Golf Down Swing Tips for Power

The Wall Drill: Make a Great Golf Down Swing Move

This is a continuation from the Golf Shoulder Turn Drill. If you didn’t see it, please check it out by clicking here before moving on to this month’s tip.

In the previous drill we used the wall to set up our back swing. We are now going to use that position and the wall to help us make a better move back down to the golf ball. It is very important to use the right sequence when starting our move to hit the golf ball. You want to start from the ground up. This means the feet move first, followed by the knees, hips and then the upper body and arms. This is the sequence we need to use in order to get the club in the right position in order to hit a solid golf shot.

Use this version of the wall drill to help you get into that position.


Golf Downhill Lie: How to Play?

The golf downhill lie occurs when you have hit your shot onto an upslope and you need to aim straight down the slope to get to your target. When you stand into the shot you feel a little like a ski jumper right before he starts his run down the ramp. I know, golf and ski jumping? I only said a little like a ski jumper as both are looking down a ramp.

The key to appreciating the difficulty of the golf downhill lie is to know that your ball will fly much lower than normal. It does not matter what club you choose the ball will fly lower and roll a lot more than on a flat lie.

Most players facing this shot have difficulty making clean contact at impact. They either hit the ground behind the ball or they hit the top of the ball and they don’t end up advancing the ball very far.

There are a couple of small setup and swing adjustments that can help you adapt to the golf downhill lie. The slope may impact the control of your ball flight, however, the more solid your ball contact the easier you will be able to plan the flight of your shot and predict its outcome.

Follow the steps below to better ball striking and control off of this lie.

Golf Downhill Lie Step 1
Recognize the Situation

  • As you can see from the picture your ball has landed on a downslope and your target line is straight down the slope.
  • The change to your ball flight is that your ball will fly lower than normal.
  • The downhill slope decreases loft and launch angle of your shot.

Golf Downhill Lie Step 2
Club Selection

  • Due to a reduced launch angle your shot will not carry it’s regular distance in the air.
  • You will need to take at least one or two clubs less in order to adjust for the difference.
  • Therefore, if the shot would normally require an 8-iron, you may have to select a 9 or a PW because your ball will have the trajectory of the lower lofted club.

Golf Downhill Lie Step 3
Setup (key part of lesson)

  • Your club should start right behind the ball. I will change picture soon.
  • The key to playing this shot is in the setup. A small adjustment helps create much more consistent contact for purer shots.
  • If you stand into this shot as you normally would and took a swing, your club likely bounce off the hill above the ball which will lead to very poor contact.
  • For this shot, take your normal stance and then bend your leg that is lower down the slope (left for right-handers) more than your other leg.
  • This will tilt the angle of your shoulders to match the angle of the slope. The objective is to get your shoulders to match the angle of the slope. The best way to do that is by bending your knee.  If you try and do it by only tilting your shoulders, you will likely lose the angle during your swing. Bend your knee to create the angle.
  • You should feel more weight on your left leg than usual.
  • Your ball position should remain in the middle of your stance.

Golf Downhill Lie Step 4

  • The two most important aspects of playing this shot are balance and maintaining your shoulder angle throughout your swing.
  • With your lower knee bent you should feel a lot of weight already on you lower leg. Try not to shift more onto that leg or you risk falling off the ball down the hill (reverse pivot).
  • It will be difficult because gravity is pulling you down the hill, but we still need to try and make a normal back swing. If we don’t turn our shoulders our arms will lift the club and make the swing very steep. This we lead to us chopping down on the ball and poor contact.
  • Start your backswing with your shoulders, arms and club.  Just remember to keep the extra flex in your knee. You will likely feel your leg muscles really engaged to maintain your balance.
  • As with a flat lie, when your club is parallel to the ground it should in line with your toes.

Golf Downhill Lie Step 5

  • Maintain the flex of your lower leg and use it to maintain your balance to the top of your backswing.
  • Make a full upper body turn over your lower body.
  • In this example I am only making a 3/4 swing, but notice I have still made a full shoulder turn.
  • Avoid shifting your lower body (hips) as this will cause you to shift off the ball.  This will change your club path and make it harder to make solid contact.
  • You should feel your weight centred over the ball, in the middle of your stance.

