How to Hit Out of a Bunker

Hit Out of a Bunker Like the Golf Pros!

Ideally, you’ll never need to know how to hit out of a bunker. Of course, as all golfers know, “ideally” doesn’t always translate to what happens on the course! In today’s free golf tips, Matt shows you the fundamentals out of hitting out of a bunker. Once you’ve got these fundamentals down, hitting out of a sand trap won’t be that scary of a proposition anywhere–whether you’re on our Branson golf course, or at Pebble Beach. And with any luck, you might just save your par!

MATT DILLMAN, PGA PRO>> My name’s Matt Dillman, head golf professional here at Thousand Hills Golf Resort in Branson, Missouri. I’ve been talking about the short game today, and I’m sure everybody has seen one of these shots. I’m just going to go over a few quick thoughts on getting the ball out of the bunker that you can go over every time you play that will get the ball out.

First of all, I’ve got 3 balls down here so I’m going to hit a few just to let you see. But the first thing I’m going to do is pick my line of flight. This is the flight that you want the ball to go on. I’ve got it here. In the bunker, everyone knows that you want to get your feet in to lower your body. You want to lower your body so that you can take the sand out from under the ball.

Secondly, I want to aim left. The reason I aim left is to come across the ball and pop it out straight. I’m going to aim my body to this line. So to offset the aiming left, you’ve got to open your club face. Open it on this line here so that your body is aiming left and your club face is aiming right, and hopefully the ball is going to come out on the target line. We’re going to open our club to utilize the bounce in your sand wedge. This is designed to help you knock the sand out from underneath the ball to get the ball up in the air and on the green.

So what we’re gonna do is hit a few shots; I’ll hit this one here and then we’ll discuss it. But I’m going to aim left, aim my club to the right, and swing with my body line, meaning I’m going to swing on this line here. So I’m going to be coming out and through the ball. I want to make sure to hit behind the ball, probably an inch to an inch and a half behind, coming down on it, to get that sand up. See how that works out here.

See now that ball came out good and nice. I hit it far enough behind the ball to get the sand out from underneath. I hope you notice how open my body was, and how open my club was, but I swung with my body. I didn’t bring it this way, so I didn’t come in back here and come in too shallow. I’m swinging pretty steep, meaning I’m bringing the club almost straight down into the sand.

Notice how I swing on through the ball. I don’t hit the sand and stop. I get the club going and sling that sand out. Very important to do that!

Follow those 3 small tips and you’ll be hitting out of the bunker every time!

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