One of the worst places your ball can end up is close to the raised back edge of a bunker. If there’s less than a couple of feet between the ball and the lip, your swing is restricted and it’s tough to hit the ball with enough force to send it over the front edge and onto the green.
When you find your ball in such a spot, you first need to determine if there’s room to take the club up and bring it down behind the ball, with enough speed to cover the length and height required. Worst-case scenario: You can’t advance the ball toward the target and must play out sideways or backward.
If you’ve got room to play toward the green, follow these steps to extract yourself from the situation:
- Take a stance with your right (trailing) foot out of the bunker, if necessary.
- Play the ball well back in your stance, open the clubface slightly and place most of your weight on the left side.
- Your left shoulder should be lower than the right to promote a steeper swing path.
- Pick the club up abruptly, cocking the wrists immediately.
- Swing down sharply, hitting the sand just behind the ball. Make sure you accelerate the club all the way down and through.
The result may not be pretty, but just getting the ball out of the bunker will feel like a triumph.