Golf: The Greenside Bunker Shot

Golf: The Greenside Bunker Shot

Golf: The Greenside Bunker Shot - This tricky but elegant greenside bunker shot is demonstrated helpfully by our own golf expert.

Step 1: The set-up

As it is against the rules to touch the sand with your club before the shot, start by holding your club above the sand just behind the ball, aiming 10 feet left of the target. Set up with the line of your body pointing in the same direction as the clubface, and with the ball forward in your stance. Open the clubface, turning it to the right so that it directly faces the target, and then take your grip. To check that you are in the correct position to swing, make sure that your club points directly at your belly button. This will help you to swing parallel with the line of your set-up. A common mistake is to grip with the hands in front of the ball, so the club swings in from too far behind you, with disastrous results. You are now ready to start your swing.

Step 2: The swing

In the swing, the aim is that the clubhead enters the sand 2 or 3 inches behind the ball and the sand pushes the ball onto the green. Swing normally, rotating your body so it leads your arms and hands in a nice flowing motion. Grip the club gently and use only a light wrist action in the swing. Most importantly, keep your hands passive and avoid releasing the club through impact, so the clubface stays open throughout the shot. There is no need for power, just swing through and get the sand out of the bunker. Make sure you swing the clubhead parallel with your stance in the backswing, so the open clubface makes the ball fly to the right. A very common mistake is trying to swing in the direction of the target, which often causes the club to hit the sand too far behind the ball. Keep the height of your body constant throughout the backswing, making sure you swing the club down through the sand. Follow through as normal until your whole body is facing forwards and the ball should land nicely on the green.