Bunker shots, the shots many amateurs are scared of, but you watch the professionals play it and really they look like they rather be in the sand than on the grass or in certainly rough. It’s a lot to do with their understanding of the technique. it starts with a good set up position. Take advantage when you are in the practice bunker, drawing some lines in the sand. A parallel line, a ball to target line, so a straight line in front of the ball, pointing at your target, continue that line afterwards. A line parallel to this, to give you awareness of where your body alignment is and another line, showing a, well, 90 degrees to this, to give you awareness of where your ball is situated, relative to your body. Great way to ensure that you are in the correct set up position. Now I want you to set up square to the target. It’s not open, big mistake when people stand open, swinging across the ball, very difficult to control your distance. Also when the ball hits the green, it tends to land and jump to the right. We want the ball to hit the green and check or at least straight like a put. I want you to take to a square set up, I want you to take now a bigger stance than normal. It’s gonna help lower your center of gravity. So, big stance and lower yourself further. That’s very important to being able to hit the sand in front of the ball and take that shallow cut of sand under the ball using the bounce of the club, to gain some control over the shot. Pete Cowen, one of the great coaches these days recommends that you turn your left foot open and point your left knee towards your left toe. This will give you the feeling of being a little more left sided, maybe 60/40. It will help us later on, when we’re trying to hit a shot and being able to rotate through the shot rather than slide through the shot. And very important in the key of being able to use the bounce. You’re gonna hear me say that a lot. Using the bounce and bunkers is a real key to being a good bunker player. So, now we’re set up, we’re parallel to the target. A little bigger stance, nice and low. I want you to situate the ball towards your left heel and open the club face slightly. How much you open the club face will depend upon what shot you’re trying to hit, but as a standard, a little bit open. So, now we’re in the position. We’re really ready to hit a good bunker shot. The key to heading a good bunker shot now, is maintaining this loft on the club and maintaining this bounce. You see when I open the club I increase the bounce and that’s what we wanna do. We wanna hit the sand with the bottom of the club, this flange at the back, not the leading edge. I’m gonna maintain the loft on the club and maintain the bounce. I drop the club even in my back swing. You see that club face would still be open and the flange of the club would be making contact with the sand. So, I maintain the loft and the bounce in the back swing and I shallow back swing. Really one of the biggest mistakes I see people make, is reducing the bounce and getting the club steep on the back swing. Almost impossible to take that shallow cut of sand, getting some control on the ball. Also getting that nice high flying shot, because that club faces your clothes, you reduced the loft. So maintain the loft and the bounce. We’re gonna now rotate into impact. Maintaining again, that loft and bounce. You’re gonna release the club with your right wrist, you’ll feel it, your wrist is more working underneath your left wrist, as you’re rotating through the impact. That’s using the bounce and I threw to the finish again, maintain that loft from the bounce. I showed you my finish position. The right palms pointing towards my body and again, if I drop the club in the sand, the club face will be open and the flange of the club will be hitting the sand. So, here we go, good set up. Basically rotating and maintaining the loft and the bounce throughout the shot. Hopefully you could see, I maintained that low center of gravity throughout the shot as well. So bunker shots, maybe when you know the technique, maybe when you know high, that might not be something to be scared of, you might enjoy getting into a bunker. That’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the game to practice. You get so many different situations. But become a master of this shot first. A short bunker shot, maybe 10 to 15 meters with a regular lie, learn to control the fly and the spin of this shot first, then move on to the different shots.
Most people are “afraid” of bunker shots but perhaps if you learn the key fundamentals, it might not be as difficult as you think. This video is for all levels of golfers, from beginners to Professional players.