Graeme McDowell talks through some tips to help you hit that greenside bunker shot consisttently closer to the hole
Bunker shot video
The first thing to understand is that bounce is your friend when playing from the sand. You really want the back edge of the sole interacting with the sand through impact for the most consistent results.
Below I'll explain how to groove the right set-up and swing to make the most of your wedges. Get it right and you should be able escape sand with your score in tact.
The set-up is key to your ability to be able to play the bunker shot well. You create added loft on the club by leaning the shaft back at address, rather than pointing the face to the right of your target.
Once you have leaned the shaft back, creating extra loft, you can then position your body, setting up with the butt of the club pointing directly at your belt.
This is a great way for golfers of any standard to ensure they set up correctly. Far too often I see amateurs set up too open in bunkers.
Somewhere along the line someone has told them to open up their stance and swing across the ball, but when this gets exaggerated the ball won’t come out of the bunker with any control or consistency.
For consistent bunker shots, you need to maintain the loft that you set at address both back and through.
A great drill is to put sand on the face of your wedge at address. Look to keep that sand on the face as long as possible as you take the club back, getting the feeling that you are throwing the sand over your right shoulder.
Also, when practising, feel like you are keeping the sand on the face as you come through the strike, maintaining that loft and sending the ball up in the air. If you are too open and drag across the ball, you will lose the sand straightaway
If you find yourself catching bunker shots heavy or thin, you should have a think about the amount of sand you are taking.
Ideally, you should be taking the size of a £5 note around the ball – so half an inch in front of it, and half an inch behind.
You can draw a rectangle this size around the ball when practising to help you focus on where the club should enter and leave the sand.
Of course, striking the sand before the ball is a must, so check your ball position at address. You can see from the picture above that it is forward in my stance.
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Tips on how to play better, latest equipment reviews, interviews with the biggest names and more.
Tom Clarke joined Golf Monthly as a sub editor in 2009 being promoted to content editor in 2012 and then senior content editor in 2014, before becoming Sports Digital Editor for the Sport Vertical within Future in 2022. Tom currently looks after all the digital products that Golf Monthly produce including Strategy and Content Planning for the website and social media - Tom also assists the Cycling, Football, Rugby and Marine titles at Future. Tom plays off 16 and lists Augusta National (name drop), Old Head and Le Touessrok as the favourite courses he has played. Tom is an avid viewer of all golf content with a particularly in depth knowledge of the pro tour.
Victor Dubuisson Retires After Withdrawing From LIV Golf Qualifier
The 2014 Ryder Cup winner has announced his retirement in an interview with L'Equipe
By Mike Hall Published
LIV Golf Captains Sergio Garcia And Joaquin Niemann Trade Players
Fireballs GC player David Puig and Torque GC's Carlos Ortiz are heading in opposite directions ahead of the 2024 season
By Mike Hall Published