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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Gaby Lopez on Uphill Bunker Shots (Video)

With Gaby becoming only the second Mexican winner on the LPGA -- the great Lorena Ochoa being the other -- I thought it might be fun to find a tip from her. And I found a very useful piece of info in this video about playing uphill bunker shots.

For the most part, Gaby's advice here is the same you'll hear for playing most any bunker shot, but few weekend players ever consider changing clubs when the lie changes. The tendency is to always use the same club -- usually your lob wedge -- out of a greenside bunker, but Gaby doesn't.

In this video, she first mentions that she generally takes one more club than usual -- that is, if she normally plays a 60° lob wedge, she'll move up to her 56° sand wedge. The reason is that the uphill lie causes the ball to fly much higher. In fact, she specifically says a lie like the one you see in the video will add about 2° to the loft of the club.

But she doesn't stop there. Later in the video she says you could use other clubs, up to around 50°. Depending on your particular set, that's a gap wedge (typically a 52° wedge) or a pitching wedge (47-48°). Not all uphill lies are the same, of course, so you'd probably want to use one of these clubs on a steeper lie.

And you'll want to experiment a bit to see what works best with your swing; I have successfully used a 9-iron out of a steep uphill lie before when the sand was soft.

If you saw any of Gaby's final round, you know she's a good scrambler. So -- especially if these kinds of bunker shots give you problems -- you may find more success by using a different club, based on her guidelines.

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