HOW DO YOU PLAY UPHILL AND DOWNHILL GREENSIDE BUNKER SHOTS?
Greenside bunker shots are tough. The uphill and downhill greenside bunker shots are the toughest. Former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen demonstrates how to effectively get on to the green from both the uphill and downhill lies. He discusses lie, club choice and shot execution. He focuses on keeping it simple.
Uphill Greenside Bunker Shot
First, assess the pin placement and the amount of green you have to work with. This will help you decide which club you're going to go with. If you don't have much green to work with and have to make a higher lob styled shot, you might choose your 60-degree wedge. The ball is going to come out quite high, so you'll have to go at it more aggressively than normal. If you have some green to work with, you can probably use a 56-degree which will come out lower. You will not need to be quite as aggressive. Remember, with the upslope, the ball is going to come out quite a bit higher anyways.
Contrary to popular teaching, Louis discourages using an open stance and then trying to cut across the ball with your swing line. This can lead to the ball just sliding over the face of the club. Instead, he suggests that while you still want the club face to be open that you want the club coming in pretty straight at the ball.
Downhill Greenside Bunker Shot
You'll want as much loft as you can get with the downhill greenside bunker shot. A shorter distance bunker shot is usually going to be even more difficult than a longer one. A pin that is just over the lip of the bunker is really a tough shot. Louis shares a little setup secret where he opens his left foot just a bit to help his hips clear a lot faster.
To get the club face down into the sand, it will be slightly open. As with the uphill lie, he recommends that you not cut across the ball because this also has the potential for the ball to just squirt off the face to the right. So, to get a lot of loft on the club he makes his left hand quite a bit stronger and weakens the right hand quite a bit. Your shoulders will need to remain level with the ground, and you really need to get the club face down to get the ball up in the air.
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