Learning the correct way to approach, attack, and hit bunker shots will go a long way in improving your overall golf game.
How to Hit a Bunker Shot
Ball positioning is key when taking bunker shots. You’re going to want to position the ball near the middle of your stance, just about aligned with your left heel, and near the middle or front of your right foot.
Club choice is key when hitting a sand shot. Most times, you’ll go with the obvious choice and use your sand wedge. But, there are other times when utilizing your lob wedge will help you get the most arc out of your shot. For bunker shots over 20 yards, you should use your nine iron, and for even longer shots, use your longer irons.
When you swing, you want to utilize an open club shot and open your club the same degree as your feet, generally about 45 degrees. Aim your swing between two and six inches behind the ball, depending on the length of the shot. For shorter shots, the further behind the ball you want to aim. You want to take an open club swing between three-quarters and full strength. As you swing through the sand, be sure to always follow through fully with your swing.
How to Hit Bunker Shots on a Hill
As if knowing how to hit bunker shots isn’t tough enough, there are several variations of the standard sand shot, including hitting sidehill bunker shots. There are two main problems that can arise with sidehill bunker shots where the ball is above your feet, if you approach it as if it’s a normal bunker shot. The danger is hitting a really fat shot, taking too much sand for your wedge to dig. And, for a right-handed player, the ball tends to come out left.
To ensure that the ball doesn’t come out to the left, set up aligned a little more to the right. This will help your shot come out in the direction you are hoping. As for keeping your wedge from digging too deep in the sand, choke down on your club. Grip your club down near the bottom of the club grip, and stand up taller. How much taller you want to stand, depends on the distance the ball is above your feet. The higher above your feet the ball, the taller your position should be. Keep your knees flexed, with less bend at your hips. Setting up taller for this shot will keep you from digging too deep and hitting a fat shot.
Knowing how to hit a bunker shot can be a key to an improved game, an improved score, and improved confidence. Get out of the sand!