Rule No. 1 in the Sand
Get it right, and you’ll hit perfect bunker shots
verybody says amateurs can’t get out of greenside bunkers because they’re crushed by fear.Well, that’s part of it, but the bigger thing is, they set up in a way that makes it almost impossible to hit a good shot.They get bad results, so the fear develops, but the root cause is a poor setup.
A lot of golfers treat bunker shots like pitch or chip shots. They set up with the ball in the middle of the stance and push their hands ahead so the shaft is leaning towards the target.That’s fine if you want to hit the ball first, but in a greenside bunker you want to hit the sand first. With the ball middle, you catch it clean and skull it, or you try to shift back during the swing to get the club in the sand behind
Ethe ball.That’s hard to do. If you go back too far, you hit it on the upswing – another way to skull it. To set up properly, play the ball forward – opposite your front instep (below, left). Also, open the clubface before you take your grip.That will expose the bounce feature on the bottom of your sand wedge, which helps the club slide through the sand.With the ball forward, you can make your normal swing and enter the sand two to three inches behind it, the clubhead passing your hands through impact (below, right). That will happen naturally if you set up correctly, which is the best thing you can do to help your bunker game. Butch Harmon