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The Fool-Proof Golf Tip to Get Out of Sand Bunkers

Updated on January 26, 2012

Bunkers, or sand traps (or sand hazards, or deserts-of-fury) are one of the most frustrating aspects to playing golf. Until one of the major golf manufacturers comes up with a scooping device that is legal to the rules of the game, golf will always be a struggle for the golfer who takes far longer than necessary to get out of bunkers.

Other than just picking the ball up and placing it on the green when you've landed in a bunker (which is the best technique to getting out of a bunker 100 percent of the time), bunkers can be made easier with just two techniques - two techniques which we'll dub, "the fool-proof way to get out of bunkers."

Golfers who find bunker play difficult can lower their scores with one change in their mental attitude - just get the ball out. And by combining that change in mental attitude with the following adjustments to their technique, bunkers will become so easy that you'll start aiming for them!

Dig your feet into the sand

Many golfers who struggle with bunker play tend to forget this very important facet to successfully getting the ball out of the trap. By digging your feet into the stand, you're helping yourself in two ways:

1) You're stabilizing yourself and your stance, which keeps you very still over the ball during the entire swing.

2) You are lowering yourself into the sand, and raising the ball, which means the very bottom of your swing will be below the golf ball in the sand - lowering your chance of skulling the golf ball and sending it soaring over the back of the green.

By stabilizing your stance, you've made it so that you can judge the entry point of your club in the sand. You hear it all the time that the club needs to enter the sand about two to three inches behind the golf ball, and the only way to consistently judge where your club is entering the sand is by standing still and swinging in an up-and-down manner.

By lowering yourself into the sand, you increase your chance of success of exploding the ball out of the bunker because you've lowered the bottom of your swing. The club needs to go under the ball in the sand, and by burying yourself in the sand slightly, you are letting the club go under the ball.

Swing very, very, very hard

As much as bunker play is about finesse, one of the vital components to successful bunker play is to be aggressive and trust that you can get your club into the sand behind the ball. By swinging as hard as you can, not only do you increase your chance of getting the ball out even if you hit the sand way too far behind the ball, but you also make sure you are not decelerating through impact.

Bunker play, as difficult as it seems, is really all about setting up correctly and swinging aggressively. The goal, once you've made the mistake of putting the ball in the bunker, should be to get the ball out and onto the green. Forget about all the one-hop-stop stuff the professionals are so good at doing - all that is needed is to get out and playing again.

And, as most tips that are related to golf, being aggressive and swinging hard can be taken to every aspect of your golf game. Ever noticed that you hit the ball so well on the range, but then try to steer your way around the course? You're not being aggressive enough, because chances are that if you're out on a course, you've been successful on the range.

It's all mental.


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    • chefmancave profile image

      Robert Loescher 5 years ago from Michigan

      I have always found that if you bend your front knee slightly towards your target that your accuracy from the bunker improves.