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5 Steps to Hitting Out of Bunkers

5 Steps to Hitting Out of Bunkers

Greenside bunkers can be dreaded by players. They are man–made hazards strategically placed around greens by course architects to make holes more challenging. If your approach shot is slightly short, long, left or right, it could end up in a bunker.

Hitting out of a pit filled with sand and landing the ball softly on the green is a shot that requires practice and skill. Here are five tips to help you get out of the sand and onto the putting surface.

  1. It starts with your stance – Position the ball slightly forward in your stance. Dig your feet down into the sand for stability. Open your feet slightly to the target and place more weight (about 60%) on your front foot.

  2. Open your clubface – At address, open the clubface to elevate your shot. If it’s a very deep bunker or you’re close to the front lip, open the clubface more to get the ball up quickly. Warning: If the sand is wet or very firm, open the clubface slightly or not at all.

  3. The wrists fuel your backswing – Break your wrists immediately when taking your backswing. It produces a steep swing path, which is needed to elevate the ball quickly. Taking the club back with your arms and shoulders will produce a shallow, sweeping swing and lower trajectory shot.

  4. Hit the sand, not the ball – Hit an inch or two behind the ball. The sand lifts the ball up and out of the trap on successful bunker shots. Your goal is a short, soft shot. Striking the ball first will send it across or over the green.

  5. Finish your swing – Maintain your clubhead speed through the swing. Don’t slow down at contact! Swing with tempo and follow through.

Follow these steps and you’ll stop dreading bunker shots. Instead, you’ll approach them like it’s just another day at the beach.

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