How to Handle Different Lies in a Bunker, Golf Tip

Bunker shots aren’t so tough when the ball is perched cleanly on nice, level sand.

Of course, there are often variables involved that require slight adjustments in technique. For instance, an uphill or downhill stance

First, let’s review the method for playing a standard bunker shot from a flat lie:

• Stand slightly open to the target line (aiming left for a right-hander) and dig the feet an inch or two into the sand.

• Place the clubface square or slightly open (aiming right).

• Focus on a spot about two inches behind the ball.

• Make a smooth, accelerating swing, hitting the spot and sending the ball onto the green. Pretty simple, right? Here’s how to adjust when the ball sits on an upslope:

• Play the ball off your left heel, standing so that your knees, hips and shoulders are parallel to the sand. (In other words, don’t lean into the hill.)

• Prepare for the ball to fly higher and land softer than from a flat lie, and make your normal bunker swing.

For the downhill bunker shot:

• Open the stance and clubface more than usual, with the ball positioned in the middle of your stance.

• Place your knees, hips and shoulders parallel to the sand.

• Prepare for the ball to fly lower and run farther than a typical bunker shot.