'Clubface' positioned at 90 degrees to your 'Target Line'.

 

Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

The Clubhead should be held approximately 1/2 inch (1.75cm) above the sand with the Leading Edge positioned 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch (1.75cm to 2.00cm) behind the ball. This will encourage your Clubhead to strike down and through the sand rather than a direct strike onto the ball. The distance you position your Clubhead will vary if you are playing a Ball that is embedded in the sand, remember I using a good lie in my example.

  • Important Point

  • DON'T TOUCH THE SAND WITH YOUR CLUBHEAD!

    If your Clubhead touches the sand either at Address or when you start your Backswing a 'Two Shot Penalty' will be incurred, so great care and attention needs to be paid to this positioning!

     

    2. 'The Grip Position'.

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    *Within this 'Grip Position' instruction I am going to describe how to squarely position both hands onto the club's Grip Handle then I will describe how both hands need to 'FEEL' balanced and relaxed while holding the 'Handle' that will encourage a relaxed free flowing Hand & Arm Swing.

  • 'Positioning your Left Hand.'

  • To start your 'Grip Position' open up your Left Hand and spread your Fingers then position the 'Butt End' of the Club across your Hand so the 'Grip Handle' is lying on the First Joint of your Little Finger, which is the nearest joint to the palm of your hand. Then position your little finger so it is approximately One Inch (2.5cm) away from the Top / Butt End of the golf club.

     

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    After completing this position lay the 'Grip Handle' diagonally across all the fingers of your Left Hand so the club is now positioned laying across from the first joint of your little finger to the last joint of your forefinger.

     

     

     

     

     

    Close your hand up and allow your left thumb to lie slightly on the right side of the 'Grip Handle' but in a parallel position to the 'Golf Shaft'. To help identify the centre line of the 'Grip Handle' most rubber grips have manufacturer's markings, names or patterns stamped on them to signify the centre line of the golf club.

     

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    'Feel' your fingers cradling the 'Handle', just like holding an egg without cracking its shell. Then double check the position of your Left Thumb to ensure it is lying slightly on the right side of the centre line on the 'Grip Handle' and in a parallel position to the 'Golf Shaft'.

    'Please Note'

    The back of your left hand is now facing your Target and is now positioned in a square position to your 'Target Line'. It is also aiming in the same direction as the Leading Edge of your Clubhead, which is already aiming squarely along your 'Target Line' due to the completion of the first step of my Address & Posture Routine, which is your Club Alignment.

     

    When you close your Left Hand you will have created a 'Club and Left Hand Grip Position'. At this point I would now like you to create a 'FEELING' of the Golf Club being an extension of your Left Arm.

    'IMPORTANT POINT'

    By 'FEELING' your Club being an extension of your Left Arm it will encourage your Left Hand and Left Arm to lead and control your 'Hand & Arm Swing' when moving through your Backswing, Downswing and Impact Position. This point will make more sense when you look at my Hand & Arm Swing Lesson where I describe this 'FEELING' in more detail.

     

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)
  • 'Positioning your Right Hand'.

  • To complete your 'Grip Position' place your Right Hand below your Left Hand so your hands are together on the 'Grip Handle' with the little finger of your right hand touching, inter-locking or overlapping the fore finger of your Left Hand. Then position the 'Grip Handle' diagonally across the fingers of your Right Hand and close your hand up.

    When closing your Right Hand it is important to try to cover your Left Thumb with the inside of your Right Thumb and allow your thumb to lay on the left side of the center line of your Grip Handle. Your thumb needs to be in a relaxed state to avoid any downward pressure being placed against your Golf Handle!

     

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    The 'Grip Handle' will now be cradled in the fingers of both hands with the back of your Right Hand in an opposite but square position to the back of your Left Hand and the back of your Left Hand with the back of your Right Hand are positioned at ninety degrees to your 'Target Line!'

