How To Play Bunker Shots from Deep Greenside Bunkers

Published: 22nd August 2011
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Sooner or later sadly all golfers find their ball in a bunker and have to work out how to play bunker shots. It's crucial not to let negative thoughts occupy your mind, like thinking how difficult it will be to get out and how many shots it may add to your score. Concentrate instead on the task at hand.

Your first problem is to try and limit the damage as much as possible. The last thing you want is to be playing your next shot from exactly the same place.

Even though you may only be a short distance from the green try to be realistic. It isn't always feasible to aim for the flag. Just concentrate on being able to get out and take your next shot from the grass and not sand.

You may not be able to take a straight route to the hole, so assess all the options open to you. It could perhaps be a better option to hit out the side or even backwards. Resist being stubborn and persist trying to hit straight at the flag.

If you are in the horrible situation of the ball being plugged close to the face of the bunker, rather than attempt a shot that is unlikely to be successful, it is better to take a drop.

When you have decided on the direction you wish to play the ball you next need to consider the technique required. From deep bunkers you need to use the high splash shot using your sand wedge.

Remember if there is any slope on the sand you will need to adjust your stance. Your shoulders should be positioned as close to parallel to the sand as you can.

Stand open at address with the club face square, or slightly open, to your target. For a solid base shuffle your feet into the sand remembering to maintain your legs relaxed and flexed.

Swing high to hit high if the bunker lip in front of you is sizeable. Use the splash shot with confidence and accelerate into the sand. To avoid leaving the ball in the bunker you will require a lot of club head speed. Use a steep backswing by breaking your wrists early then bring it down sharply on an out-to-in path into the sand. The club head will cut under the ball and the explosion of sand at impact sends the ball almost vertically up in the air.

Golf bunker shots are one of the most feared shots in golf but are hardly ever included in practice routines which doesn't help its reputation. To help build your confidence and dispel the fear, experiment with playing bunker shot from different slopes and lies in a variety of bunkers.

A lot of golf professionals would rather be in a bunker than in the rough, especially when the lie is right. If you can build confidence in how to play bunker shots it will filter through your whole game. You will be happy to swing freely on a hole littered with bunkers when you feel confident that you are able to cope with shots from the sand.

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