Phil Mickelson's Tips From The Bunker


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , | Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2010

I spent the day playing in the sand but I wasn't at the beach. My practice session today was spent in the bunkers. I am making a conscious effort to practice all aspects of the game and today I got a little sandy.

I always hear the teaching pros talking about how all amateurs spend too much time on the range practicing their irons and drivers. I've been told that 75% of the shots taken during a round of golf are from 100 yards and in. So I think it only makes sense to spend 75% of my practice session on my short game.

The ability to get it up and down from the green side bunkers is crucial if I want to continue to lower my scores. I do pretty well, rarely leaving it in the bunker, but I definitely need to work on getting it closer to the hole.

The pros, for the most part, don't mind leaving it the bunker. I've actually seen players put it in the bunker on purpose. When a pro stands over a shot they look at where they want to hit the ball but they also take note of good places to miss it. If there is trouble behind the green, like water, they would rather leave the approach shot short in the bunker to at least have a chance to save par. Miss it long and they would be staring at bogey or worse.

I'm trying to make the bunkers my friend and not something to fear. I think when most amateurs hit it in the bunker, anxiety levels are raised. All we can think about now is the bad shot we hit and the difficult shot to come. I want to get to the point that if I hit that bad shot, I'm not upset. I want my mentality to be, "sure I didn't hit the shot I intended, but yes, I've been in this situation before, and I know how to handle it."

2010 Masters Champion Phil Mickelson is is known as one of the best short game players in the game today. What he does around the green can be considered miraculous. The following video is an excerpt from his DVD Phil Mickelson: Secrets of the Short Game. He demonstrates how to perform bunker shots from different lies. It's evident that he has total confidence in his game. He makes it look so easy, but I guess that what years and years of practice will get you. Have fun at the "beach".

Have a good one and always hit your target.

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