Golf Downhill Lie Step 6

  • In your setup you set your shoulders to the same angle as the slope.  Heading towards impact you must maintain this angle by keeping the flex in the knee that is lower down the slope.  Left knee for right handed players.
  • Despite going downhill you still want to get your weight onto your target side foot.
  • The toughest part of the swing is to avoid driving too hard towards the target.  If you do you will get too far ahead of the ball at impact.
  • Remember to always start your downswing from the ground up. Drive towards your target using your feet and legs. Then unwind your body.

Golf Downhill Lie Step 7

  • Once again this step is all about maintaining your shoulder angle.  This is critical to hitting a solid shot.
  • If you maintain your angle then your club will work down the slope.
  • When we don’t maintain our angle it is usually because our shoulders go back to their normal flat lie angle.  If that happens then our club will slam into the slope at impact instead of swinging down the slope.
  • Another key to solid impact is making sure we rotate the body through impact.
  • On the downhill lie it is easy to drive down the hill without rotating.  This will cause the club face to stay open at impact and you will likely lose your shot to the right.
  • As with all shots your hands must lead the club head into impact.

Golf Downhill Lie Step 8
Follow Through

  • The key to the follow through is to maintain your balance through the end of your swing.
  • After impact it is alright if you end up walking down the hill following your shot.
  • You will likely finish with a restricted follow through because of the slope down the hill.

I encourage you to practice this shot at your practice facility or on the golf course.  It is easier to be confident standing over a shot if you have successfully tried the setup and swing technique. It is a little different and does take some getting used to. Once you get used to it, the most difficult of uneven lies actually becomes the easiest to control.

I hope you found the lesson helpful in the development of your game.  Good luck with all your practicing and playing.

For lessons on other uneven lies please select from the list below.


Get Your Golf Chip Shots Closer To The Hole

Golf Chip Shots are really just a longer version of a putt. This shot uses a lot of the same techniques and concepts as your putting stroke…it is just a little longer motion. With a longer motion comes more movement in your body, and this lesson will describe the differences and how to make your short game more consistent. Let’s work on developing a solid and repeatable motion.

Golf Chip Shots Tip #1 : A Good Setup

Please ee the Chipping Setup Lesson for more detailed information on a proper setup position. But here are a couple of quick reminders…

Click Here To Review The Chipping Setup Lesson

  • Your arms form a triangle with your shoulders.
  • Your hands should be slightly ahead of the ball.
  • Your weight should be leaning onto your left foot.
  • Your ball should be in line with your sternum.

These are all very important to remember as we work on your stroke so that you can hit your chips closer to the hole. The closer you are the better chance you give yourself to one putt. That is how you save shots and lower your scores.

Golf Chip Shots Tip #2 : The Backswing

  • Use your hands, arms and shoulders all at the same time to start the back swing. If you do this well you will maintain your triangle. This is very important for hitting consistent chip shots.
  • Try to keep your lower body relaxed. If you do then you will feel a little turning of your hips. This is good! It is the key difference between chipping and putting. The lower body should move a little in chipping. It helps with contact and control.
  • Your weight should not move. Make sure you keep your weight leaning on your left foot.
  • Notice how you can see the club face. This means that my arms and wrists are relaxed. When you are relaxed you will have better feel with the club. It will also rotate the way it is supposed to. If you squeeze too hard and are tense, the club face will still be pointed at the ground. If the club faces the ground most of your chips will fly too low and go left of your target.

Golf Chip Shots Tip #3 : The Downswing

  • Start your action back towards the ball by keeping everything in rhythm. This means your hips, arms, shoulders and hands all move together.
  • Start your hips turning back towards the target, but make sure your hands and arms follow along for the ride. If you separate the motion and leave something behind you have a hard time hitting great chip shots.
  • Keep your weight exactly where it started…on your left foot. You put it there in your address so that it was preset for impact. Make sure you don’t change it. This will help you return the club back to the ball for solid contact.
  • Keep your left wrist flat. This is the part of the stroke where it becomes tempting to hit the shot with your hands and not your whole body. If you do your left wrist will break down and bend so that the club head gets ahead of your hands. This leads to very poor contact. Keep your left wrist flat throughout the shot and your club will never pass your hands. Your club will then end up in line with your hands and arms, but never flip past them. This makes it much easier for you to make great contact.

