Bunker Shots Made Easy

Wed, 02/29/2012

This is taken from an article I wrote for Today’s Golfer magazine

Keep it Simple with a ‘Straight

Forward’ Approach


A lot of golfers overcomplicate the bunker shot when a straight forward approach can give fantastic results. If your goal is to break 100 then you need to be able to get the ball out of the bunker every time with a consistent strike. This is without doubt the best way. In this method we are not opening the club face so make sure you are using a sand wedge or even your lob wedge.


This method is almost identical to playing a pitch shot and starts with a similar set up position. The big difference is that we are aiming to hit the sand about 2-3” behind the ball and let the club slide under the ball which will lift the ball on a cushion of sand.

  • Stand with your body aligned square to where you are aiming and with a square club face.
  • Adopt a fairly wide stance with 60% of your weight on the front foot
  • Hands just ahead of the ball to create shaft lean
  • The ball is positioned 2” in front of the middle of your stance







The backswing is much like pitching.

My wrists have hinged to 90 degrees and my arms have swung more upward than normal.

Try and keep your weight on your front foot and your legs quiet in the backswing. This will help you control where you hit the sand








The key skill with any bunker method is that we can consistently make our first contact in the sand 2-3” behind the ball.

To practice this skill, draw a line in the sand in the middle of your stance and practice the correct contact point and depth of your divot. Remember, the ball is place 2-3” in front of this mark,


Practicing this drill will help you become familiar with the correct impact with the sand and also give you the confidence that you can make a committed swing at the ball, safe in the knowledge that you will be striking the sand first.


As with pitching, be sure to keep your body turning through impact so that you finish with your hips and shoulders facing the target. Your club should accelerate through the sand to a position at least as high as it was in your backswing.

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