Best Way to Vary Your Distance in a Bunker Shot

To vary your distance you need to be able to control one set distance in the first place! Learn a basic bunker shot of about 12 paces. This should get you out of any bunker around the green and be short enough not to run through the other side.

For a very short shot of say 8 metres (9 yards), grip very firmly, look at the sand 5cm (2in) behind the ball as normal, turn the clubface out slightly to feel the bouncing sole of the club, make a short slow backswing and allow yourself to accelerate smoothly through the sand. You must still get the sand forwards onto the green. The danger of this is of decelerating. Concentrate on getting out.

Distance in a Bunker Shot Best Way to Vary Your Distance in a Bunker Shot 20 to 25 metres (22-27 yards) can be an awkward length and is one that even ‘pros’ can find hard to control. Use a square clubface, a 2.5cm (1 in) gap between the club and the ball (instead of 5cm/2in). Look closer to the ball than you would with an ordinary shot. Take a full, slow swing and concentrate on taking a far smaller scoop of sand than your normal ‘fried egg’.

When you want a long distance with a bunker shot, you need to assess the lie. If the hall sits completely on top of the sand treat the shot like an ordinary fairway shot, taking the hall as cleanly as possible. Stand on top of the sand, without shuffling your feet in at all. Hold the clubhead directly at the back of the ball and as low to the sand as possible without of course touching it. Look slightly higher up on the ball than you might for a normal fairway shot, to ensure that you really do hit it cleanly. You don’t want any contact with the sand or you take off distance.

If you want length from a bunker shot and the ball is slightly below the sand, you need a different approach. Now your contact on the ball must be the equivalent of taking the ball and then a divot beyond it. In this case, of course, it is ball and then sand. Play the ball centrally in your stance, right shoulder high, hands slightly forward. This will help you hit the ball first and the sand beyond. The key is not to take any sand before making contact.

Distance in a Bunker Shot 1 Best Way to Vary Your Distance in a Bunker Shot

It the ball sits well and there is little or no bank in front of you, it is perfectly possible to use a 5 wood or 7 wood. Hold the clubface squarely and as close to the ball and sand as you dare without touching either. Don’t tip the hands forward or the front edge of the club digs into the sand. Keep the clubface square so that if you do inadvertently catch the sand just behind the ball the sole of the club bounces through and gives you a good contact. Focus your eyes on the back of the ball. Look slightly higher on the ball than you would normally. This ensures that the contact is as clean and sand-free as possible.

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