End of the Week Tip: Master Bunker Shots

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Tour players are well known for their bunker play. Statistically, the average Tour player is just as likely to hit a sand shot on the green and two-putt, as he is to get it up and down.

For most players it is very important that we are good enough from greenside bunkers that it should never take more than 3 shots to get the ball in the hole.  Here are some tips to help you get the most from your bunker play:

·      Learn to hit the sand. If bunkers scare you, start by finding a practice bunker and learning how to hit the sand.  Draw a line in the bunker perpendicular to your target line and simply make practice swings making the club enter the sand on the line.  By controlling where the club hits the sand, you will be on your way to good bunker play.

·      Setup consistently.  I’ve seen too many players get twisted up like a pretzel thinking they have to setup a certain way in a bunker.  With the ball slightly forward in your stance, the only adjustment you may want to make will be to slightly open the clubface (pointing right of the target for RH golfers) and your stance (left of the target for RH golfers) to match.

·      Finish the swing.  Allowing the sand to stop or significantly slow down the club through impact is a big no.  Keep the club moving through the sand and hold your finish an extra second or two to reinforce your balance.  The length of your follow through should closely match the length of your backswing.