Golf Chip Shots Tip #4 : Impact

  • Impact and the address positions are almost the same. Remember how much we talked about the triangle between your arms and shoulders in the address position? Well…notice that your triangle should still be intact at impact. This is how you will know that you kept your rhythm throughout your shot.
  • Your hands must be ahead of your club at impact. It is simply not possible to hit solid shots otherwise. By keeping your left wrist flat at impact, you will guarantee that your hands will stay ahead.
  • Your weight still has not moved. It is exactly the same as it was at address.

Golf Chip Shots Tip #5 : The Finish

  • Your triangle should still be there.
  • Your weight should still be on your target leg.
  • Your wrist should stay flat for crisp contact.

Golf Chip Shots Tip #6 : Hold Your Finish

  • Hold your finish for every shot you make, until the ball stops rolling. This will help ingrain the feeling of your swing and the contact you made with the result of the shot. This is great to keep in your memory because it means you can repeat the good ones, and try and avoid the feeling of the bad ones.
  • Your weight does not change throughout this entire motion. However, your hips do turn. Take a look at the picture to see how open the hips are to the target. They are even more open than their starting position. Setting up with an open stance, and turning your hips a little through your swing will really help with clean crisp contact.
  • Because this is a short stroke, your club head should stay on your target line almost the whole time. Try to think of putting your club in the hole to help keep your shots on target.

Thank you for reading the Chipping Stroke Lesson. The next lesson in the chipping series is Chipping Distance Control. It is very important that you take the time to practice your chipping stroke motion before you work on trying to control your distance. Solid ball contact is critical for controlling distance.


Golf Chipping Tips For Ball Position

This is the Chipping Ball Position Lesson. These golf chipping tips are rooted in the basics of golf. They are so important that they can correct a lot of bad results well before the swing ever takes place. Being consistent with these fundamentals will help make you a better player. It will take you only a little extra effort, but the benefits to your shots and scores will be tremendous. Let’s take a look at ball position for hitting a chip shot.

Golf Chipping Tips #1 :
The Keys To Ball Position

  • Place the ball in line with your sternum, or middle of your chest. This is the easiest way to place the ball so that you make solid contact.
  • Keeping the ball in line with your sternum is the easiest way to describe ball position. By keeping the ball in this position you will make sure that your club will make contact before your swing arc bottoms out. This is critical for crisp contact. If your club reaches the bottom of it’s arc before it gets to the ball then you will hit the ball with the bottom edge of the club. That will send the ball screaming over the green forcing you to chip again.
  • You really want the club to reach the ball as it is still moving down towards the ground.

Golf Chipping Tips #2 : Hit Down To Go Up

The most misunderstood concept in golf is that we want to hit down on the golf ball. Hit down to go up. Your golf ball’s position can really affect whether you will have the proper downward strike.

  • As you can see in this picture your club should be striking the back of the ball…before your club hits the turf.
  • Your club will strike the ground after you hit the ball.
  • By placing the ball in line with the middle of your chest you will be able to make good contact.
  • It is okay to have the ball farther back in your stance. Many great players play the ball off their back foot.
  • You will need to experiment to find the ideal position for you and then stick with it. Just don’t move the ball ahead of your sternum.

Golf Chipping Tips #3 :
Ball Position Too Far Forward

This picture shows how the ball is too far forward in the stance. The ball is ahead of my sternum. This will cause…

  • Inconsistent contact on the ball. You will hit behind it one time. Hit it well the next. Then blade it. We want to be as consistent as possible. Consistency lowers scores.
  • In order to make good contact, you have get your sternum in line with the ball. This means you will have to slide your body sideways. This movement is not necessary with good ball position and only makes the timing of your swing harder. This game is all about timing, and we want to keep that as simple as possible.

If you get your ball position right then you won’t have to deal with any of these problems.

Golf Chipping Tips #4 :
Only Hitting Half The Ball

This picture shows a close up of a bladed shot.

