Bunker Shot Basics

By Mike McGetrick

I would like to share with you how to hit successful greenside bunker shots. Really what you have to do is learn how to set up to the golf ball and then how to make the proper swing to hit successful greenside bunker shots.

In the set up, what you want to do is use the sand wedge, a club that has bounce, and what the bounce is where the back edge is higher than the leading edge and allows that club to skip through the sand instead of the leading edge digging into the sand.

How to Use a Sand Wedge to Hit Greenside Bunker Shots

When you set up to it with your sand wedge, you want to open the clubface first and then grip the club second. What is really important is that you hold the club at the end of the handle. A lot of golfers grip down and then get too short a golf club. If you hold the club at the end of the handle you have a long golf club that can hit into the sand.

Next I want to plat he ball forward in my stance and then dig my feet in so that it lowers my body. By digging my feet in and holding the end of the club it will allow me to hit down in to the sand.

Proper Grip Pressure for a Sand Wedge

What is really important is grip pressure. You want to hold the club light enough that on the backswing you can hinge your wrists. When I swing the club back I am going to allow my wrists to hinge. The reason for that is that it allows a steeper angle into the forward-swing when I hit the golf ball so that I can hit sand.

What is important now is the length of your swing. A greenside bunker shot the sand has more resistance than grass so you need a longer backswing and a longer forward-swing. Let’s give it a try.

Open the clubface then grip the club at the end of the handle. Ball forward, I am digging my feet in, relax grip pressure, hinging my wrists, hitting down into the sand with a full finish. If you can work on these fundamentals your greenside bunker shots will really improve.


Category: Bunker Play
Sub Categories: Grip

About the Instructor

Mike McGetrick
Mike McGetrick
McGetrick Golf Academy
4900 Himalaya Road, Building Q
Denver, CO 80249
Tel: 303-799-0870