How to Hit Bunker Shots

I’ve wondered how to hit bunker shots for a long time now. What is the best way to go about it? - Tony in Ogden, UT

Great question and for those of us who have no clue how to hit bunker shots listen up. All of us at one time or another have hit a shot into the dreaded bunker or what is more commonly referred to as a sand trap. No fun is it? Actually, I think its quite a pain in the ass when you’re having a great game and all of a sudden the golf gods deem it necessary to blow your ball into something dirty that’s really difficult to get out of….

Anyways, if you simply need help with learning this skill and don’t actually suffer from the yips, then here is a simple drill you can use to hit golf bunker shots right every time. Find yourself a sand trap and take with you 3 clubs. These will be your sand wedge, lob wedge and pitching wedge. Take the time to hit a few shots with each club so that you begin to develop this skill and notice the difference in how the ball comes out of the sand. After that its just a matter of selecting the club that you’re most comfortable with.

1. First thing to understand is that you have to have your right index finger about an inch from the bottom of the grip. Doing so will give you more control of the club while allowing you to get a feel for the shot rather than smacking away at it.

2. Make sure to keep a narrower stance than you would normally have and address the ball a few inches forward in your stance. Applying this method provides better control of the shot which will lead to a higher ball flight.

3. Get your feet to where they are stable in the sand and make the most vertical swing as you can. Your left arm should be parallel to the ground and fully extended at the top of your swing.

4. As you start the downswing you should focus on hitting 1 inch behind the ball. Surprisingly, don’t focus on hitting at the ball and your arms and body follow the ball as it leaves the sand.

That’s pretty much all there is to it but the key is to keep a steep angle on the downswing towards the sand. However you don’t have to swing at the ball hard when you hit bunker shots because the point of this is to propel the ball out of the sand trap vs launching it into the blue yonder. Happy strokes!

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