Fault: Lack of stability in bunkers

Name: Leslie Hines
Handicap: 18
Home Club: Badgemore Park
The problem: Inconsistent is the best way to describe my bunker play and it’s very frustrating. Not really understanding where the inconsistency comes from means I’ve not really known what to work on.

Watch all the essentials for good bunker play

GM Top 25 Coach Clive Tucker’s assessment
Leslie clearly knew what he was trying to do in the sand – he had pretty good alignment, and his clubface, swing plane and path were all good. But he couldn’t control the strike because his body was all over the place.

There wasn’t too much wrong at address, although we had a little bit more weight on the left side by the end. The main problem was that his body was just so unstable. There was a sway and a dip and a bob down, so he couldn’t deliver the club with any consistency.

Clive Tucker works on improved stability with 18-handicap Leslie Hines for greater consistency from the sand

Clive’s remedy
I got Leslie to keep his toes up inside his left shoe, because if your toes are up and you bob forward, they’ll automatically go down, so you instantly know you’re out of balance and position. Within ten minutes Leslie’s balance and stability had improved 50 per cent.

I also showed him an exercise where you make a groove in the sand and place a ball a couple of inches to the left of that line. You should then set up to make contact with the sand two to three inches behind the ball every time to encourage greater stability and a consistent release point. These two drills made a massive difference to Leslie.

Watch Peter Finch’s bank note bunker drill

Leslie’s feedback
Getting my toes up off the ground to make me aware if I was moving forwards gave me a lot more stability. The groove in the sand, designed to encourage me to hit the sand three inches behind the ball consistently, really helped me to remain stable over a loaded front foot. It felt very strange at first, but the ball was coming out much more consistently.

Once I knew that stability was the problem, I was able to forget about my swing and just focus on keeping stable over a solid foundation. I’m going away more confident, with a couple of simple drills that should give me more consistency.