When playing golf, a strong and steady swing may still result in your ball flying into the bunker. Now, the ball is stuck in the sand trap. These sandy areas are a golf course staple and are intended to challenge golfers by potentially raising their scores. Don’t let the bunker be your downfall, as mastering the sand trap is an important part of keeping your score low. To aid in this endeavor, use the following tips as a guide.
How to Get out of the Bunker
1. Choose the Right Tool for the Job
You’ll need a wedge to free your ball from the sand, and which model depends on where in the sand it’s located. If you’re short on space, grab a high-lofted wedge from your bag to prevent the ball from rolling. If the ball is near the edge of the green, you’ll need a lower-lofted wedge. Use a sand wedge, about 52 to 54 degrees, for the sandy area and a gap wedge, about 58 degrees, around the green. With practice, you’ll be able to narrow down your preferences as you get a feel for which wedges give more or less bounce and which ones work better for you in the sand or the green.
2. Establish a Strong Foundation
The way you position your body is tantamount to the success of your shot. Take a step back with one foot. As you position your feet in the sand, twist them around to secure your grip. This also helps you to get a feel for how deep or loosely packed the sand is around your shot. Keep in mind that the further your feet are apart, and the lower you are to the ground, the lower your trajectory will be. Open up your stance and point the clubface outward. Then, place your weight onto your front foot.
3. Practice Your Swing
Once you’ve found your footing, the swing is the next step to master. An outside-in swing path with a slight wrist hinge at the top is optimal. Keep the clubface open and directed toward your target. Your swing will be dictated by the distance you need the ball to travel. The further back you go, the farther the ball will fly. Make sure to keep your weight on the front foot, and don’t let it shift as you swing and release. Aim your wedge about an inch or two from the ball and swing at about 80 percent of a full swing. It should feel like a sliding motion, rather than a swing. Hitting the ball out of the bunker is unlike any other swing you’ll take on the course. You’ll need to practice this movement until it begins to feel natural.
If you’re looking for a place to work on your bunker shot skills, Etter’s Golf Center in Evandale, OH, is the place to go. Their facility boasts 22 outdoor tees in addition to their 16 lit, covered, and heated driving range stalls. Visit their website to read about their wide variety of golf products and services or call them today at (513) 563-8661.