– You dread even a simple trap shot
– You often fail to get out of bunkers
Your margin for error for a bunker shot is much greater than for any other, as you don’t have to hit the ball – just let the club kiss the sand, before the ball and the bounce of your wedge will do the work for you. However, you do need to make some simple adjustments. Start by opening the face of your sand wedge a fraction. This will add bounce to the bottom of the club and help it skip through the sand.
Set a wide stance – it needs to be an athletic stance of intent, as you would set up for a driver. You need a wide base for stability on the sand and to ensure you cane make a full, free-flowing swing. This is essential to help you accelerate through impact.
Release ‘under’ for better bunker shots
Then, as you play the shot, let your wrists hinge as soon as you start the swing – this will help you find maximum loft. Let the swing flow smoothly through the shot, releasing your right hand so it overtakes your left – I call this releasing under, as your right hand does not rotate over through impact as it would for a full shot but stays under the shaft. This allows the face to remain open for a higher trajectory and better distance control. Aim to strike the sand an inch and a half before the ball. As long as you are accelerating through impact, the club will not dig and the ball will escape on a high flight with plenty of control.
Take some time to practise this shot, groove the technique over time and you’ll see how simple the basic bunker technique is to master.