Greenside Bunker Tips

Published 01/09/2013 07:36:00

A three-step setup

For a bunker shot where there is a cushion of sand under your ball:

  1. Before gripping your club, open the clubface by turning it clockwise. Then take your grip.
  2. Aim left by pulling your left foot back, away from the target line. Keep the clubface pointed at the target.
  3. Twist your feet into the sand. That lowers the bottom of your swing so you'll hit behind the ball and provides a steady base.
A bigger backswing

Generally, length of shot determines length of backswing, but remember this rule of thumb: Because the sand will slow the clubhead, the swing you make in a bunker should be the same length (both backswing and follow-through) as you would make to hit a pitch three times as far.

Hit sand, not ball

Why greenside bunker shots are easy: Because the object is to miss the ball. The club enters the sand opposite the middle of your stance and exits on the target side of the ball. The cushion of sand displaced actually throws the ball out of the bunker. Clubface and ball should never make contact.

Finish with hands high

Why greenside bunker shots are difficult: Because the clubhead must keep moving despite its contact with the sand. Focus on how your arms and body complete the follow-through. The body turns until you're facing the target, your hands and the clubhead finishing above your shoulders.


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