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Match Your Address and Impact for Better Results in the Bunker

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Lydia Ko of New Zealand plays a shot from a bunker on the first hole during the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club on June 24, 2021 in Johns Creek, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

You don’t have to be a world-class player like Lydia Ko to learn from her technique in this video. Ko is facing a lie where the ball is above her feet and in the sand. Two challenges the average golfer faces all the time and typically struggle with. At first glance, we see her hands gripping the club well down the shaft.
With the ball above her feet at address, this shortens the club. By shortening the club with her setup, she has matched her swing arc to the level of the lie. Since the club is shorter, she must be conscious of her hand position. With the ball higher her hands will feel lower.
It is imperative she keeps those hands low when she returns to the ball for impact. Matching the height of her hands at address will ensure she swings on her normal plane right through the sand. If her hands were to go up, the swing arc would change causing her to miss the shot.
Whether we have a full swing on the turf or a bunker shot above our feet this is an important lesson. The height of your hands and the angle of the shaft you feel at address should be repeated at impact. Changing vertically causes inconsistent results and in the case of Lydia’s shot, not nearly as nice of a finish.
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