Pro's Tip - Bunker of Doom?

After playing in Scotland, I’ve realized how humble you become when you wind up in a bunker of “doom!” We all have experienced that bunker that you just couldn’t get out of and racking up unnecessary strokes. Bunkers are a hazard, that’s right you ar being penalized for hitting your ball in a hazard. The bright side of this tragedy is I do have a solution on how to play a bunker shot to reduce the agony of defeat. If you are in a green side Bunker and need to get the ball up quickly and land softly I recommend the following; obviously, you will need a sand wedge at least 60 degrees in loft. Your setup will require an “open stance” where your left foot sets back a little from your right foot, visa versa if you are a left handed player. You will need to choke up on the grip of the club, open your club face and aim slightly left of your target. Since you are set up with a open stance and open face the ball will slightly go right, therefore you are compensating by aiming left of your target. The backswing requires your wrists to pick the club up outside of your target line and returning the club with a very steep ascending blow hitting the sand about 1” behind the ball. This will pop the ball up quickly and landing softly. When you take this type of swing your weight should remain on your left foot through the duration. Be sure to keep your head as still as possible, this swing is wrists and arms only. Course management really comes into play if you’re in a “pot bunker” and cannot advance the ball, because of a huge lip staring you in your face. Your best shot is to hit the ball sideways or behind the bunker to get the ball out then stick your next shot on the green and take your bogey. As a caddie at St. Andrew’s told me “take your punishment laddie and go on.” Anyway, if you have a chance to practice bunker shots as the one I have explained, the more you practice the better you become, and yes when you master this shot you will see results in your score.


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