Tackling The Over 1000 Bunkers At Whistling Straits


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Friday, August 13, 2010

Over 1000 bunkers? Really? How would you like to face this shot in the picture to the right? The pros competing in the 92nd edition of the PGA Championship are up against one of the mot difficult courses that they will see this season. Whistling Straits boast an obscene amount of bunkers positioned throughout the course to make the golfer think before he swings.

PGA pros and their caddies map out the entire course before each round so that they have an idea of where they want to land each shot. Such attention to detail is what sets them apart as pros. As amateurs, we tend to just hack away without thinking about where we should land the ball to leave ourselves with the best shot at par or better.

It is imperative that the pros put the ball in the fairway off the tee. There are bunkers in places one would not expect. One analyst(I can't remember who right now) talked about walking the grounds and moving a two foot by two foot patch of grass and finding a bunker. If they miss the short grass, finding a bunker is likely.

Approach shots become even more important with the threat of finding the beach. Any chance at birdie must come from hitting the greens in regulation. During the first round, Vijay Singh found himself in the altar bunker on the par 3, 17th hole(It's the elevated bunker on right side of this picture). He came up fifteen feet short of the green, but also found himself about thirty feet above it as well. Who practices this shot? Nobody. That's who. If a player misses the greens, they will have to put their imaginations to good use.

Personally, I do pretty well out of bunkers. Rarely do I leave a ball in the bunker after a shot. My proximity to the pin could stand to improve, but at this point I am happy to get out safely. Nothing is worse than having the ball roll back to your feet after a bunker shot. Or even worse. Sculling it, and putting the ball in the bunker on the other side of the green, Talk about demoralizing.

Here is a video about hitting out of a greenside bunker. Practicing and perfecting this shot will help to lower your scores. Leaving it in the bunker inevitably leads to doubles and triples on the scorecard. It can be a round killer. Tomorrow we look at probably the most difficult shot in golf. The thirty to fifty foot bunker shot. It is hard to control the distance on this type of shot. Even the pros have fits when placed in this situation.

The second round is going to be interesting. There is a great group of talent at the top of the leaderboard. The player that avoids the bunkers will have the best chance of making the biggest move. Hold on. Did Michael Breed just say that there is a bunker behind the 15th tee? Wow! What for Pete Dye? You are an evil genius my friend. Have a good round and always hit your target.

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