  • See how the edge of the club hits the middle of the ball.
  • This type of contact is near impossible to control (unless you have practiced the Bladed Sand Wedge Lesson).
  • You will normally hit your ball over the green and have to chip again if you make contact like this.

Get your ball position correct by lining the ball up with you sternum. You can place the ball a little further back in your stance if that suits your style of chipping setup and stroke. But…never put the ball further forward as that leads to inconsistent chipping.

Golf Chipping Tips #5 :
Ball Too Far Back

  • Your ball can be moved back in your stance. I prefer to to the ball in the middle of my stance, but you can play this shot closer to your back foot.
  • If you do you will deloft your club. This means the face will be steeper and the ball should fly lower.
  • On firm ground you can pinch the ball against the turf to create more spin. If you do then your ball will not roll out as much to the hole.
  • If your ball gets too far back in your stance it will close your shoulders in your setup position making it harder to start your ball on your intended line.

Thank you for reading the Chipping Ball Position Lesson. The next lesson in the chipping series will be the Chipping Alignment Lesson. It will help you take your great chipping setup and make sure you are aiming at your target properly.


Golf Chipping Lesson For Club Selection

This is the Golf Chipping Lesson for Club Selection. Now that you know how to hit a chip shot…how do you decide which club to use? Each club will hit the ball a different height. Each club will give the ball more or less roll. I like to have three categories to choose from…

  • wedges – either Pitching wedge or Sand wedge
  • short irons – 8 or 9 iron
  • Middle Iron – 5 iron


There are a few things that help determine what club to use.

  • 1. Distance from ball to edge of green.
  • 2. Distance from edge of green to the hole.
  • 3. Uphill, flat or downhill to the hole.
  • 4. Length of grass.
  • 5. Speed of greens.
  • 6. Natural trajectory…some people hit chips higher than others with the same club.
  • 7. Any combination of the above.

These all affect your club selection. Let’s look at a few possibilities to help give you an idea. To truly get the hang of this you will need practice and experience. This is really only a guideline as you will need to determine what works best for you.

We always want to land the ball on the green. It is the most predictable spot to land the ball. The selections below are geared towards landing the ball on the green as quickly as possible, and allowing the ball to roll like a putt the rest of the way.

Golf Chipping Lesson #1 : Short Fringe Carry

This first picture shows a shot where the ball is sitting close to the green.

  • You don’t have much fringe to carry.
  • You have more room on the green for the ball to roll.

Try using your 8 iron for this shot. It will fly lower and hit the green rolling.

Golf Chipping Lesson #2 : Long Fringe Carry

This second example is a shot where your ball is farther from the green.

  • You have a longer patch of fringe or rough to carry.
  • More loft is needed to land the ball on the green.

Try your pitching wedge or sand wedge for this shot. It has enough loft to get the ball up in the air and carry the longer grass.

Golf Chipping Lesson #3 :
Little Green To Work With

The shorter the distance the more loft you want to use. You want the ball to fly a little higher, and land it a little softer. This helps handle the shorter area in which you have to land the ball.

Try using your pitching wedge for this type of shot. You could also use a sand wedge, but that takes a little more practice to get use to the length of swing needed to hit such a short shot.

Golf Chipping Lesson #4 :
A Lot Of Green To Work With

The longer the distance the lower the loft you want to use. You will be making a longer swing and hitting the ball harder.

The ball will fly enough to carry the fringe and rough, and will have enough speed to get to the hole. This shot will roll a lot like a putt most of the way to the hole.

Try an 8 iron or even a 5 iron if it is a long enough chip.

Golf Chipping Lesson #5 : Uphill Shot

  • Always try to land the ball on the flattest part of the green available. Easier to predict the bounce and roll.
  • However, if you need to land the ball into an upslope, you need less loft.
  • If you hit the ball too high, it’s too hard to predict how it will react when it hits the slope. Most often the slope will take a lot of the speed off of your ball. So it becomes hard to judge the distance.
  • Using a lower lofted club, you will hit the slope at a lower angle and a little more ball speed so you will be able to run the ball up the hill.

Try using your 8 iron or 5 iron depending on this length of shot.

