Bunker Play Tips: Fault Fixer

bunker play tips fault fixer

If you are struggling with your bunker play, your score will take a hit. Read Top 25 Coach Gary Alliss' bunker play tips fault fixer to iron out the issues in your sand game.

1 Common misconceptions When playing greenside bunker shots a lot of people get muddled up between requiring a steep plane and a steep angle of attack. Many people think you need a steep plane and angle of attack but this isn’t true and this combination makes it very difficult to control flight or find any sort of consistency when trying to get up and down from the sand. One of the keys to escaping a greenside bunker is finding a swing that delivers a steeper plane but combined with a shallow angle of attack. I’ll explain how to do this over the following tips and will have you playing better bunker shots in no time.

2 Setup Your success from greenside bunkers stems from the way you setup to the ball. When opening the face to get more loft don’t forget that this will cause the ball to come out to the right of the target. In order to get the ball up in the air you will need to open your stance, something I’ll come onto shortly, as well as opening the face. As a guide to alignment the ball will leave the bunker in a direction half way between where your stance and the face of your wedge is pointing. Setting up with this in mind will improve your accuracy and confidence.

3 Angle of attack Setting up with an open stance relative to the target and swinging along the line of your body will create a fairly steep swing plane to help pop the ball up in the air. This is good. But now you need to find a shallow angle of attack. A great way to do this is to hover the club about a balls width behind the ball at address and try to enter the sand here through impact on a shallow angle to pop the ball out. The alignment stick I’ve used here is to ensure the angle of attack doesn’t get too steep and is a great drill for when you practice.

4 Control the flight Once you've developed some consistency of strike, your attention should turn towards how you control your distance. ow far down the club you grip will have an effect on the flight of the ball. Gripping towards the butt end will encourage a longer swing and a high-flying, longer shot. Gripping down on the club is ideal for shorter shots as this will narrow the arc and takeaway a bit of speed without becoming negative. If you grip down make sure you resist the temptation to bend to far from the hips at address. This will get you swinging too steep and resulting in the club burying in the sand. If you grip down you should flex the knees a little more to help slide the club under the ball. Remember these basics when playing bunker shots from short range and you will quickly find confidence and improved consistency.

Bunker Play Tips Fault Fixer Checklist Open your stance to steepen the swing plane Aim to strike the sand an inch before the ball on a shallower path Control distance through the position of your hands on the club If you go down the grip, bend more at the knees at address

Neil Tappin

In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf. 

Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X