A splash bunker shot is the basic method you can use to get your ball out of the sand and on to a green.
The splash bunker shot sees the club sweeping down into the sand just behind the ball and skimming it out on a fine carpet of sand. The splash bunker shot only takes a limited amount of sand out of the bunker when compared to a blast bunker shot which shifts much more.
Because this technique only requires a small amount of sand to be taken, you should not use the splash bunker shot from buried or plugged lies.
The splash bunker shot – with a sand wedge
1. For the splash bunker shot, open up the club before taking the grip. The higher the golfer wants to hit the ball, the more they should open up the club face.
2. Golfers can grip the club high on the handle to help avoid quitting on the shot or hold the handle nearer the shaft for more control. The key is to make adjustments in the posture to suit the grip.
3. Grip the club more firmly with the back two fingers of the top hand to help hold the club face open through impact.
4. Take a square stance with the ball slightly forward of centre and the club face aimed right of the target.
5. To complete the set up, move the left foot, hips and shoulders left until the club face aims at the target and place 60% of weight on to the front foot.
6. To ensure a crisp, sweeping motion under the ball make a long, smooth swing along the body line, hinging the wrists upwards before swinging down and entering the sand an inch behind the ball.
7. The swing should flow about an inch under the ball taking out a divot the size of $1 bill. The divot should start an inch behind the ball and extend through and after.
8. Extend through the ball and finish in a full position. The ball should fly towards the target on a carpet of sand.
Many golfers fear bunker shots but by using this technique more balls will find their way out of the sand and on to the green. Because of the small amount of sand taken from underneath the ball, there can be a large amount of friction created between the club, sand and ball. This usually means the ball will leave the sand loaded with backspin.
The splash bunker shot is a challenge to learn, however, as many players find it difficult to swing down into the sand and sweep underneath the ball. There is always an urge to hit the ball first as you would off the fairway. However, the length of a bunker swing means a direct contact with the ball could send the resulting bunker shot firing over the green.
The splash bunker shot is a great weapon to have and can be used on most ‘standard’ bunkers shots but before unleashing the new technique during a medal round, golfers should first practice.