The Basic Bunker Shot

PGA Fellow Professional

The Basic Bunker Shot

The Basic Bunker Shot

The Basic Bunker Shot is a short Golf blog post explaining the foundations of great bunker play.

The basics are simple and for this example, we will presume that the lie of the ball is good.

Please remember that my explanations are based on righthanded golfers.

The Basic Bunker Shot
Which club should I use?

Take your Sand Wedge or a similar lofted club. This could be anything from 50° – 64° of loft.

This decision is also based on the length of the shot or the height of the bunker lip.

How should I stand and set up to the ball?

Take your stance as you would for a Pitch Shot.

Your feet should open (aiming somewhere left of the target).

The ball position will be somewhere between the middle of your stance and the front foot.

Shuffle your feet into the sand. This will give you stability and it will also lower the arc of the swing.

Make sure that you bend your knees more than usual. This will help lower the arc of the swing.

Place at least 75% of your weight on your front foot, this will help to create a steeper swing.

Grip the club slightly shorter than normal, this will also help create a steeper swing.

When gripping the club, make sure that the clubface is open (aiming somewhere right of the target).

Basic Bunker Shot

Set up position

How should I swing the club?

You should be trying to make a basic Pitch shot, but with more power.

Make sure that, on the backswing, you use a lot of wrist break so that the clubhead is above your hands.

The aim is to hit the sand and not the ball. If you hit the ball it will fly too far.

Let the sand push the ball out of the bunker.

Even if you hit the sand aggressively, the ball will only float out of the bunker.

The most important thing to remember is to follow through.

Make sure that your followthrough is at least as long as your backswing.

I try to finish the swing in a similar fashion to my backswing so that the clubhead is above my hands.

Clubhead above the hands

Clubhead above the hands


What are your thoughts on this subject?

Leave a comment below or fill out a Contact Form.

To read more of my Golf blog posts, click here.