If you have an uphill lie and very little green to work with then you will need to use a sand wedge or lob wedge. You will need a longer swing because the ball will fly higher and shorter than usual and the ball will stop much quicker when it hits the green. 

Golf Chipping Lesson #6 : Downhill Shot

  • You need more loft.
  • More loft will allow you to land the ball softer so that it can trickle down the hill towards the hole.
  • When you use to little loft the ball comes out hot, and will be very hard to stop going down the hill.

Try using your pitching wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge for this delicate shot.

Golf Chipping Lesson #7 :
Ball In The Long Grass

There is a very simple rule to follow when dealing with different lengths of grass…

The longer the grass, the more loft you need to use.

For light rough try not to use less than an 8 iron. Your pitching wedgewould be used most often.

Heavy rough use your sand wedge. It will cut through the grass and pop the ball up into the air. This will give you a little bit of control over the shot. A low lofted iron is harder to predict how the shot will turn out.

Thank you for reading the Golf Chipping Lesson For Club Selection. The next lesson in the chipping series is Chipping Routine. You must save this lesson for last as it is meant to help you on the golf course. It will help put the finishing touches on your chipping development. After working on building a solid setup and chipping stroke this lesson will help put it all together when it counts…during a round.


Golf Chipping Instruction For Alignment

This is the Chipping Alignment Lesson. This golf chipping instruction is designed to help you aim at your target properly. It is a critical part of chipping because you could have the best stroke in the world but if you can’t aim then you will not get your ball close to the hole.

You need good chipping to help you lower your scores. In order to have good chipping, you need good alignment. Let’s work on taking your great chipping setup position and adding in proper alignment so that you can hit you chips shots as close to the hole as possible. Maybe you will even hole a few…

The Strings…

  • The string over my club is called the target line. It is showing the line from my ball to my target. It is critical that my club is aiming straight down this line so that I can hit my shot towards my target.
  • The string over my feet is my body line. I set up in an open position with my feet and hips. Therefore, the string is not parallel to the target line, but rather aiming away to the left of it.

Golf Chipping Instruction #1 :
Place Your Club

  • Take your grip.
  • Make sure your hands are properly placed on your club before you do anything else.
  • Place your club behind the ball aiming straight towards your target. You always want to place your club before your body. This is the only way to ensure proper alignment.
  • Keep your feet together, so that all your concentration is on placing your club properly.
  • A little trick that helps, especially with longer chips, is to find a mark on the green that is on your target line. The closer the mark is to your ball the better, because it is easier to aim at something that is a few feet in front of you rather than 20 plus yards away.

Golf Chipping Instruction #2 :
Open Hips And Feet

  • The next step is to place your body relative to your club.
  • Start with you feet and work your way up.
  • Your feet are going to be in an open position, so your heels are going to aim away from the target line.
  • Your hips will follow your feet and aim away from the target line.
  • Make sure you keep your club facing your target line. Don’t let it move while you position your feet and hips.

Golf Chipping Instruction #3 :
Square Shoulders

  • Finish off your setup by making sure your shoulders are still square to the target line. This is very important to hitting your shots on target. If your shoulders follow your lower body you will miss left almost every time. See how my shoulders are parallel to the target line string? This will help with taking my club back straight during the chipping stroke, so that I can hit my chips on line.
  • Keep your feet and hips open. (aiming away from the target line)
  • Don’t let your club move. It’s position is the most important.

Aiming properly is critical to hitting great shots. When you practice, yous can simulate the strings I have used to illustrate the target line and heel line by using clubs. Put one behind your heels to show how it points away from your target line club which is in line with your ball. A partner can hold a club along your shoulder line to make sure it is parallel to your target line.

Thank you for reading the Chipping Alignment Lesson. The next lesson in the chipping series will be the Chipping Stroke Lesson. Before moving on to that lesson, please make sure you are comfortable with the Chipping Grip, Chipping Setup, Chipping Ball Position, and Chipping Alignment. You will not be able to take advantage of a great stroke without those four lessons.


Golf Bunker Shots : The Distance Control Lesson

This is the Advanced Golf Bunker Shots Distance Control Lesson. This lesson is to help you adjust to the different length shots you will face from the bunkers. That is one of the great yet difficult things about golf. Things change…for every shot.

