You hit an errant shot. You hit a great shot that just rolls a little too much. Either way, you wind up in one of the bunkers surrounding the green. Many golfers don’t have adequate bunker play knowledge to turn the situation into a positive… let alone make an easy escape and salvage your par.
Here are 5 tips to ace your bunker play around the green and demolish any apprehension you currently have when it comes to the sand.
Tip 1: It isn’t hot lava so get all negative thoughts out of your mind. Just because you wind up in the bunker it doesn’t mean you’re a bad golfer. We all watch the PGA Tour and those guys end up in the bunkers all the time so why in the world do you automatically crumble mentally when you’re ball rolls, plops, or plugs into the sand? It’s just a part of the game. Don’t lose your marbles over some beach time.
Tip 2: Ball position is pretty darn important. Part of the reason your ball doesn’t easily float out of the bunker is because you’ve put the ball in the wrong position of your stance. Forward. Forward. Forward. The ball should be at the front of your stance which will help it gain quick upward mobility.
Tip 3: Your club is not an extension of your arms and hand… at all costs, do not try and pick the ball up with your club. This is such a common mistake and what ends up happening is chunk your shot and the ball goes a solid 7 inches and that’s about it.
Tip 4: Open that face. Your club face should be open because closed will give you a zinger and that is definitely not what you want. In most circumstances, from a green side bunker you’re going to want to get up and land soft without much roll. Opening your face simulates a flop shot. Hit the ball correctly and you may be able to get some back spin even!
Tip 5: Beach first should be your motto. You aren’t hitting the ball your goal is to hit the sand behind the ball. This goes back to tip 3 because if you hit at the ball you’re going to get a zinger and if you force it to try and pick up the ball with your club you’re going to get a dud.
If you do one thing and one thing only… it’s tip 1. Quit getting in your own head and screwing up your green side bunker player. So many golfers lose strokes to the bunker when you can use it to your advantage with smart play.
Go get em’!