Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta

The Loop

How He Hit That: Bubba Watson's fairway bunker slash

June 29, 2015

Bubba Watson has hit more than his share of memorable shots. Almost every tee shot is a giant, soaring parabola with 30 yards of curve, and the shot he hit to win the 2012 Masters made an almost 90 degree curve from the trees.

So the bunker shot Watson hit on the 13th hole might even be considered "boring" in the Bubba pantheon -- even if it would be spectacular for any mortal player.

Situated 208 yards from the flag on TPC River Highlands' par-5 15th, Watson carved a 5-iron from the fairway bunker on the left to 40 feet, setting up an eagle putt that would prove important later on. Watson ended up tied in regulation with Paul Casey, and won his second Travelers title with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

You might not have Bubba's power -- or unorthodox flair -- but being more in tune with the clubface like he is will improve your game, says top South Carolina teacher Brad Redding. "Bubba's swing is based on being able to control the face and the path with his hands," says Redding, who is based at the International Club in Myrtle Beach. "This is harder to do with a driver and its longer shaft and less loft, but it lets him hit some incredible recovery shots with his irons, like he did here. What you can take from this is not so much copying his technique on this shot, but stop thinking so much about what your body is doing and think about what you want to do with the face and path."

The result? You'll be using the tool to make the ball do what you want, not obsessing over body movements, says Redding.