How to Hit a Golf Ball Out of a Bunker

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If your last golf shot took your ball into a bunker (a golf course hazard filled with sand, also called a sand trap), don't worry — you can get that ball out of the bunker and onto the putting surface.

1

Open your stance by pulling your left foot back.

Pull your foot back until you start to feel vaguely ridiculous. Your left foot’s position must feel funny to you.

2

Open (turn to the right) your sand wedge.

Open it to the point where the face is almost looking straight up at the sky. Have the ball positioned forward in your stance toward your left heel. (Do this even more if you’re unlucky enough to be very close to the face of the bunker.)

3

Aim about a credit-card length behind the ball and swing at about 80 percent of full speed.

Think of it as a sliding motion. Don’t hit down. Let the clubhead throw a “scoop” of sand onto the green.

4

Perform a full, uninhibited follow-through.

Forget the ball — all you’re trying to do is throw sand out of the bunker. (The more sand you throw, the shorter the shot will be. So if you need to hit the shot a fair distance, hit maybe only 2 inches behind the ball.) If you can throw sand, the ball will be carried along for the ride.

Most amateurs stand too square and don’t open the clubface nearly enough when hitting a bunker shot. In effect, they don’t take advantage of their sand wedges. This club is most efficient when the face is wide open (turned clockwise). Sand wedges are designed that way. The open face sends the ball up when you hit the sand.

Your club must not touch the sand before you hit the ball. That’s grounding the club — illegal in a hazard.


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