You need creativity and touch. Some say that you are born with touch…well…maybe tour level touch…but we can all get better touch through practice and experience. Please use this lesson to help you develop your ‘touch’ so that you can hit shots of varying lengths. Getting the ball close to the hole so that you only have a short putt is the key to making your ‘sandy’ and saving a shot on your scorecard.



Golf Basics For Ball Position

Welcome to the Golf Basics Ball Position Lesson for Short Irons (8-iron). There are many things that you need to take care of before you make your golf swing. Ball position is certainly one of those things. The better and more consistent your ball position is the easier it is to make good contact. It is one of those small yet important details.

If your ball position is too far back then your swing will be too steep and that will cause you too hang back. If your ball position is too far forward then you will have to shift too much or your club will come up to fast and you will hit your ball thin. So, let’s build a routine that will allow you to put your golf ball in the same place every time. These golf basics will give you the best opportunity to make solid contact every time.


Step One:
Feet Together

  • To be consistent with your ball position you always want to start with your feet together. This way you can move your feet almost the same distance every time and keep your ball position consistent.
  • Place your ball in between your toes. You always want to have the same starting point. This just keeps the process simpler.

Step Two:
The Logo System

  • In the picture I am wearing a golf shirt with a logo on my left side. This is important for basic ball position, as we will use this logo as a reference. If you don’t have a shirt with a logo, or are a left handed player, most logos sit a couple of inches in from your armpit. You can either imagine one in the proper place, or you could even put a sticker there to represent the logo to make it easier to practice.
  • You are going to line up your ball with the logo (or sticker) on your shirt. This is for all full swing shots. It does not matter what club you are using, the position will always be the same.
  • The only change you will see from the different ball position lessons is how wide your stance will be with the different clubs.

Step Three:
Move Your Left Foot First

  • No matter what club you are using, move your left foot into position first. You are going to move your left foot the same distance every time.
  • Move your left foot so the inside of your foot is in line with your armpit. This will make moving your right foot much easier because it will automatically line up your golf ball with your logo.
  • The beauty of this system is its simplicity. You should be able to repeat it every time you step up to a full swing shot.

Step Four:
Move Your Right Foot Next

  • After you move your right foot your golf ball will always be in line with your logo on your shirt. Even though your right foot moves different distances when you are using different clubs. To see the differences please go to the Hybrid Ball Position Lesson,and the Driver Ball Position Lesson, after you are finished.
  • Your 8-iron stance will have the inside edges of your feet in line with your armpits. For more details on stance width please see the Hybrid Stance Lesson.
  • This stance will put your ball only slightly ahead of the middle of your stance. This will help you hit your golf ball with a downward motion. I know that sounds strange, but that is the best way to hit a short iron shot. You want to hit your ball while your club is still on a downward path, so that it bottoms out after your golf ball. That is how we make great contact and then take a nice size divot afterward. This type of action will help you hit the ball farther, straighter, and with a lot more backspin to stop your ball on the green.

Thank you for taking the Golf Basics Ball Position Lesson for Short Irons. Ball position is often over looked and taken for granted, but is actually vital to good consistent ball striking. Please use the structure of this lesson so that you can develop a strong routine that will allow you to have the your ball properly positioned to hit great shots.

Good luck with your practicing and playing. May you ‘Play Your Golf Dreams’ sooner with the help of


The Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Swing Lesson

This is the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Swing Lesson. This lesson is designed to help you build a repeatable swing so that you can get yourself out of the hardest of situations in green side bunkers.

Sand traps are often viewed with fear and concern…which often makes us hit into them as we are trying to avoid them. However, by using the Advanced Sand Play Setup Lesson, and the Advanced Sand Play Grip Lesson along with this swing lesson, you will be able to hit great recovery shots from the traps.

Once that happens it will help make your iron game better because you won’t be concerned about going into the sand. You will be able to be more aggressive, which should give you more confidence with your irons because you know you will have a really great opportunity at recovering from any trouble.

Step One : Address

Please refer to the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Setup Lesson, for a detailed routine and a consistent setup.

