worst enemy

The past couple rounds i have played and found my self in a few deep bunkers and havent been able to get up in down from them. i keep practicing but i cant seem to get the ball in the air fast enough to land softly. i have spin milled wedges 54-58 and dont know which one i should use. any tips are greatly appreciated. thanks

I consider myself a reasonably good bunker player, and my first rule of thumb is get on the green. After that, it depends on the lie, and how close I am to the hole. For example, I was in one today, which was close to the end of the bunker, and I had an uphill lie. I hate the long bunker shots where I have to carry several yards over sand, but this one wasn't. Hence, I felt I could be aggressive, used my 60* and I hit it to 20 inches, and made par. If I had been further back, I would have used my 56*, and my focus would be to get on the green, and maybe make par, but nothing worse than bogey. For longer bunker shots, I will use my 52* or 48*, where getting out is not as worrisome, but I want the ball to run when it gets on the green.

Hope this helps. 

First off,(if you do not already) Open up and Widen your stance.  Keep your body weight tilted slightly forward.  Then lay the club near 90 degrees, either 54-58 depending on condition.   Be sure you are accelerating through the swing.  Hit behind the ball +-1" with a decent dig into the sand.  The ball should pop up better and land softer.  It also a feeling of being most in control, imho.

These tips will at least get you out of bunkers on a more consistent basis with a softer touch & more bite.  Sand is all touch & feel once you understand the conditions at hand.   Too many players try to get cute instead of first understanding the basics of proper bunker play.

Do you have a 60? I play my 60 Vokey out of the sand in all steep shots. If it's not a long shot, I choke way up, open it way up play the ball more slightly forward of center and stop my finish once I hear the thud. Checks up every time. What ball are you using?  


I have become pretty good out of the bunker (around 83%), however, the only club I use is my Sand Wedge.  The bottom of the club is a little more rounded helping me NOT to go too deep in the sand (if I am buried, I sometimes use a PW to help dig in).  I use the same stance as I do when not in the bunker, but I take a full swing, the only difference to determine distance is how hard I swing, and how much sand I take with the swing.  A bunker shot is more of a finesse shot, so arms are probably the prominent force.

If I am close to the lip of the bunker I might open the club face a little, but I find the normal club face angle will lift enough to get out of most green side bunkers.

Keep your head down,


Hi Nick,

There's a lot of good advice on here.  Open and widen your stance, and open that club face way up-  That's the key.

I would suggest practicing with different clubs.  For the dreaded 50 yard bunker shot, I've opened up a P or a 9 and played it just like a green side shot with some success.  Finding what works for you is key.

Who knows, maybe the 50 yard bunker will be the next "Tip from the Tour" -hint hint Mike

YouTube G Playr, Lee T and J Thrp and you'll be  sticking it close!

Like Donald master class videos go really in depth with these shots easy to find on YouTube.

Brandon R
Like Donald master class videos go really in depth with these shots easy to find on YouTube.

I've watched a few of those videos.  Very informative and worth watching.

Honestly, you need to have fun with it. Until I started to have fun practicing my sand shots, they were always boring and usually bad. And the club choice is completely up to you, I used to use a 56 but now I favor my 52 more often. You also don't have to worry about getting the ball high because if you hit a good sand shot the ball will usually spin anyway. Also, you cannot approach a sand bunker with bad thoughts. You have to be ready to take on the challenge and embrace the opportunity to hit a great shot. This is what really helped my game out of bunkers.