So many people when I ask about their golf game will say,”If I could only get out of these bunkers!” The following are three mistakes I commonly see people make when trying to get out of the bunker.
1 WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION.
Many people either start with not enough weight on the front leg, or they shift their weight away from the front leg during the backswing. This will create a low point of their swing arc too far behind the ball and usually a shallow approach angle coming into the ball, both of which are killers for bunker shots.
The solution: Start with a wider stance than normal and push your knees toward the target a little, which will position more weight over your lead leg. Now keep the weight over that lead leg throughout the swing!
2 NOT ENOUGH WRIST.
When starting the backswing, if you take the club back like a normal backswing, you won’t get the club back up sharply enough to create the steeper angle of attack you need to successfully play a bunker shot.
The solution: Pick the club up more sharply with the wrists right at the start of the backswing. This will help to create the steeper angle of attack required coming back into impact. If this angle is too shallow, particularly in firm to hard sand, the club will either bounce up into the back of the ball or take way too much sand. If you bounce into the back of the ball the result is a knifed ball through the other side of the green, and taking too much sand will often result in the ball staying in the bunker.
3 STEERING THE CLUBHEAD IN THE FOLLOW-THROUGH.
If you try to guide the clubhead toward the target during the follow-through, the result is often a swing too shallow and from the inside, and a wide open clubface pointing too far right. The results from this are, shanks, taking too much sand, hitting to the right, and just leaving the ball in the bunker.
The solution: Swing down hard into the sand, and allow your follow-through to swing to the left, (for right handers). Swinging to the left will tend to create a steeper angle of attack into the sand, and will allow the hands and arms to work with your body, not against it.
Check your bunker technique soon to see if you are making one of these mistakes.
Member of PGA of Australia