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Bunker Play!

Updated: Dec 27, 2018

Most golfers don't have a clear concept of how they're supposed to swing in the sand. And the shots they hit don't help—fat, then thin, then fat, and so on. How on earth would they know what kind of swing to make? The good news is, once you hit a few bunker shots correctly, the light goes on. One overall mistake I see is trying to guide the club too much, which takes the athleticism out of the shot.

In todays Blog I am going to cover some big keys on how to set-up and swing the club to get that ball more consistently out of the bunker and into the hole quicker!

#1- First lets talk about club selection and face angle. (This post will be only cover techniques for the "green side bunker").

For a green side bunker we something with a lot of loft. Most people know this club as the "sand wedge", but you can use many different clubs from a pitching wedge, to a 52,54,56,58, and 60 degree wedge. Whatever club you choose needs to have an open face to help not only add loft to get the ball up in the air but more importantly expose the "bounce"on the club

#2- Now we need to get into the correct set-up position.

Since we did already open up the club face, this will automatically aim the club farther right. This means our stance should be a bit open to compensate for this. (As shown in the picture)

#3- Ball position needs to be forward.

Ball position needs to be forward so we can get a nice attack angle on the ball without hitting too much behind the ball.

#4- Weight Position

knees should be flexed and weight needs to be forward. You should feel about 70% of you weight on your left leg throughout the whole swing. Should look like you are leaning into the left knee

towards the target on the set-up position, (as shown in the picture).

#5- The Swing

For bunker play it is important to feel like you only hit sand, not the ball. The sand is what lifts the ball out of the bunker. For practice purposes you can draw a small circle that sits about 1-2 inches around the ball. If you hit the bunker shot correctly you should be able to enter the club behind the ball where the circle starts and exit on the other side, essentially making the circle disappear.

To do this correctly you need to keep that weight left and feel like your swing is more of a "V" shape. On the backswing, bring the hands straight up by the right ear, then straight down to the ball and through to a full finish. Don't be afraid to make a big swing. The sand will slow down your contact, so go ahead and make a full swing. Distance will be controlled by less lofted club and also how much sand you take. So with that being said, bunker play takes a lot of practice but is eventually pretty easy!

Thank you for stopping by and reading! I hope you enjoyed and can now add some more pars to the scorecard!

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