     

     

     

     

     

    3. The Stance Position.

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    Your Stance Position is a crucial part of your Address & Posture Position as it should create a stable and balanced base for you to perform from. To start your Stance Position place your feet so the line across your toes is aiming approximately 35 degrees left of your 'Target Line', also there should also be approximately 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25cms) from the 'Butt End' of the 'Grip Handle' to your left thigh. This will encourage your 'Hand & Arm Swing' to swing the Clubhead across your 'Target Line' and along the line of your feet that will encourage the larger sole of your Sand Wedge to bounce through the sand and create an explosion of sand under the ball at impact.

     

     

     

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    When positioning your feet ensure you wriggle your feet gently into the sand so the soles of your shoes are just below the ball. This will also give a firm foundation to your 'Address & Posture Position that will give your 'Body Movements and 'Hand & Arm Swing' a stable platform to perform from. Wriggling your feet in to the sand will also help to ensure your Clubhead swings down and through the sand and to move below the level of your ball at impact. 

     

     

     

     

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    Gently lean in to your left leg so around eighty percent of your body weight is over your left leg at Address then flex your knees. This position will help your Body Weight to remain static over your Left Leg when making your swing and it will also help your Hand & Arm Swing to travel on a steeper 'Swing Plane' that will encourage your Clubhead to drive down and through the sand at impact.

     

     

     

     

    4. Ball Position

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    Positioning the Ball correctly into your Stance to suit the type of shot you are playing is a crucial part of your Address & Posture Position as it can change the Ball's flight. 

    To keep my instruction simple I would like you to position the ball in the middle of your Stance although its important to mention that your Ball Positioning can and should vary from shot to shot depending on the type of shot you are playing or the type of Lie you are playing from.

     

     

    For example;

    If you would like to create a Higher Ball Flight then positioning your ball towards the Left Side or Front-Side of your Stance will encourage the 'Loft Angle' of your 'Clubhead' to increase when impacting the sand. This will cause the sand to be driven up at the Ball encouraging it to fly on a higher trajectory and flight.

     

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)             Lesson Image (click to enlarge)  This Ball Position is in the Left-Side of the Stance.                This Ball Position is in the Right-Side of the Stance.

    If you would like to create a Lower Ball Flight then positioning your ball towards the Right Side of your Stance will encourage the 'Loft Angle' of your 'Clubhead' to decrease when impacting the sand. This will cause the sand to be driven on a lower trajectory at the Ball that will encourage a lower flight.

     

    5. The Posture.

    Lesson Image (click to enlarge)

    As with every shot in golf your 'Posture Position' is a critical part of your golf game as it should create a foundation of Angles & Lines for your Core Body Motion with your Hand & Arm Swing to rotate round. I would particularly like to draw your attention to the positioning of your 'Spine Angle' and 'Bodyline' in your Posture Position when Addressing the Ball.

     

     

  • 'The Body Line'.

  • Let's now look from behind the ball and look along your Target Line. I would like to identify your 'Body Line' which is your vertical balance and runs vertically upwards through your body. As we look down the Target Line this line should run from the ball of your Right Foot through your Right Knee and up to a point just behind your Right Shoulder Blade and into your Spine Angle. 

    This vertical line is controlled by the flex in your knees and the positioning of your 'Body Weight' over the ball's of your feet. Your Body Line line must remain vertical throughout your Swing to give balance, stability and control to your Core Body Motion that will give a foundation for your Hand & Arm Swing to perform from.

     

  • 'The Spine Angle'.

  • Again if we take a look from behind the ball and look along the Target Line I would like to identify your 'Spine Angle'. To do this effectively I would like you to imagine a straight line running from the base of your neck down to your Hips to a point at the base of your Spine. If your Posturing is set correctly to suit the shot you are playing with the Club you are using and your vertical Body Line is in place then I would like you to treat  your Spine Angle like an axle in a wheel. It should remain at a constant angle for your 'Body Rotation' and your 'Hand & Arm Swing' to have a central point to rotate round. This positioning will also encourage your Hand & Arm Swing to move naturally and freely on the correct Swing Plane and Swing Path.

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    At this point you will have completed your 'Address & Posture Position so relax and settle over your ball for a split second then turn your attention to making your swing and playing your shot!

    'Your Next Lesson'

  • The Hand & Arm Swing
  •  

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