Golf Guide: Mastering Delicate Bunker Shots
Bunker shots are tricky enough for the average golfer – but the delicate bunker shot from within a few yards of the hole is even more challenging. While you would obviously rather have your ball on the green putting for birdie, you can learn how to handle the delicate bunker shot to the point where you can get it close to the hole more often than not. This is a shot that requires a combination of good technique and a steady nerve, so it will help to put in some time practicing before you try to execute this shot on the course.
To help you get started working on this shot, use the tips below.
- Open the club face. To hit a delicate bunker shot of only a few yards, you need to open the club face of your sand wedge as much as possible so it can slide right under the ball. You need maximum height on this kind of a shot in order to get it to stop quickly – therefore, keeping the club face as open as possible will enable you to float the ball up out of the sand and hopefully have it land softly on the green.
- Steep backswing. To get the ball up into the air quickly, you need to get the club up into the air on the backswing. Use your hands and wrists to hinge the club up during the takeaway so you can drive it down into the sand and get the ball to come up. If you make a more-shallow swing like you would on a longer bunker shot, the ball will likely come out low and may not clear the edge of the bunker in front of you.
- Use your hands through the shot. A good delicate bunker shot will have plenty of spin on the ball, and adding spin to the ball requires using your hands to rip the club head under the ball aggressively. Don’t be afraid to use your hands in all of your bunker shots – but especially on delicate shots that you need to hit with some loft and some spin. It will take a good deal of practice to become consistent with this kind of shot, so find a practice facility with a bunker that you can use and make it a part of your normal practice routine to improve your ability to hit good delicate bunker shots.