Striking down into the sand before the ball during a bunker shot is crucial for success but how much sand should a golfer be looking to take?
There can be some sand shots which require different amounts to be taken. A buried bunker shot, for example, requires comparatively more sand to be taken than with a standard splash bunker shot. Golfers looking to focus on the standard splash bunker shot should aim to take the same amount of sand on each shot. Taking a consistent amount sand will lead to consistent results which will breed confidence into a player’s game.
How much sand
For most players, taking out two inches of sand from behind and underneath the ball is the safest ploy but the best way to be sure is to experiment. Players with access to a practice bunker can use this drill.
1. Draw a line in the sand 90 degree to the ball-to-target line and let it run through the middle of the stance.
2. Place five balls along the line at different distances. The first ball should be an inch from the line closer to the target, the second 2 inches, the third 3, the fourth 4 and the fifth 5 inches from the line close to the target.
3. The golfer can practice hitting the ball on to the green making sure they enter the sand on the line and try to move the sand out from underneath the balls.
Golfers should find that the most consistent ball position is two inches in front of the line and therefore just forward of centre in the stance.
When analysing bunker shots, golfers should be looking at both the depth and length of the divot taken. A normal splash bunker shot does not require mounds of sand to be moved so depth of divot is important.
Golfers don’t want to be taking more than two inches of sand from underneath the ball. An inch of sand would be a more preferable amount.
The length of the divot after the ball is also a telling sign. The divot on a normal bunker shots needs to start one to two inches in front of the ball and extend three to four inches beyond. This will show the golfer is hitting down and through the ball.