Build your bunker station
Seve was the first guy to show everybody on tour how to hit a bunker shot properly, so that when it hits the green it rolls out like a putt. He would stand square to the target and release the club into the sand, rather than cutting across it. If you stand wide open and swing across the line of your feet, you’ll create an awful lot of side spin and have a long and thin divot. The ideal bunker divot should be oval, like a dinner plate. This is how you do it… When practising, draw lines in the sand to give you a series of reference points. Start by sketching a box in the sand, two inches in diameter around the ball (1). Next, create a right angle by drawing a target line (2) and a ball-position line (3).
Take your stance accordingly, with your left heel resting on the ball-position line. Keeping your left knee over your toe, flare the foot out at a 60-degree angle and then draw a toe line (4) so it points slightly left of the target line.
From here, draw a swing line (5) so it simulates a slightly outto-in path and overlaps your target line. As you take your set up again, draw a final line (6) to create a right angle from the centre of your toe line. This acts as an important visual tool for the position of your shaft and the centre of your sternum at address.
All that’s left to do is swing back, follow the swing path line and splash the face into the box (1). Just make sure you keep the club travelling through the sand to engage the bounce and keep the loft on the face.
People always say how difficult the 40-yard bunker shot is, but that’s because people undercut the sand and fail to generate the speed and pressure to get it that distance. They then try and hit it harder, take too much sand and lose balance.