Greenside bunker distance control video

Golf Monthly Top 25 coach John Jacobs talks through some simple tips to help you improve your greenside bunker distance control.

Golf Monthly Top 25 coach John Jacobs talks through some simple tips to help you improve your greenside bunker distance control.

Greenside bunker distance control video

Does your short game lacks sharpness? Do you rarely get up and down from sand? Follow these simple tips from John Jacobs to improve your greenside bunker play and save par more often when you find sand.

Once you’ve developed a technique that will consistently get you out of the sand, you need to focus on your distance control.

There are two ways to do this. The first is to use different clubs with the same technique; by varying the loft in your hands you’ll hit different distances.

However, in this piece I’m going to tell you about using your follow-through to control how far you hit the ball.

For a full greenside bunker shot I would make a full swing with my 56˚ wedge, following all the way through to the finish. To take distance off the shot, make the same backswing but shorten the follow-through.

This will just help you slow down the speed of the club through impact to take a little distance off the shot. To take more distance off the shot, cut the follow-through down even more.

This technique requires the natural feel that will come from dedicated practice but I promise, it’s a great way to master more instinctive distance control from the sand.

You can also try this technique with different clubs to see how that effects not only the distance the ball travels, but also how much spin is imparted on the ball.

Try using a pitching wedge, or even a 9-iron, is a good way of playing longer, 30/40 yard bunker shots.

This is often said to be the hardest shot in golf as getting the right strike to control the distance on such a long shot from sand is not easy.


Thomas Patrick Clarke
Sports Digital Editor

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.