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Home  >  Instruction  >  Bunker Shots  >  8 Steps To Perfect Greenside Bunker Shots

8 Steps To Perfect Greenside Bunker Shots!

Step 1 - Establish A Firm Footing:

To ensure that you can support your bunker shot swing and avoid slipping, it is important to establish a firm footing in the sand. Try not to dig in too much, as this will only make your swing more rigid and you will lose feel.

The idea is to give your lower body a solid base from which to make a controlled bunker shot, that has reduced lateral leg action (as this will only lead to inconsistency). By nestling you feet into the sand, you will also get a feel for the texture of the sand which will help you to identify how heavy or light it is.

Step 2 - Slightly Open Stance:

By opening your stance up a little (making sure you feet, hips and shoulder lines are parallel), you will be gaining more feel and control over the shot.

Firstly this will help to restrict your backswing length and steepen the angle of approach which will result in a more elevated bunker shot and secondly your swing plane will be from more outside to in, so you will be cutting across the target line and so creating side spin (you will need to open the club face a little, as per below), which will help to stop the ball quicker on the green. 

Step 3 - Open Club Face A Little: 

Now that you have set up with a slightly open stance you will need to open the golf club face up a little, so that it is facing just to the right of the target line (the imaginary line running through the ball to the target). This will ensure that the ball will splash out of the bunker in the desired direction, with higher elevation and side spin, to give you that controlled bunker shot that you are looking for.

Step 4 - Weight Favoring Your Left Side:

By favoring your weight on the left side (for right handed players) you are not only preventing yourself from swaying in the backswing, which will cause inconsistency and a loss of control, but also ensuring that you are accelerating positively through the bunker shot so that you finish in the correct position.

Step 5 - More Upright Swing Plane: 

To help create that elevation and control we mentioned earlier you want to play the sand shot with a more upright swing plan. This means that your backswing will start off outside the target line and return along the same path, which will give you that side spin and elevation required.

Step 6 - Strike Sand A Couple Of Inches Behind Ball: 

Unlike other golf shots, when playing bunker shots you are looking to strike the sand first. As a rough guide you should be looking to hit the sand roughly 2 inches behind the golf ball (a little more will not be the end of the world!). So when you set up to play your next bunker shot, adjust your target spot to a grain of sand or small stone that is roughly 2 inches behind the ball and aim to strike that.

Step 7 - Keep club face open until after impact: 

It is vital to make sure that the club face remains open until after impact, so make sure that you left wrist stays firm through the contact area. Collapsing the left wrist during impact area is one of the most common mistakes the average golfer makes, especially when playing bunker shots.

Final Step - Accelerate Through The Ball: 

I have mentioned this briefly above, but it is crucial during a bunker shot that you continue to accelerate through the ball during and after contact is made. Quitting on the bunker shot will only leave you scratching your head and still in the sand, lining up another bunker shot!

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Golf Bunker Shots Instruction, Tips & Drills:

8 Steps To Perfect Greenside Bunker Shots
To ensure that you can support your bunker shot swing and avoid slipping, it is important to establish a firm footing in the sand. Try not to dig in too much, as this will only make your swing more rigid and you will lose feel...

How To Play Fairway Bunker Shots
The first thing you should understand about the fairway bunker shot is that you will need to take a different approach to that of your regular greenside sand shots! Unlike greenside bunker shots where you are trying to strike the sand...

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