No holding back when getting out of a bunker

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For many golfers bunkers are an absolute nightmare, but why should this be the case as only two things can go wrong - you either don’t get out at all or you come out too far with no distance control.

Many players are so worried about over shooting the green into another bunker that they under hit the ball, and remain in the sand.

Bunker play has been simplified over the last few years. It used to be very complicated, but now it is much more like a continuation of the pitching game.

Take a look at the first picture, you will see that I am set up to play a bunker shot towards the white flag. Assuming that the flag is at 12 o’clock - you require to aim for 11 o’clock with your club/ball. My left foot is slightly set back to open my stance, the ball is being played from a spot slightly left of centre, and as usual my body weight is 60-40 favoring my left side.

I will now attempt to strike the sand two inches before the ball. My swing thought will be to make a 9-3, so hands back until 9 o’clock is reached - then right through until my hands are opposite the three o’clock position.

Now have a look at the second picture. This time you will see the ball flying towards the flag. Note how my lower body has cleared out of the way, to allow my shoulders, arms, hands, and club, to keep moving towards the 3 o’clock spot. At this point my right heel has correctly lifted up clear of the sand in response to the unwinding left side. This is very important and is normally missing in poor bunker players!

Note also how my head has come up to follow the flight of the ball - no sign of keeping your head down here. It is fair to say that most poor bunker players, tend to quit on the shot, this lack of commitment normally results in the ball remaining in the trap.

So there we are, focus on striking the sand two inches before the ball, and remember to follow through until your right shoe comes up off the sand, if all that happens correctly, you will come out of the dreaded bunker at the first attempt. Good luck as always. Next week: Extreme bunker shots.