A few key points…

Step Two : The Takeaway

  • Your arms and shoulders form a nice triangle at the address position.
  • On the takeaway you want to keep that triangle intact.
  • Your weight should not move on the backswing. You don’t need the extra power. You do want to have great precision of entering the sand at the right place to execute your shot. Shifting your weight is not necessary…and we always try to avoid unnecessary movements.
  • The main difference between this swing and a regular full swing is that will engage the hands and wrists a lot earlier is the sand shot. You will get a better of how quickly the wrists are engaged in the next picture.
  • Notice how the wrists are already hinging. This helps make your swing steeper than normal. You need a steeper swing to get great results.
  • The key to this swing is to let your club follow your shoulders on the backswing. Since your shoulders are pointing left and are open to the target, your backswing should actually go to the outside of your target line.
  • This picture was taken along the target line so that you could see the path of the club. The target line points straight from your ball to your target. On most shots your club would come back straight along your target line. As you can see, in this case, your club will move well outside (to the right) of your target line.
  • Don’t worry though…since you have opened your club face you will still hit your shot towards your target.

Step Three : Set Swing

  • You only need to take the swing as far back as the set swing position. This means that your left arm should be parallel to the ground. Any longer swing than this can create consistency issues. Keep the swing short. You will have plenty of power to hit all the shots necessary.
  • In fact…you should make your backswing this long for 95% of all green side golf bunker shots that you will ever hit. It is only in very specific situations that you want to vary the length of your backswing.
  • It is the follow through that controls the distance. Please see the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Distance Control Lesson for more detail.
  • Click Here To Preview The Advanced Sand Play Distance Control Lesson
  • Remember to keep your weight on your front foot. This and your early wrist hinge will make your swing steep enough without any special manipulation.
  • Make sure that when you make your backswing that turn your arms shoulders and chest all together. Try to keep your hands in front of your chest. If you do you will be making an excellent backswing.

Step Four : The Downswing

  • Once you have finished your backswing, start your downswing by turning your hips towards your target.
  • You don’t have to worry about shifting your weight because you preset it forward at your address position.
  • Your shoulders arms and club should move with your hips. Don’t leave them behind by only moving your hips. You want them to be moved by your hips. This will keep your club on line as it makes it’s way to impacting the sand.
  • By using your hips first, you almost guarantee that you will keep your wrist hinge during the downswing. If you lose the ā€œLā€ formed by your club and arm too early there is a very good chance you will either hit way behind the ball and leave the ball in the bunker, or you will hit the ball and send it screaming over the green. Neither option helps your score very much.

Step Five : Impact

  • Your club should enter the sand about 2 inches behind the ball. This can vary slightly, and it is truly up to you how much sand works best for your swing and sand wedge. Just be careful, because if you take less than an inch you run the risk of clipping the ball and sending it over the green. If you take more than 3 inches you risk taking too much sand and leaving the ball in the bunker.
  • Make sure your left wrist is flat and that the back of your left hand is facing the target. If so, then your club will maintain it’s open position at impact. This will help you slide under the ball, and hit a higher flying and softer landing shot.
  • Keep your weight exactly where it started. This will create the proper angle of attack into and through impact. Do not let your weight fall back towards your right foot. That would lead to very inconsistent contact.

Step Six : Post Impact

  • The one thing you want to see in this picture is how the clubface is still open past impact. This means I have maintained the loft of my sand wedge and am going to get great height on my shot. You club face should be facing the sky.
  • You will have the same results if you keep turning your hips and shoulders through and past impact. If the ever stop turning towards the target, you will end up having to use your hands to make up it. Your brain knows what you are trying to do…so if you stop one action from trying to hit the shot your brain will get something else to takeover to try and pull off the shot. 99% of the time the brain sends in your hands. You don’t want that to happen because your hands will roll your club over and close the face.
  • Make sure that you turn your body through the shot so that you can maintain the loft of your club.

Step Six : The Finish

  • Your hands and club will finish at different heights based on the length of your shot. Please see Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Distance Control Lesson.
  • Your weight still has not moved much. Momentum of the swing may put even more of your weight onto your left foot…and that’s okay.
  • Check your divot after your shot. We want as shallow a divot as we can get without hitting the ball. You don’t want your club to dig down too much. When you create a divot you will see the sand will darken in color as you get deeper in the sand. Try to keep the bottom of your divot as light a color as possible without making contcat with your ball.

