Why Tiger Woods avoids using a 60-degree wedge from the sand
Bunker play is a challenge for golfers of all abilities. Heck, even pros need to get creative every so often, with deep banks sometimes making it difficult to play aggressive shots.
Whether you’re anxious every time your spikes touch the sand or you’re short-game master, every player can use some more instruction — especially when that advice comes from Tiger Woods and Scottie Scheffler.
The two TaylorMade staff players recently paired up for a bunker-shot masterclass, breaking down their techniques and swing paths, along with their preferred club choices.
Check out the video below or read on to learn how their tips may help your bunker game thrive.
Tiger Woods and Scottie Scheffler’s bunker tips
From the jump, Woods asks Scheffler what club he typically uses to hit bunker shots, with the 2022 Masters champ saying he prefers a 60-degree wedge. But when hitting from a longer greenside bunker shot, Scheffler says drop to as low as a 9-iron.
Woods, surprisingly, says he never grew up using a 60-degree.
“I like a 56-degree, myself,” Woods says. “I grew up without a 60-degree, so I’m just used to having that [club]face open on my 56 all the time. I found that, when the sand gets heavier, then my 60 doesn’t work. It just goes too deep [into the sand].”
Using a 60-degree wedge from anywhere on the golf course can be difficult, and it’s interesting to hear Woods agree.
Woods demonstrates his bunker setup with a 56-degree wedge, saying he gets “more squatty” and tries to avoid overswinging.
“I really do like dropping my right leg back to feel the hook in it,” he says. “I turn through, always. I never used to, but now that my back is fused, it just goes. I can’t stop it.
“On a [bunker shot] like this, I get really wide in my stance, with my hands back.”
After Scheffler hits a bunker shot using Woods’ instruction, the two start discussing how they would approach a tight pin placement from the sand.
Scheffler says he uses a similar setup as Woods.
“Same thing as you, I’ll try to get wide,” he says. “Last year, I tried working on getting further away from [the ball]. For me, it was hard to get my hands lower.”
Scheffler adds: “But, yeah, really far away, handle back, and then just try to throw [the club]. Just use the bottom to try and get underneath it.”
The players continue to talk about their swing approach while hitting from bunkers, with Woods saying he gets in trouble when he drags his hands.
“I get going bad when I just start dragging it, and I don’t have any release to it” Woods says. “So, me practicing the release in a draw motion gets me into feeling like the club is being let go. I hit bad bunker shots when I drag my hands, and I just dig [the club] into the ground.”
So if you’re a player who struggles hitting bunker shots, remember that even players of Woods’ caliber can’t always hit them perfectly.