How to Hit a Ball Below Your Feet in the Lip of a Bunker – Use Your Elevator

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HOW DO YOU HIT A BALL BELOW YOUR FEET IN THE LIP OF A BUNKER?

The answer is in your knees this time—not your waist—to lower yourself into position to reach a ball that's well below your feet, get a broader base, and squat at your knees. This position is not ideal, but it will get you out of this predicament.

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher - Joe Plecker shows you how to deal with a shot that initially seems unsolvable.


Ball Below Your Feet in the Lip of a Greenside Bunker Shot

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher - Joe Plecker shows you how to deal with a shot that initially seems unsolvable. The answer is in your knees this time—not your waist—to lower yourself into position to reach a ball that's well below your feet, get a broader base, and squat at your knees. This position is not ideal, but it will get you out of this predicament.

You've hit your shot right up against the lip of the bunker, a very steep lip, with the ball well below your feet. If you took your normal bunker stance, there's no way you will reach the golf ball with your club. So, unless we want to play it 100% safe and hit our ball out the side of the bunker, you have to be a bit creative for this shot. So how do you get down to the ball? Use your knees to act as elevators to lower your body. Lower yourself into position by squatting down, almost like a Sumo wrestler stance. Make sure you stand wide and point your toes out. Get into a stance where your legs can lower your body to hit the shot. When you get into this position - now it's a "normal bunker shot." Play it just like you usually would. Again, use your knees as elevators and make "simple" work out of a difficult lie.

Choose the right club for the job. For example, you might want to use a 60-degree lob wedge for the extra loft depending upon the orientation of the lip. Otherwise, your normal sand wedge or a numbered iron can work if you need extra shaft length to reach the ball.
All you're going to do is stay low and swing through. In a good way, this is not that skillful of a shot. It's just a shot that takes some confidence. All you're going to do is hit it hard and follow through with good acceleration and speed at impact with the sand. Let the sand explode the ball out.

All you're going to do is stay low and swing through. In a good way, this is not that skillful of a shot. It's just a shot that takes some confidence. All you're going to do is hit it hard, follow through, with good acceleration and speed at impact with the sand. Let the sand explode the ball out.

Ball is just too low.

If you step into the bunker, your leg blocks your ability to swing properly.

Use your knees as elevators and squat down like a Sumo wrestler to reach the ball.

Make your normal splash shot. 


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Joe Plecker - Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher 

The Landings Club’s Instruction & Golf Programming Director, Joe Plecker, PGA named one of GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers.

This is Plecker’s third consecutive award from GOLF Magazine. In the bi-annual selection process for the Top 100, Plecker completed rigorous application and was reviewed by the committees and editors. With over 28,000 PGA professionals, and 1,700 LPGA professionals, this places Plecker in the .003% of club and teaching pros.

“To be a member of GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers list means I am helping my players to improve, and this is everything to me,” says Plecker. “I get so much satisfaction helping others through coaching golf, to be recognized for this inspires me to keep growing and improving at my craft.”

Working with GOLF Magazine helps Plecker rethink his golf instruction content. Making a complex topic like the game of golf appear simple and understandable to many readers and viewers is a practice that helps him as an instructor.

“All members who have spent time with Joe understand why he is included in this list of elite teaching professionals,” says Executive Director Steven Freund. “He has a gift for making the complex simple and in helping everyone get better—whether you are a golfer competing at a national level or a 20+ handicapper wanting to hit it a litter further and straighter. The Landings Club is honored that Joe has made our Club his home!”

Joe became a member of the PGA Professional Staff at The Landings Club in 2020. Joe brings over twenty years of golf instructional experience, including leadership roles with The Jim McLean Golf School, Baltimore Country Club, The Elkridge Club, and as a member of the PGA of America’s National Faculty.


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