How to Get Out of a Bunker
There is nothing like stretching out on the sand and catching some sun on a warm afternoon; unless you are doing it in a bunker on the eighth hole. Hitting your tee shot into a sand trap can be an infuriating experience and one that prompts you to toss your driver down the fairway. We all know that is bad golf etiquette, but it is completely understandable.
There is a way to keep your cool when sinking a shot into a bunker and that is to know exactly how to get your ball out as quickly as possible.
So read on to learn how to up your bunker work.
Types of Bunker Shots
There are three types of bunker shots a golfer may make: greenside, 20-yard or more and plugged ball. The greenside bunker shot is considered the only shot in golf in which you don’t hit the ball, but the sand just one to two inches behind it. The 20-yard or more bunker shot is an impressive shot when done correctly, and many golf course designers love the idea of these shots being made every day.
Some of the longer bunker shots can be quite amazing. The plugged ball, or fried egg, is a shot that has partially impacted into a hole in the sand. Regardless of what type of bunker shot you need to make, if you know what you are doing, it shouldn’t be hard to get yourself out of the sand.
Getting in is always easier than getting out
When your ball lands in the bunker, there are a couple of problems that can occur if you don’t know how to get it out. One problem is when golfers chop down in an attempt to loft the ball out of the sand trap. This buries the clubhead and prevents the ball from emerging from its sandy grave.
The second problem you face is hitting the ball with the clubhead, but it doesn’t loft out of the bunker. Rather, it limply flies into the bunker’s face and rolls back to your feet. The more time you spend in the bunker, attempting to hit out of it, the more strokes you lose.
PGA Tour players, PGA Master Professionals may give different directions based on their own experience and learning. Some will instruct you to hit into the sand one to two inches behind the ball.
Others will explain that footwork and stance are the keys to successfully extracting the ball from the sand. Regardless of the method, the best college golf courses will give you the tools to get out of the sand.
Here is a look at one way to loft the ball out of the sand.
- The Set Up
As you prepare to hit your golf ball out of the sand, it is important to have a good stance. Golf pro, Justin Rose recommends getting nice and low in your stance before starting your backswing. In fact, Rose believes this is the most important part of your bunker swing. He doesn’t believe hitting one to two inches behind the ball is as important as the low stance. Golfers who have a low center of gravity will hit shallower into the sand. However, those golfers standing more straight up and down will chop into the sand.It is also a good idea to have the clubhead facing the target while keeping your feet open and pointed off to the left if you are right-handed or to the right if you are left-handed.
- The Swing
Now that you have opened up your feet, it is important to make a swing that goes along your feet line. This will prevent you from hitting into the sand. The backswing should be short and compact. Most golf education instructors teach students to keep their hands around waist height.
- Making Contact
As you swing, keeping your arms and hands close to the body. Your swing shouldn’t be your normal swing speed. Around 80% is suggested for making a successful bunker shot. By having the low stance, the clubhead will scoop through the sand, lofting the ball out of it.
It is typically said that the longer your shot, the less sand you will hit out of the bunker. The shorter the shot, the more sand you will knock out onto the grass.
Bunker shots can be some of the most challenging and aggravating shots to make on a golf course. Once you master how to get out of the sand, you won’t have any worries the next time you land in it. Just remember to rake the sand when you finish.