Kristina on the Course: Perfecting your bunker shots - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kristina on the Course: Perfecting your bunker shots

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WALLA WALLA, WA - For this week's segment of Kristina on the Course, Kristina Shalhoup spoke with Wine Valley Golf Club's head pro, John Thorsnes, about how to hit those bunker shots a little bit better.

"Now one of the things we were talking about a little bit earlier is cheating while you practice," Kristina said. "Sounds a little funny, but it can be applied to situations like this one, right?"

"It sure can," Thorsnes agreed.

"So tell me how! How do we cheat while we practice our bunker shots?" Kristina asked.

"Well, a couple things: you know when you're in a bunker you can't sole your club when you hit your shot, but if you're practicing, go ahead and do that!" Thorsnes said. "You can also see if you look closely I've got a couple lines, a long narrow X. One of my lines is going to the target, the other slightly to the left.

"When they talk about opening your club face, you always want to open the club face in the bunker, but when you do you want it to still be facing your target. Your body is going to be aimed left and that keeps the club face open," Thorsnes explained.

"Also, when I practice, I ground my club just to feel how deep I want to go. Then, the shot itself, is you want to swing across your body line. So my target line is here, but you can see that my body, my hips, my shoulders, and my club face are all aimed a little bit left. Then I want to take a nice downward blow through the ball, similar to what we were talking about in chipping.

"One of the references I'll make is that if you're in a swimming pool, and there's a bee in the swimming pool, you don't go down and pick up the bee because you might get stung. You use your hand to splash it out and use the water to knock the bee out of the pool.

"That's the same thing here," explained Thorsnes. "You want to use the sand to knock the ball out of the bunker."

Thorsnes demonstrated what he explained to Kristina. 

"Beautiful!" Kristina exclaimed. "Oh man, you nearly dunked that one, too! Alright, well, it looks like you definitely know what you're doing, and these drills are helpful!"

"Cheat, accelerate through the ball, remember down and through," Thorsnes said.