Out of the Bunker: Making a ‘splash’ in the bunker

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Are you a good bunker player? A few of you may think so, but most of you probably think otherwise.

For those of you who struggle from the bunker, I would imagine your minds are filled with plenty of doubt as to how to properly hit the shot. Fortunately, the solution isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think.

Contrary to popular belief, a bunker shot allows for the largest margin for error of any shot in golf.

Think about it.

The bunker shot is the only shot in golf that doesn’t require direct contact between the golf club and the golf ball. In fact, many great bunker players will tell you that they often don’t even feel the ball make contact with the club.

For this reason, the bunker shot should be considered one of the easier shots in golf.

I’m sure most of you have heard the idea of striking “2 inches behind the ball” to properly strike a bunker shot. Though this may not be too far from the truth, just the thought of it causes most players to tighten up and aim their golf club at a spot in the sand.

This practice typically causes the player to be too steep in their descent, and the golf club buries itself into the sand behind the ball.

Rather than practice striking a spot the precise distance behind the golf ball, instead try to “splash” an island of sand out from around your golf ball.  I like to outline a small circle around the ball in the sand and have my students practice “splashing” the circle out with their club.

When they do a better job with this, the sand will actually fly out of the bunker.  This is a good thing.

Before attempting this practice with a golf ball, it’s a good idea to draw a small circle in the sand and practice “splashing” that circle out with your club.

Most of you can improve your bunker play by practicing out of the sand without a golf ball.

Simply step into a bunker and practice “splashing” sand out with your club. This will establish the proper feel in your hands, and your “splash” will eventually begin to feel more natural.

Once you learn to not fear the sand, the game will become a lot more fun for you to play. Just think of it this way: golf is nothing more than a day at the beach.

Have fun.


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