Techniques For Playing It Safe Out Of Bunkers

    Let’s assume that you were going to attempt to get the ball out of the bunker on the first shot. But what if that is not the decision you have made? In some cases, it just isn’t going to be realistic to play out of the bunker. Instead, you may need to play back into a better spot in the sand, in order to get out with your next shot. When that is the decision you have made, you will need to have a good technique ready to go in order to execute this shot properly.

    Right off the bat, you are going to notice one thing about this shot – it still isn’t easy. It might seem like you are taking the easy way out by playing back into the bunker, but there are still some significant problems to deal with. For one thing, the wall of the bunker that was going to prevent you from having a follow through is now in the way of your backswing. Depending on the shape of the bunker and the angles involved, you might not have much of a backswing at all. That means you are going to have to ditch the idea of an explosion shot and instead hit a chip shot from one spot in the sand to another.

    Now that you know you’ll be chipping rather than blasting the ball, you will want to use a less-lofted club for the shot. Instead of your sand wedge or lob wedge, the pitching wedge in your bag should be the perfect tool for the job. The pitching wedge has enough loft to carry the ball over a portion of the bunker, but not so much loft that it will be difficult to make clean contact.

    Once you have your pitching wedge in hand, find a way to take a relatively comfortable stance over the ball. Pick out a specific target – likely a spot in the middle of the bunker – and proceed with the chip just as you would in any other situation. Keep your eye on the ball, hold your body steady throughout the swing, and do your best to make solid contact. As long as your technique holds strong, you should be able to make the contact you need to find a safe spot in the sand.

    It would be a good idea to practice hitting a few bunker chip shots from time to time just to make sure you can pull this off under pressure. Hitting a basic chip shot in the bunker can be surprisingly difficult, even if you do have enough room to make a little backswing. It would only take a few moments to hit a few of these kinds of shots during your next practice session. You never know – that little bit of practice could save you a stroke or two during an upcoming round.