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The Houdini Bunker Recovery

No one deserves a downhill lie that needs to fly over a high face to an uphill pin, but then no one deserves to be born ugly either or get their wotsits caught in a zip. Sometimes it just happens. So, you’ve got to suck it up and get on with it. The silver lining is that the rage you’re feeling as you look at this shot can be channelled in thumping behind the ball as you escape with the last laugh.

The Brief:

You must escape the sand in one shot. Now quit whining and get on with it.

The Weapon:

Sand-iron. Does exactly what it says on the tin.

The Execution:

Bunkers require us to be chameleons as golfers. We have to adapt to whatever circumstance they set. When your ball is under the lip on a downhill lie, you’ve just got to deal with it and balance is key. So set yourself up so that your body is firmly balanced and centred over the ball.

Try and get your centre-of-gravity as low as possible. This will stabilize your body.

Grip down on the club a good few inches. It will give you greater control over the club head.

Trust the loft of your club. There is no room for doubt with a shot like this. You need to commit and let the club do its job. Picking the club up steeply on your backswing will give you some vital extra loft.

The triangle of trust is the key to your success. As long as you’re balanced, have loft and speed, the ball should pop out and leave you putting for your next shot. Take one of these things away and you’re about as useful as chocolate teapot.

Last thought is to hit down hard and commit.


To possibly fall face first into the sand. A rip in the crotch of your trousers. Oh....the ball to roll forward about 10-15 feet on the green as well.

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