How to Execute Sand Shots

By John Wagner

golfer puts ball on tee
Bunkers are defined as hazards because they cause trouble for golfers. Golfers often find themselves taking two or three shots just to get out. However, with some practice and focus on a few fundamentals, you can be hitting bunker shots close to the target in no time.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
  1. Grab your sand wedge. Set up to the ball with your normal ball position. Dig your feet in and open your stance slightly. Your feet should aim just left of the target line.
  2. Open the clubface, and then take your grip. Opening the clubface allows the club to slide through the sand easier. The clubface should be aimed slightly right of the target.
  3. Make your backswing and try to hit the sand underneath the ball as you come through. Focus on hitting the sand underneath the ball, and you will naturally hit slightly behind the ball. This allows the ball to come out soft.
  4. Accelerate through impact. Swing hard enough that you splash some sand onto the surface of the green. If sand isn't flying on the green, you're not swinging hard enough.
  5. Turn through to your normal finish. Your belly button should face the target when you get to your finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Imagine the ball sits on a tee in the sand. When you swing, feel like you are going to slice the tee in half.
  • Don't grip the club before you open the clubface.

About the Author

John Wagner is a certified golf instructor and professional golfer with over eight years of experience. As a certified GolfTEC and Chuck Cook golf instructor, he has given over 3,000 golf lessons. John writes for and has over 40 articles published.