How to Land Bunker Shots When You Want

By Steve Silverman

Playing from the bunker can be one of the most intimidating tasks for an inexperienced golfer. The idea of popping the ball out a green side bunker and landing it on the green or hitting the ball for distance from a fairway bunker is distressing because many golfers barely understand how to hit a ball from the fairway or the tee and struggle when playing from other locations. However, once you learn how to hit from the bunker it will soon become second nature. Follow these simple steps.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Solidify your stance when playing from a green side bunker. You do this by digging your spikes into the sand. You should do this because you don't want to slip as you come through the ball in a hazard that lacks stability.
Step 2
Prepare to hit an inch behind the ball when playing from a green side bunker. You don't want to hit the ball--you want to hit the sand into the ball and have the impact of the sand into the ball pop the ball into the air and get it out of the bunker and into the green.
Step 3
Make sure that you follow through completely when playing from the green side bunker. You will often have to come up and over a bunker with a high lip. In order to get maximum height with your sand wedge, you must follow through. Many golfers will not finish their shots and that will keep them from getting the ball out of the hazard.
Step 4
Play a long bunker shot by not taking as much sand as you would in a green side bunker. A fairway bunker tends to have a much lower lip and getting the ball out is not as much of a chore. As a result, you can hit just a quarter of an inch behind the ball with a full swing to get your shot well down the fairway.
Step 5
Play the long bunker shot about one ball length closer to your front foot than you would a shot from the fairway. You want to catch the ball on the upswing in order to get it out of the bunker and this will help the ball get higher a little sooner and keep it from impacting the edge of the bunker.

Tips & Warnings

Don't ground your club in the bunker or take a practice swing. It is against the rules to do either one.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.


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