Fault: Swing too shallow in bunkers

Name: John Duffy
Handicap: 13
Home Club: Calcot Park
The problem: Essentially, it’s inconsistency – sometimes I get out, sometimes I don’t! On a bad day it perhaps costs me three or four shots a round. One of my main problems is that when I’m short-sided, if I do get it out I’ll invariably go long.

Watch all the essentials for good bunker play

GM Top 25 Coach Clive Tucker’s assessment
John’s issue was that he has a very one-dimensional bunker shot, which is actually a recognised technique if you want to drive the ball forward and run it up the green rather than hit a softer spinning shot. Much of this stems from John’s set-up.

There’s a pronounced shaft lean and the clubface is square to closed, and delofted. His backswing is then very much on the inside and too shallow with very little wrist cock. If he’s close to the pin with not much green to work with, he’s got no chance!

Clive’s remedy
John wasn’t used to having enough loft or speed in the release, so it was quite difficult for him. We narrowed his stance, added loft to club, got the shaft more vertical, put the ball further forward, put more weight on his left side and introduced more wrist cock for a steeper angle of attack – integral to allowing the faster release John needed.

Clive Tucker helps 13-handicap John Duffy adjust his set-up and swing to hit higher, softer bunker shots

It must have felt pretty different! But John made a good fist of it and hit several good shots. Sound, spin and control were all very different, and it will take a while for John to get used to it as he’s been watching his bunker shots run 15 yards for years.

Watch Rick Shiels’ bunker shot advice

John’s feedback
I swing flat around my body, which isn’t all bad as it gives me a shot that’s useful sometimes. But as Clive says, one that only ever drives the ball low and fast, so I’m always going to have trouble stopping the ball.

He narrowed my stance and put more weight on my left side, but more importantly got me to take the club away much straighter with a wrist cock, rather than back around my body. We also worked on a more compact follow-through. It felt extremely awkward, so I’m going to have to work at it. But the ones I did hit correctly popped the ball up nicely.