Hitting Out of the Bunker

Golf Pro Tips

Hit a ball into the bunker? Don’t let it throw off your game. 18 Holes hosts Jimmy Hanlin and Carling Nolan show viewers the correct body and ball position to get out of the sand and maintain par while filming at Couer d’Alene Resort in Idaho.

Align Your Hands Slightly Behind the Ball

Jimmy starts off by saying that he sees so many people set up with their hands aligned in front of the golf ball. This common mistake causes you to dig at the ball when you take your shot, which will never get the ball up in the air. Height is essential with a bunker shot because it needs to stop quickly.

The ideal hand position is slightly behind the ball so you can let your club slide underneath it. Remember, with a bunker shot, you’re not actually hitting the ball, but rather hitting the sand behind it and relying on the bounce of your wedge. As a practice drill, you can try hitting the sand behind the ball in different places to see how it affects the trajectory of the shot.

Stance is Key

In addition to hand position, your stance in relation to the ball position is key. When you set up, the ball should be aligned somewhere between the inside of your lead heel and the middle of your body. You can adjust based on how high you want the ball to fly—the closer to the inside of your lead heel, the higher it will go.

Keep Your Club Face Open

The last thing to remember is that you should keep your the face of your wedge open rather than square with the ball so that your club’s bounce can do what it’s supposed to do.

Watch Jimmy and Carling in action as they demonstrate how these tips help your bunker shot!