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Bunker Basics-Guaranteed to get you off the beach
by Steve Radcliffe and Brian Hall

Most high handicap golfers get a real sweat on when they go into the bunker, even though getting out is basically a very easy shot. One main thing to remember is that you're not actually going to hit the golf ball clean. You're not actually going to make contact with the golf ball itself with the club. The sand is actually going to act as a cushion between the club head and the ball when you hit the shot out.

Most people when they go in a bunker and they don't have a good bunker technique are trying to pick the ball off the top of the sand with a chip shot action as though they're on the grass. Now the problem with that is that the grass is very firm so you're not going to dig in with the club. This means you can quite easily then hit the golf ball first and get a decent strike out of it, but most people tend to just duff it in front of themselves when they try this out of sand, because the sand is fluffy and it breaks up.

So what you've got to remember is that you're actually going to take out the same amount from underneath the ball. If you put, let's say two five dollar notes side by side, that's the amount of sand you're going to take out of the bunker either side of the ball as you hit underneath it.

When you swing the golf club one of the things you've got to think about is your swing. It needs to be a lot longer and have a better tempo than with a chip shot, because you've got to allow for the sand which you're going to take out with your shot. You must allow for that sand to actually take the power out of the shot. If you did a golf swing when chipping from just off the green and you used a bunker swing, you'd hit the ball about three or four times too far, but in a bunker it wouldn't be the same. You're just using the power of the swing and the sand to take the power out of the shot. © Copyright 2005 Tigerwolf Limited and Brian Hall

You may reproduce this article without charge, however please leave the copyright notice in tact.

About the author

Brian Hall is a PGA Pro Teacher with over 25 years teaching experience. He is also co-author and resident teaching pro of the Simple Golf Made Easy e-course. For full details see


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