Tip of the Month – ABC’s of Bunker Play

By remembering these bunker basics you will learn to conquer your fear of the sand and lower your scores.

A= Aim. Aim your clubface to the right (open) and your feet and body left (right handers). These opposing aims accomplish two important aspects to successful bunker shots. Opening the face adds more bounce to your club, which allows it to glide through the sand rather than digging. Lining your body left allows your body to turn through easier and counteracts the clubface aim.

B= Behind. In Bunker shots, your goal is to make contact with the sand before or behind the ball so please play the ball a bit more forward in your stance. This is one shot where the club is not actually making direct contact with the ball. Poor bunker players are under the impression that they need to hit a precise amount of distance before the ball. Not true! With correct technique, you have a large margin of error built into impact, from 1 to 4 inches or more. As long as you are hitting the sand with an open clubface, the bounce will keep your divot long and shallow. If your ball happens to be anywhere within the long and shallow divot, your shot will get up and out very nicely.


C= Commit. As in commit to a longer backswing and follow-through. Even though you may only be trying to hit a short distance, bunker shots are definitely not like chip shots. You need to swing bigger to create speed, and add a nice follow-through to keep the club moving through the sand.

Remember these bunker ABC’s. With a bit of practice, you will gain confidence in no time. Happy sanding!