Bunker Shot Tips And Drills

Improve your bunker play with these tips and drills

Bunker Shot Tips
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Golf Monthly created this content as part of a paid partnership with Titleist. The contents of this article are entirely independent and solely reflect the editorial opinion of Golf Monthly

PGA pro Nick Drane shares some simple tips that'll help your greenside bunker play

In this must watch video, Nick Drane, PGA Professional and Master Fitting Specialist at the Titleist Performance Centre, Woburn, offers his top bunker shot tips.

If you're struggling with your technique and you're unsure of the basics, be sure to watch the video above.

Related: Best Golf Wedges 

Stop Scooping

Bunker Shot Tips

One of the most common faults I see is where players try to help the ball out.

Are you constantly catching the ball fat and leaving it in the sand?

Perhaps you have a tendency to thin the ball straight through the green?

In an effort to escape the sand, golfers will often lean back; they'll have too much weight on their back foot - and this can lead to a scooping action.

Fat and thin strikes are card-wreckers, but get the basics right and you'll soon start to get the contact spot on and hit the ball closer to the flag.

Sand First, Weight Forward

Bunker Shot Tips

Typically, when playing a greenside bunker shot, you're going to use the most lofted club in your bag - so depending on your wedge line-up, 56°, 58° or 60°.

This is the only shot in golf where you're not actually trying to hit the ball - you're looking to make impact with the sand behind it.

Start by shuffling your feet into the sand. This is important as it lowers you into the ground, helping you to make contact just before the ball.

I also like to take a nice wide stance.

Then I open the face slightly, after which I'll take my grip.

Above, note how the leading edge of the club is pointing towards my left toe.

My left foot is also turned out slightly, which is going to allow me to put a fraction more weight on my lead side - maybe 60/40. This is going to make it easier to turn through the shot.

Finally, move the ball a couple of inches forward of where you'd normally have it when playing a wedge shot off the grass.

Draw A Line

Bunker Shot Tips

Related: Best Lob Wedges

If you're practising, draw a line about a club head's width inside your lead heel, behind the ball.

Now you can now focus on hitting that line, not the golf ball itself.

In the video above, I've made a three-quarter backswing and I finish with all my weight towards the target.

Follow these simple bunker shot tips and you'll improve the quality of your bunker play in rapid time.