Bunker Shot Tips

Most golf courses that people play have all different types of sand.  The different types can be noticed by the “grain” and how deep (or full) the bunker is.  Most high end facilities will have real fine grain sand that is nice and fluffy and will have their bunkers filled deep. Unlike other places on the course you cannot test the surface before you actually hit a shot.

So, what’s the best approach to this?  It’s the intention of this article to help you identify what to look for.

When hitting from the beach, the first thing you want to pay attention is the kind of lie that you have; whether it’s plugged/sitting-upuphill/downhill.  Plugged lies are most commonly referred to as fried egg lies (or egg yolk lies).  The most important thing to focus on when hitting this type of bunker shot, is to make sure you dig your feet in so you can get under the ball. A lot of players do this but what they forget is the more you dig yourself in the more you have to choke up on the club to level out the swing plane.  Therefore, if you dig in a full two inches, you’ll want to choke up on the club a full two inches.

The hinge (or wrist cocking) in the bunker is different than what a lot of people are used to because the proper bunker you need to break your wrists earlier to make sure you come in steeper than a normal swing (taking sand first).  Here is a good drill to use (but only when hitting from a practice bunker), With the butt end of your club, draw a line in the sand an inch or two behind the ball.  This will help remind you to hit behind the ball (allowing the club to get under it) in order to let the sand take it out.

Longer bunker shots call for more of ball first then sand first (hitting less behind). But this is also one of the more difficult shots in golf. For any shots that require more than 50 yards of flight out of a bunker, you should try and pick it clean as if you are on a tight lie.

Some Helpful Things To Remember:

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  • The more you dig, the lower you should grip down (or choke up) on the club.
  • Pay attention to the lie and make sure you hit behind the ball on green-side bunker shots.
  • If the course has a practice bunker, hit some shots drawing different lines to adjust the ball flight.
    If the practice bunker options is available, it’s a good idea to make use of it and get a feel for the sand before hitting the course.


By Jayson Karnafel

Jayson Karnafel (or "Moose" as his friends call him) is a hard-core golf enthusiast and is Currently a Moonlight Tour Member. Jayson has been playing golf avidly for over 10 years, but since graduating from the Golf Academy of America, he has taken his golf game to new heights. This past year Jayson, has also pursued other career interests while avidly working on his game and giving lessons to developing golfer. He vast knowledge from his golf education and experience on the course, make him an excellent contributor and valuable partner at the new Golferzine community.

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