Titleist Tips: The 40-Yard Bunker Shot

From James Sieckmann On October 16, 2020
There may be no tougher shot in golf than the long bunker shot, but as Titleist staff member James Sieckmann demonstrates in this video, there are two solutions. As James explains, on this shot it's... important not to get overactive with the legs and the core (the muscles that are important for power in full swing technique). On bunker shots, the legs need be stable and quiet, creating a solid base for the swing. This allows you to be very precise and consistent with the bottom of the swing and the point at which you contact the sand - a key to escaping bunkers effectively.

So how do you produce sufficient power for a longer shot without using the big muscles of your legs and core? First, James' preferred option is to use a lower lofted club like a 9-iron. Irons still have bounce when you open the face and when you apply the same force required for a 10-yard shot with a sand wedge, the 9-iron shot will fly 20-25 yards and release the remaining distance to the hole.

If you need to fly the ball farther than that, the degree of difficulty goes up significantly, but as James shows, using a bigger shoulder turn is the key. A bigger turn using a sand wedge provides more power to the shot without jeopardizing good contact with the sand.

There's no way to ever make the long bunker shot easy, but if you put in some practice time with James' techniques, you'll see very acceptable results much more frequently.
There may be no tougher shot in golf than the long bunker shot, but as Titleist ... staff member James Sieckmann demonstrates in this video, there are two solutions. As James explains, on this shot it's important not to get overactive with the legs and the core (the muscles that are important for power in full swing technique). On bunker shots, the legs need be stable and quiet, creating a solid base for the swing. This allows you to be very precise and consistent with the bottom of the swing and the point at which you contact the sand - a key to escaping bunkers effectively.

So how do you produce sufficient power for a longer shot without using the big muscles of your legs and core? First, James' preferred option is to use a lower lofted club like a 9-iron. Irons still have bounce when you open the face and when you apply the same force required for a 10-yard shot with a sand wedge, the 9-iron shot will fly 20-25 yards and release the remaining distance to the hole.

If you need to fly the ball farther than that, the degree of difficulty goes up significantly, but as James shows, using a bigger shoulder turn is the key. A bigger turn using a sand wedge provides more power to the shot without jeopardizing good contact with the sand.

There's no way to ever make the long bunker shot easy, but if you put in some practice time with James' techniques, you'll see very acceptable results much more frequently.
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