Putting from a bunker may seem like a dicey proposition. After all, the goal is to get the ball up, over and out of the sand.
But the putter has its place when certain conditions exist. Considering putting when:
- The sand is very firm, allowing the ball to roll and skip rather than bog down.
- There is no lip to contend with, or the sand provides a “ramp” over the lip.
- The bunker isn’t cluttered with rocks or other debris that can knock a rolling ball off line or into the air.
- You’re against the back edge of a bunker and can’t make a long enough backswing to get the ball out with a wedge.
When attempting to putt from sand, make sure not to ground the club as you’ll incur a penalty. Also, play the ball slightly back in your stance and strike it around the equator. This will impart topspin and prevent sand from grabbing the ball.
The putter works best on medium-length bunker shots that require neither a great deal of touch nor an extra-long swing.