Thank you for taking the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Swing Lesson. It takes a little getting used to this swing, but it can be very effective. The next lesson in the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot series is Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Distance Control. We want to make our game as versatile as possible so that we can handle as many game situations as possible.


The Golf Ball & How To Tee It Up

Welcome to the Teeing the Golf Ball Lesson. This lesson is designed to show you how to tee up your ball. It will show you the easiest way to tee up your ball, but also the different heights the tee should be based on the club you might be using. It is important to tee the ball up properly because you do it every hole you play. Again, this a simple yet over looked task that if done well can make contact much easier.

The First Rule of Tees: ALWAYS USE A TEE! Whether you are on a crazy long par 5 or a tiny par 3…always put your ball on a tee. It is the only time during the hole that your allowed to, so take advantage of that opportunity. Even when using any of your wedges…by putting the ball on a tee you guaranteeing yourself a perfect lie. This gives you the best opportunity to make solid contact.

Teeing Up a Golf Ball: Step One
Ball on Tee in Hand

  • Put the tee between your index and middle fingers with the tip pointing to the ground.
  • Put the golf ball on top of the tee in your hand.

Teeing up a Golf Ball: Step Two
Pushing The Tee Into Ground

  • Using your palm, push down on top of your golf ball. This will push your tee into the ground.
  • This is the easiest way to get the tee in the ground especially if the ground is very dry and hard.
  • Trying to push the tee into the ground with your thumb or fingers is too difficult and can hurt your fingers.
  • Remember to bend your knees when going down to the ground to tee up your ball to take stress off your back.

 Teeing Up for a Short Iron
(6,7,8,9,PW, SW)

  • When you tee up for a short iron, put the tee so that it is almost all the way into the ground. Your golf ball should be sitting just above the ground.
  • You would normally hit a shot with a short iron right off the ground, so you will want to make sure it is as close to the ground as possible. If you do then you will get the same height and distance you are used to getting with that club. This is very important for a tee shot on a par three as you are trying to land the ball on the green…and there is usually trouble lurking for errant shots.
  • If you tee it too high, it will be harder to hit down on the ball and you will likely increase the height of your shot, which will lose distance.
  • Then why not forget the tee, right? Well, using a tee gives you a slight margin for error to help ensure crisp contact.

Teeing Up for a Hybrid/Long Iron/Fairway Wood
(3,4,5 irons,7wood, 5 wood, 3 wood)

  • When teeing up a hybrid/long iron/fairway wood you want the golf ball to sit a little higher than a with a short iron. That is because we want to slight downward motion to almost sweeping it off the tee with the longer clubs.
  • Teeing up half an inch off the ground encourages you to get the ball up in the air a little easier so that you can hit it farther and straighter.
  • If you tee the ball too high with these clubs it makes it harder to hit the sweet spot of the club face. Missing the sweet spot will cause you to lose distance and accuracy.
  • Teeing it up higher than that will encourage and upward swing path through impact which will cause a loss in power and even topping your shot.

Teeing Up for Your Driver

  • When you tee up your driver you want to be sure you tee your golf ball high enough. A good rule of thumb is that the half of your ball should sit above the top of your driver.
  • I have always taught that it is better to be a little higher than that, especially if you are new to golf. You truly want to sweep the ball off the tee when hitting with your driver. Teeing it up a little higher encourages the proper sweeping action.
  • People often think that they will go right under the ball and hit it too high, but it fact that rarely happens. However, if your ball is teed up too low then instead of sweeping we end up coming down on the ball. This loses a ton of distance, and that is generally when you will it off the top of the club face. That is how you hit the dreaded ‘sky ball’.
  • Make sure you tee it high enough to maximize your distance and accuracy.

Thank you for taking this lesson. By teeing your ball the right height for the club your are using, you are giving yourself the best opportunity for success. Use this lesson to help guide you in teeing the ball the proper height. It truly is a guide as you may modify your tee height slightly based on your individual swing. This is a very personal game played with a universal framework.

Good luck with your practicing and playing. May you ‘Play Your Golf Dreams’ sooner with the help of