Basic Bunker Method
This method is the simplest to learn and will get the ball out of the bunker with little fuss. Playing it square on like this will involve the front edge of the club digging into the sand. For more finesse, we would need to use the sole/bounce of the club.
The set up is much like a pitch shot.
• Set your weight forward and sternum on top of the ball.
• The ball is positioned 2" forward of the centre of your stance
• You will need a good length back swing that creates the 'L' shape structure in both the back swing and follow through.
• Keep the weight on the left side as per chipping and pitching.
• Aim to hit the sand 2" behind the ball and keep the speed on the club.
The leading edge of the sand wedge will dig into the sand. That makes this a great shot for shallow bunkers with wet or compact sand. It is not ideal for deep fluffy sand.
Be mindful not to hit down too hard or too far behind. In which case the sand will absorb all the speed and the ball won't move far.
The challenge here is to make a long swing both back and through, even though you are only green side. When the front edge hits the sand the club will slow down quite significantly. Players generally struggle to have the commitment required for this shot until they have practised enough to generate a consistent strike and feel for distance.
Keep your attention on the area of the sand behind the ball that you intend to strike. When we asked Gary Player if he looks at the ball during the swing, he said 'never'; with the exception of a bunker shot when he focuses on his intended contact point.