You find yourself playing ok, but when you go in a greenside bunker your confidence is shot because you know your round could potentially be over.
Just how do the professionals make how to play a bunker shot seem like the easiest shot in golf?
Playing a bunker shot can be challenging, but with proper technique and practice, you can become proficient at it.
The dreaded experience of hitting the ball first and flying the golf putting green is something some even some of the best players have been through.
If this sounds familiar and you are getting a lot of bunker shot tips from playing partners here are some tips on how to play a bunker shot.
A lot of professionals call this one the easiest shot in golf. This is simply because they are not actually striking the golf ball with the clubface. All they are doing is simply digging out sand with their golf sand wedge.
So what is the best way to play a bunker shot and what how does a player implement a decent golf bunker shot technique?
There are two things a golfer needs to play the bunker shot consistently well.
Use a Decent Lofted Wedge
You wouldn’t know it but a lot of more accomplished players actually use a 60 degree lob wedge out of bunkers. This is because of the extra loft golf wedge loft, which makes it easy to get the ball out of the sand. It also helps the better players get the ball up higher, and is easier for them to stop the ball in the vicinity of the flag.
Most golf wedges will have a slightly wider soleplate, which will help slide underneath the sand a lot easier.
They also feature some technology called the Bounce. The wedge bounce is the angle formed between the leading edge and the trailing edge in the clubs address position.
The golf wedge bounce angle will range between 4 and 16 degrees, but if you are starting out a wedge with more golf club bounce is ideal as it is the most forgiving. It also accommodates softer sand which will generally be practice bunkers.
Basically, a wedge with more bounce is for softer sand, and a wedge with less bounce is for harder sand.
To best utilise the golf wedge bounce, it is ideal to open up the face, as will be explained in the video at the bottom.
To learn more about the bounce on a wedge, visit the link on Golf Wedge Bounce Explained.
Check out some of the Golf wedges on the market and prices.
Sound Technique and Fundamentals
Open Face – The first thing to do is to open the clubface and then take the grip. Opening the clubface and then taking the grip makes sure that the face will be open on the backswing. Open the face first and then grip the golf club.
Open Stance – Much like the chip or pitch shot you want to open your stance and aim slightly left of the target. If you are in a practice bunker you can draw a line left of the target and aim your feet on this line. Make sure your ball position is slightly forward of the centre of your stance.
Dig your feet in slightly – You want to get sand out on to the green, so getting your centre of gravity nice and low is ideal to achieve this. Your aim is to slide the clubhead underneath the ball and dig out sand a couple of inches in front of the golf ball.
Swing on an (out to in swing path) – During practice draw a line in the sand on the line of your feet which is aimed slightly left of the target. You want to swing the club on this line. This is one of the most helpful golf bunker tips for playing a bunker shot and will give you consistency out of the sand if you implement it.
Cup the wrist slightly on the backswing – This is something you will notice a lot of better bunker players implement. It will increase loft, and help you get more height on your bunker shots which will help the ball stop quicker.
For the right-handed player this means cupping the left wrist on the backswing. The opposite happens for the left-handed player.
Dig out sand two inches behind the ball – Just make a slight mark two inches behind the ball, and your goal is to dig out the sand before the ball in this area. This will only apply to a practice bunker as grounding your golf club in a bunker during competition will add penalty strokes to your score.
Follow through – Much like a full swing, the followthrough and the completion of the swing is important. You can practice splashing out sand onto the practice green initially to get a feel.
Just practice doing these simple tips and before you know it you will start getting out of the sand with ease.
Repetition will give you confidence and that’s when you can start picking where you want the ball to land which is where the real fun begins.
For more advice, you can watch the below golf instruction video by Touring Professional Stuart Appleby. He will show you just how to make golf bunker shots seem easy.
If you still struggle with how to hit a bunker shot, visit the link on a golf wedge that actually makes the shot a lot easier for amateur golfers. Callaway Sure out Wedge.
For a review on some of the better Callaway Wedges visit the Callaway Wedges Review.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them below.