There are a number of different techniques which can be employed in the bunker depending on how the ball is lying.
A blast bunker shot sees the golfer digging down deeply into the sand and exploding upwards. This technique moves a lot of sand and is best used when the ball finds a poor lie or becomes fully or partially plugged in the bunker.
It’s a challenging shot to master and requires a certain amount of courage but can be conquered by following this technique.
The blast shot – with a sand wedge
1. On a normal slash bunker shot, the golfer should open up the club face to increase loft. On the blast bunker shot, however, the player wants to keep the club face square or even slightly closed to the target.
2. To ensure a full flowing swing, the golfer should place their hands high on the handle and grip firmly. This is so the club face doesn’t twist through impact.
3. Rather than opening the stance, golfers should take a normal square stance to the target line. The ball should be positioned back of centre to encourage a downward ‘dig’ into the sand behind the ball. If the ball is completely buried the ball position could move to the back foot.
4. By making a steep swing and hinging the wrists quickly, a downward strike becomes more achievable. Dig down in behind the ball punching into sand.
5. The club’s bounce angle should help steer the club upward, sending the ball upward propelled by lots of sand.
6. If the ball is fully buried, the golfer could have to dig down into the sand by about 4 inches.
The blast shot is a great way of escaping from bad lies in bunkers when compared to the standard splash shot. It will help ensure the ball flies out of the bunker. Leaving a ball in the bunker is frustrating and if the ball stays in the bunker, there is a high probability the ball will settle down in the previous shot's divot or foot marks, leaving the golfer with another tricky shot.
There is, however, a negative aspect to hitting blast bunker shots. Rather than flying upwards carried by a thin carpet of sand, the blast bunker shot requires lots of sand to be hit before the ball. This mass of sand underneath the ball means there is very little chance of the club face and sand interacting with the ball to create backspin. The blast bunker shot will fire the ball out with very little backspin. This means when the ball lands it will roll out excessively, this is something the golfer has to keep in mind when weighing up their options. If you are hitting a blast bunker shot to a tight pin, be prepared for a long putt.
Players are best advised to use the blast bunker shot when they find their ball in a bad or buried bunker lie but must also keep in mind the way the ball will react once it hits the green.