Getting Out of a Greenside Bunker

O.K., we’re going to get this shot down, once and for all. The pros say how easy it is to get out of a greenside bunker and you still can’t do it. Following a great shower of sand the ball is still sitting there, two feet in front of where it was, or else it gets picked clean and takes off across the green like a bullet.

There is a way.

1. Take out your sand wedge and open the clubface until it is almost lying flat on the ground. Really open. Don’t worry about how open that is. I watched Kari Webb do this in a practice bunker and couldn’t believe how much she had opened the clubface. And how easily she made the ball pop out of the bunker.

2. Align your stance about twenty degrees to the left of the pin.

3. Swing with your hands and arms as in your normal golf swing, along your stance line (and not toward the pin), but keep your lower body as still as you can.

So far, so good. Now for the magic ingredient.

4. Swing the club through the sand as if you were going to slide the club underneath the ball without touching it. You could do this if the ball were sitting on top of 3-inch rough. Think that you’re going to do the same thing here. The club slides through the sand on its sole, the part that is primed for the task because of how much you opened the blade when you set up.

5. Practice. There has to be a range near you with a practice bunker. If there’s high grass around the bunker, swing through the grass a few times to get the idea of sliding the club through a medium, then step into the bunker and do the same thing.

This shot is like learning to ride a bike. As soon as you learn how to do it, it’s easy. It really is.

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One thought on “Getting Out of a Greenside Bunker”

  1. “O.K., we’re going to get this shot down, once and for all.”

    From your keyboard to my game! I usually give up at least one extra shot every time I get in a bunker.

    Granted, the bunkers on the course I usually play are pretty deep for a public course, and the sand quality and quantity are questionable, but there’s really no excuse.

    Thanks for the tip!

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