Nothing seems to crush momentum and motivation quite like seeing your golf ball find its way into the golf course nuisance that is the sand trap. But alas, sand traps or bunkers are an inevitable fate for golfers of all skill levels and experience. You can have the best custom fit golf clubs in the world, but if you don’t know how to properly hit out of a bunker, shooting for birdie can quickly turn into settling for a double bogey.
Instead of fearing the sand trap, it’s time to embrace its inclusion in the game and merely view such an unfortunate lie as an opportunity to better round out your golf game and expand upon your experience.
Whenever you find yourself buried in the bunker, here are a few golf training tips to keep in mind that will help you hit out of a sand trap and have you putting in no time!
Approaching Your Bunker Shot
A big part of being able to successfully hit out of a sand trap is how you initially approach and survey your shot before hitting out of the bunker.
When finalizing your foot stance, you’ll want to open up your stance more than you do on a regular golf swing, aiming your stance, lining your feet up more to the left of your target for righthanders, and more to the right of your target for lefthanders.
Once you’ve set your feet up, perform this checklist before taking a swing out of the sand:
● Place the ball toward the front as much as possible, practically aligned with your front foot.
● Grip your club by opening up the clubface as much as possible so you’re utilizing the very bottom of your club, allowing the club to hit the sand first before pushing the ball forward.
● Keep your shoulders pointed downwards while keeping them level, putting about two-thirds of your weight up toward your front foot.
Swinging Out of the Sand
Once you’re all set up and ready to swing, there’s still a few final elements of preparation to account for before you finally hit out of the bunker. Let’s start with your grip, which tends to confuse most golfers when approaching a shot from a sand trap.
Keep the grip on your club the same way you always grip it when shooting from the fairway or rough. The fact that you’re hitting with a more open club means you don’t have to make any alterations to your grip to adequately hit out of the sand.
Now comes the trickiest part: Where do you want the clubface to land?
The biggest rule of thumb when hitting out of the bunker is that unless you’re nowhere close to the green, you want your club to hit sand and nothing but sand. You want the club to strike the sand about one to two inches behind your golf ball, driving the club forward underneath the ball, while taking up plenty of sand along the way.
You don’t want to compromise your swing speed too much either, applying about 75% of your normal swing speed to the shot, giving the sand a solid thump after your backswing.
Remember, it’s better to swing too hard compared to too soft when it comes to getting the best shot out of a bunker.
Perfect Your Short Game with Totally Driven
At the end of the day, practice makes perfect when it comes to improving your ability to accurately hit out of a sand trap. And what better way to practice is there than having weekly lessons with PGA Golf Professionals and Titleist Performance Institute certified coaches?!
At Totally Driven, our team of golf training professionals will help you master your bunker shots, along with all other aspects of your golf game.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can change your golf game for the better, or give us a call at 952-681-2728 to speak directly with one of our certified golf instructors.