As golfers, we are almost always trying to hit the golf ball then the turf for the best possible contact during practice and play. But when we hit into a greenside bunker, suddenly we’re trying to not hit the ball at all? What gives?
The best thing we can do to make greenside bunker shots more enjoyable is to understand the design of the Sand Wedge and how it works through the sand, along with the overall technique of hitting this shot.
Bounce: The Sand Wedge has bounce, and bounce is designed to keep the leading edge of the club from hitting the sand first, adding forgiveness. In effect, when contacting the sand about 3 inches behind the ball, the club will slide underneath the ball, pushing the sand and ball out of the bunker and onto the green.
Set up: The bunker set up can get tricky, so determine where you want the ball to land and this becomes your Line of Play. Then position your feet and hips left or open to the line of play while your shoulders stay parallel to your line of play. Favor a little more weight onto the forward foot and dig in for support then you are ready to swing
Execution: Make the size of your swing 3/4 back and 3/4 through with a full wrist hinge. Keeping your arms and hands relaxed, use your lower body to accelerate, keeping your club speed the same entering and exiting the sand and keeping your arms long with a high finish.
The average Tour Player gets it up and down just under 50% of the time. So goal #1 of a greenside bunker is get it out. Then make no more than two putts and you will be as good as the Tour players 50% of the time.
This tip was provided by Rob Dugan, PGA Teaching Professional at the Incline Village Golf Courses. Visit the Golfing Tips page for more tips.
(2018 Golf Season)