This is Brad Ott, Director of Instruction here at TPC Craig Ranch in Mickinney, Texas.
I want to talk to you about the depth of a bunker shot.
I don't mean how much you feel about it.
What I'm talking is actually how deep we're going into the sand.
This is a discussion I don't hear a lot about.
More common tendencies when we're kind of talking bunkers is you hear about entry point, club face, angle of attack.
You'll hear about this stuff.
You'll read articles on it.
What I don't hear a lot about is the depth.
In other words, how far down in the sand you want to go.
Here's what I teach my students.
We all know the key to a bunker shot is sliding the club under the golf ball, so that's paramount that you understand that the club's actually going to go underneath the golf ball.
That's an important component to hitting a bunker shot.
The depth at when it goes under is the most important thing, in my opinion, as to the success of the golf shot.
For example, if you hit two inches behind the golf ball, if you do a great job of hitting that spot and you go, let's say, six inches underground.
I hit my spot, hit it perfectly, but you'll notice that the ball doesn't go very far.
The reason that happens is by the time my club was where the golf ball was, in other words when it was underneath the golf ball, I had roughly this much sand between me and the golf ball.
All of that sand particles, they have to expand and contact with each other and by the time they get to the golf ball, there's no energy left.
It takes an incredible swing to get that golf ball out of the bunker, a lot of power.
Tour players can get away with this because they produce so much power, but it's really hard to adjust to that sensation hitting it that hard from the shot.
What I encourage my students to do when they're coming through, one to two inches on the ground.
I'll actually have them practice hitting the sand, not shot, and taking out one to two inches of sand.
Any more than that, the swing's going to have to be extremely aggressive and it's hard to sense that and it's hard to feel that.
What you're going to do is when you get up to your next bunker shot, I want you to think about not only the entry point, we know we need to hit the entry point, I want you to think about the depth at which you're hitting the bunker shot.
As you're hitting your next bunker shot, if you go out and practice, think about a one to two inch.
Slide this club underneath that golf ball one to two inches below that golf ball.
If you can do that, you're going to start getting a lot better feedback, your feel, consistency of shots, they'll get a lot better.