Bunker Shot Tips

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Introduction: Bunker Shot Tips

I'm going to provide instructions on how to effectively and cleanly hit a golf ball out of the bunker (sand), on a golf course. Here is the guide to improve your golf game and make the game even simpler.

Step 1: Preliminary and Safety Instructions

  1. READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING
  2. Go to locations with sand bunkers, i.e. golf course or golf range
  3. Weather will affect results of sand shot, wet sand would require a harder swing
  4. Gloves are advisable to ensure better grip in executing bunker shots
  5. Golf is a patient game, don't rush any of the techniques shown in these instructions

Step 2: Materials and Location

Below are the following materials you will need to apply the instructions:

  1. Golf Clubs: sand wedge, 52 degree wedge, 56 degree wedge, or 60 degree wedge
  2. Plenty Golf balls: good condition, no grooved or marked edges
  3. Water to keep up hydration outside in the sand

Step 3: Basics on How to Hold the Golf Club

  1. For right-handed people, hold the club with your left hand on the top of the shaft and your right hand grasping the club below the left hand.
  2. Make sure your thumb on your left hand is rested along the club shaft and the right hand is overlapping the left thumb, with the right hand thumb rested along the club shaft.
  3. For left handed people, hold the club with your right hand on the top of the shaft and your left hand grasping the club below the right hand.
  4. Make sure your thumb on your right hand is rested along the club shaft and the left hand is overlapping the right thumb, with the left hand thumb rested along the club shaft.

Step 4: Stance and Basics on Swinging the Golf Club

Pictures above, in order, indicate a good representation of the process of swinging a golf club.

Stance:

  1. Keep your feet shoulder with apart and your stance should be parallel to ball
  2. Keep about half a club's length distance from the ball when hitting
  3. Place the ball relative to your feet back toward the back foot for bunker shots

Swinging the club:

  1. Keep a relatively loose held grip and swing with finesse
    • finesse: trying to control the ball in a smooth and simple way, not swinging to hit aggressively
  2. Hit the ball in the way a pendulum gives off its motion
  3. Follow Through
    • Have the club come straight back and straight forward like parabolic and pendulum motion
    • Keep arms locked and extended throughout the swing
  4. Keep eyes on the ball through contact, and don't twist your wrists when contacting the ball.
  5. Move arms in unison with the club
  6. Swing through the ball and finish with the club face over your shoulder and body facing your target
    • Arms should be doing the work to hit the ball

Step 5: Traditional Bunker Shot

  1. Approach the ball as specified in the previous steps
  2. Keep arms extended and greet the ball, with the club 1 inch behind the ball
  3. Swing with a parabolic, pendulum motion
    • Before swinging, take a practice full swing
    • Hit the sand 1 inch back from the ball with a full 100% power swing
    • Follow through, lifting the ball by hitting the sand
    • Finish with body facing the flag pole of the hole and club over your shoulders

Step 6: The Simpler Bunker Shot

There are two main ways to hit the bunker shot, one of which I have mentioned. This approach will save energy and will give an easier and low strength alternative to hitting the bunker shot.

  1. Line-up to the ball, as discussed in the stance step of the instructions.
  2. Keep arms-locked and ready to swing the club as discussed; swing doesn't change per different shot
  3. Place the club right behind the ball, not greeting the ball 1 inch away from the ball
  4. Swing with a short back swing, taking the club back no higher than your knees, and follow through with 30% power
  5. Hit the ball with little sand even touching the face of the club; contact should be mostly with the ball only
  6. Follow through with club over your shoulder and body facing the flag pole of the hole

Step 7: Pros and Cons

Traditional Shot Pros and Cons

  • Most professionals practice this technique
  • It is a more reliable way of not clubbing the ball, and being able to generate lift on the ball
  • However, this shot requires immense strength and control, in being able to lift and control the sand and ball

My Version of the Bunker Shot

  • Simpler way to apply finesse to the ball and not swing so hard
  • Little strength required and less control, only needing to control the direction of the ball
  • However, lift can be an issue in getting height on the ball; arms must be locked and extended to ensure sufficient lift of the shot

Step 8: Any Troubles?

  1. If your shot keeps going left or right, check your stance; make sure your feet are lined up and the ball is placed correctly relative to your back foot.
  2. Check your swing, keeping a straight parabolic motion is difficult. Try and go straight back and come straight through the ball, not taking the club shaft back in a sideways motion.
    • Remember a golf swing is not a baseball swing, ARMS ARE LOCKED AND EXTENDED ENTIRE TIME

  3. As you swing through the ball, make sure your hips follow through the swing of your arms, thus, allowing your chest to be facing forward toward the flagpole.
  4. Relax and have fun. Just like any sport we play, the end game is a good time. Stressing when playing golf will only give bad results and limited focus.

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    Great tutorial. If you are able to upload a brief video of gif of the shot in motion it would really help to illustrate it.