When it comes to golf in Southwest Florida, there are two givens that will affect just about everyone's game: Wind and sand. Wind can run trajectory off course faster than a speeding bullet and bunkers, don't even get me started on bunkers. To help remedy the inflated handicap, we've reached out for some professional advice with our series “Tips from a Golf Pro.” Here, Matt Denzer, certified golf instructor with the Leadbetter Golf Academy, speaks to the finer points of bunker basics and being a better wind player below.
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DENZER: This year, the annual PGA Championship was held at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island Golf Resort. While the course has a tremendous history and was stretched out to more than 7,600 yards, the yardage was not the only test for the players. Two areas of the game that proved to be a huge test was a players' ability to control the trajectory of the golf ball in wind and bunker play. Here are a few things you can do to improve your game in these areas:
Bunker basics: The most common fault I see with players in the bunkers is the tendency to try and lift the ball out. This often results in thin or fat bunker shots. For more consistency, set at least 60 percent of your weight on your front side at address, open up the clubface and swing to a full follow through. This should provide you with a more reliable, consistent shot.
Trajectory control: It’s surprising how often players tend to under-club in the wind. One key fact to understand when playing in the wind is the harder you swing, the more the ball spins—thus, the shorter it travels. To become a good wind player, try these two changes: First, start by grabbing three or four higher clubs then normal (with no or slight wind). Then swing with a shorter back swing and follow through. As you get better with these two changes, you will be surprised how well the ball pierces the wind.
- For instruction from a David Leadbetter Golf Academy pro, contact Scott Holden, Master Certified Golf Instructor and Director of Instruction at the Leadbetter Gold Academy at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort.
About David Leadbetter Golf Academy
Recognized as one of the best golf instructors in the world (currently #2 in Golf Digest’s “50 Greatest Teachers”), David Leadbetter has helped some of the best golfers in the world capture over a dozen Majors and more than 100 individual worldwide tournament wins. Established in 1983, the David Leadbetter Golf Acedemy (DLGA) has taken the tools and techniques Leadbetter developed for top tour pros and brought them to the public in 13 countries with 28 full-time academies.
Denzer joined tge DLGA in 2003 after taking lessons on his pursuit of a professional career. So enamored with the DLGA teaching methods, Denzer joined the organization as an instructor and has quickly become one of the leading instructors within the academy.
What’s in the bag?
Sponsored by Callaway Golf, Denzer has a full bag of tricks from one of the giants of the game. Totting the RAZR series, these clubs play as good as they look:
- Callaway RAZR Fit Driver, 8.5 degree
- Callaway RAZR Fit 3wood, 15 degree
- Callaway RAZR X hybrid, 21 degree
- Callaway RAZR X, tour irons 4-pw
- Callaway Forged Wedges: 60, 55 and 50
- Odyssey Black Series, # 2 putter