3 Golf Swing Tweaks to Hit a Good Bunker Shot

3 Golf Swing Tweaks to Hit a Good Bunker Shot

Let's get you out of the bunker every single time, maybe even close to the pin. This is your basic bunker shot. I've got the ball sitting up on top of the sand and I've got about 30 or 40 feet to go. I view this shot as your smooth full swing with three adjustments.

3 Tips to Hit Out of a Bunker

  1. First - You have to get the clubface in a position where the bottom will work in your favor. Your sand wedge is built so that the back of the club sits a little bit lower than the front edge. So when you hit the sand it will create a skidding effect.
  2. If you close the clubface the leading edge will come down, it will actually make it dig into the sand, and you don't want that. So your first adjustment is to open the clubface so that you will have to take the club in your hand and actually set the face open and then re-grip it, that's adjustment number one.
  3. Adjustment number two and three, I'm going to draw a couple of lines in the bunker. So let's identify our target line, that's where I'm trying to go. Keep in mind you can not do this on the golf course, just when you are practicing. Here is another line at a right angle which would identify my ball position line.

Now in most of your shots you're playing the ball position a couple inches off the left heel but in the bunker you're trying to actually hit behind the ball. I am actually going to circle my body around the ball so that now my stance is a little bit open and the ball position is up off my left instep. So those are your three adjustments.

Stance for Hitting Out of a Bunker

Open the face, open the stance, ball position a little bit more forward. Now once I've got this position. I'm actually looking at an area around my golf ball that I'm trying to displace out of the bunker. You can see I'm all the way back to say two, three, four inches behind the golf ball. If you make a smooth full swing you've got that clubface position correctly. It will take all of that sand and the ball out.

I'm going to put another line or another circle right next to the ball just for a practice swing. Notice when I make my swing the sand splashes all the way out of the bunker and that's important because that's where you want your ball to go. If you make a small swing all of the sand is going to go right there in front of you and that's exactly where your ball is going to go. So make a smooth full swing.

Open Stance, Open Clubface

I've got the face open, I've got my stance open, ball position forward a little bit. Here's my smooth full swing and there's a nice looking shot. Now notice where my finish is, I'm standing all the way over my left side, my right foot's all the way up on the toe.

I've made a full swing to splash the sand out. Remember, open the clubface, circle around and get the ball position forward in your stance a little bit open and then make that full swing. I promise you if you do these three things, you'll be a great bunker player.

About the Instructor
Mike LaBauve
Mike LaBauve
Kierland Golf Club
15636 N. Clubgate Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Tel: 480-922-9283

Mike LaBauve is one of the world's greatest short game instructors and teacher to LPGA phenom Grace Park. He is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and Golf Digest's #31 instructor in the world.


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