Tip Tuesday: Hitting Out of the Bunker

Here’s a great tip for amateur golfers who have their issues in the sand trap. Let Scott Tanguay from the Coastal Golf Academy at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach, S.C. show you the proper technique for hitting out of the bunker.



Scott Tanguay:
Hey folks, Scott Tanguay here at the Coastal Golf Academy at Whispering Pines Golf Course, directly across the street from Myrtle Beach International Airport. Come by and see us!

Today we’re talking about how you hit it out of the bunker. You’ve got to set up a little differently. And we’ve got to definitely hold the face a little differently. Those are the two main things that I see. So when we’re in the bunker, the goal is based on exactly how far you need to hit it, but pretty much we’re looking for about one to two inches behind the ball. Obviously we don’t want to hit ball first. Right? That’s going to send it a hundred yards over the green. So we’re looking an inch or two behind it. That’s key. Another big thing that people forget is we don’t necessarily set up the same with more bend at the waist and less bend at the knees.

When we’re in the bunker, we’re almost chunking it on purpose. So we do want to sit in the knees a little bit, kind of a squat, more like that. That’s going to do two things. It’s going to help you bring the club up higher in the back swing. And it’s also going to be able to help you chunk it a little bit because we don’t want to hit the ball first. We’re not looking for necessarily that pinching-and-hitting-down-on-it move. So those are key.

Now the other biggest thing that’s probably the most important is you have to open the club face. If we play it square, look at this. We go super deep into the sand, like a shovel almost. And it’s usually not going to turn out very good. You’re going to get a lot of chunks. It won’t leave the bunker. Or you’ll just catch it clean and go way over.

We want to, if you laid it in, if you’re just practicing, you lay it in there. Almost twist the face open, twist the grip, so the face is going to almost point not necessarily out to the right, but more just up and down this way. What we want is to expose the bounce here. This is the part we need to hit into the bunker. We’re not trying to hit the leading edge. That’s where we get the shovel.

So if we expose the bounce, we won’t get the shovel one. We’ll get this nice kind of a splash. It looks like this. A much shallower hit into the turf and then much more of this bouncy skidding part there. That’s what you want. Then you won’t have to deal with all this trouble. You can come in, again, notice how the face is pointing up. Maybe a little right. But mostly up. I’m here. We’ve got the knee bend here and then we just go right underneath that sucker.

And you get that nice sound to it. And now, if you have a really far bunker shot, there are two things. You either need to hit it a little bit closer to it, more an inch or a little bit less, or you can easily just grab your gap wedge. Maybe even your pitching wedge. In the same exact technique. You open it up. We’re looking right there. Now you can aim a little bit left, but we’re not looking to aim way left and hack over the top of it. We still want to come a little from the inside. We’re here. I got my face open and we splash it out. Just like that!